What is in this article?:
- A group of Northeast Texas farmers have developed an organization to guide research and educational needs and develop a means to help finance special projects.
- Cereal Crops Research Incorporated (CCRI) was created and began working with scientists at nearby East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) and Texas AgriLife Extension.
- CCRI has generated over a million dollars to support the collaborative effort.
CCRI, in collaboration with other agricultural leaders across the region, is aggressively pursuing opportunities to further expand the partnership. We visualize a research farm and facilities near the Commerce campus for enhanced scientific research and educational opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. We are also encouraging the development of shared faculty positions to address both agricultural research and educational needs of the region, and are willing to help by suggesting areas of critical need.
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Why This Program Makes Sense
A clear message is being sent from legislators in both state and federal offices – produce relevant, cost effective programs that more effectively serve the taxpayers or face severe program cuts or program termination. We believe the future of agricultural research, teaching, and Extension programs will be based on a heavy reliance on public-private partnerships. All single source funding programs will be at risk as legislators ponder drastic cuts to balance budgets.
Our partnership can serve as a model for the public-private partnership concept. By combining public and private funds we can leverage monies to solve local problems and spur economic development in the region. No single agency has to foot the bill and we can get the maximum impact for the dollar.
Following is a summary of the contributions of each partner:
|Texas A&M University-Commerce||2.1 positions (including cost shared technician position), facilities, equipment|
|Texas AgriLife Extension||1.4 positions, equipment|
|Cereal Crops Research Inc.||200,000 in financial support (approximately $50,000 annually), cost shared technician position, equipment, product donations, leased farm for research activities and student research and educational opportunities, political support from state and federal legislators|
|Texas AgriLife Research||Scientist support, equipment|
|Agricultural Industry (corporate and commodity association support)||$50,000 grant support annually|
|Hunt County Commissioners Court||Cost shared technician position|