In an age where it is too easy to blast politicians for wasteful spending, there remains some very useful expenditures of public funds that some may take for granted.
America’s land grant institutions have a rich history. Much credit for the advances in American agriculture goes to the campuses and university researchers who developed programs and studied issues affecting farmers and ranchers. It is through the cooperative efforts of the campuses and growers that more efficient means of producing crops have developed.
That is not to diminish the entrepreneurial spirit and raw, git-r-done attitude of American farmers and ranchers, or of the private sector, which developed the gadgets, gizmos and practices to help the grower produce more with less water, less land and fewer chemical inputs. It is simply to point out that without university researchers and their wealth of knowledge on the science of agriculture, the American consumer would likely have many fewer choices when visiting the local grocery store.
While it appears that the true cooperative spirit and relationship between the grower, the researcher and private enterprise remains positive, it is vital that appropriate funding levels continue to the land grant universities for the level of unbiased research American agriculture has enjoyed since the Hatch Act of 1887 was approved.