Land Grant University Extension scientists and professors are well known for their endless contributions to U.S. agriculture—soldiers in multiple campaigns of war against animal and plant diseases, weed resistance, in laboratories where genetics and other agbioscience disciplines are researched and practiced daily, all in an effort to improve and build upon a dynamic system of food, fuel and fiber production and delivery in its many forms.

Through the efforts of these dedicated Extension and experiment station professionals, a multitude of people around the world are finding ways to feed the hungry everyday, and each year make progress to address world food shortages and the growing need for biofuels. New technology, advanced bioscience and continuing research are uncovering the answers to problems once thought to be larger than life; new treatments are being discovered for old diseases; new solutions are found for age-old problems.

It is no secret that agricultural producers have long depended on the advice, research and input of Extension service field personnel and have looked to experiment stations as a way to gain new knowledge about products and methods related to the industry. But a new study indicates the role of the Extension service and many experiment stations goes beyond development of agricultural science and dissemination of information. It also fuels regional and the national economies.

The study, “Agbioscience in the Southern United States: The Importance of the Southern Region’s Landgrant Extension Service and Experiment Station System,” was prepared by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice and BioDimensions, Inc., leading organizations dedicated to advancing science and research and providing support to corporations, universities and other organizations dedicated to solutions for social and business problems.

The study was performed for the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors and the Association of Southern Regional Extension Directors, and sponsored by a number of southern universities including Auburn University, Clemson University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Puerto Rico, University of Tennessee, University of the Virgin Islands, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.