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Impacts of Our Work: Responding to and Solving Problems
As I travel around the state, I occasionally run into someone who does not understand the purpose and meaning of a Land Grant college, such as the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.
I point out that our College, as a Land Grant, has a reason for being: offering an enabling education to the children of the masses; discovering new knowledge with a purpose; and delivering that knowledge to impact the everyday lives of the residents of our state and, for that matter, the nation, and the world at large.
In our renewed mission as a Land Grant college as we transform ourselves in light of the budget challenges, we have a new vision:
The College of Agricultural Sciences will be nationally preeminent, as a result of undertaking discovery with purpose, delivery of enabling educational programs, and positive impact on people, communities, and the economy.
Our research and Extension efforts are about solving problems. Just during the past few weeks, we have learned of a variety of efforts our faculty, staff, and students are engaged in to solve problems. They include: alternative crops grass seed farmers can grow, sequencing the genome of a wild grass, enhancing levels of anti-oxidants in tomatoes, hive loss in honey bees, alternatives to field burning, invasive species on land and in the ocean, state of salmon raised in hatcheries, and test of the use of sound to repel whales from wave energy devices – to name just a few.
As a Land Grant college, we have a statewide footprint from the Pacific ocean to the Blue Mountains and from the Washington border to the California state line, our mandate is to solve problems.
This issue of The Source brings to you some of the stories about our College’s efforts in responding to and solving problems. The problems are as diverse as:
- the efforts of several faculty, in collaboration and partnership with colleagues from other states and industry, to address the challenge of dealing with a new, invasive pest insect, the Spotted Wing Drosophila;
- the need for insect identification, which is increasingly a critical skill for wheat growers;
- the potential for technology that could keep genetically modified and non-genetically modified crops separated;
- work on the sage grouse which the federal government has left off of the endangered and threatened species lists for now;
- and the efforts of a team to free a sea lion.