Perspectives On Line: The Magazine of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

NC State University

Fall 2002 Contents Page Features Natural Wonders Excellent Preparation
Toward a Lifetime of Leadership
View from the Summit
A Closer Look
College Profile
Noteworthy News Alumni

Items of Interest
From the Dean
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences





From The Dean

N.C. State Chancellor Marye Anne Fox joins Dean Jim Oblinger at the 2002 Gala in the Garden at JC Raulston Arboretum (story, 'Giving' section).     (Photo by Art Latham)


...and Leading

ornate letter If this fall issue of Perspectives seems to have a summer feel to it, there’s good reason: We’ve
combined our 2002 summer and fall issues. As you probably surmised when you received your spring magazine in July instead of May, that issue was delayed (and sent in the time frame of our summer issue) in compliance with spending restrictions set this spring in response to the state budget crisis. Yet we felt it was important that you receive the information slated for the summer issue; those articles have been incorporated here with fall news.

This schedule is just our way of adapting while maintaining our commitment to remain in touch and keep you in the know. We hope to be back on track with quarterly production with the Winter 2003 issue. Perspectives is valuable in informing our readers of the latest in research, extension and academic news from the College and in providing an historic archive of those activities. Value is added in that all of the color photo-graphy that you see in this magazine becomes part of a photo library housed in the Department of Communication Services. There, these photographs are stock materials available for use in brochures, exhibits, recruiting materials, press packets, newsletters, CD-ROMs, Web pages, slide presentations, manuals, booklets — a range of multimedia products created for the College and its programs in both the agricultural and life sciences.

Helping our clientele cope with change, such as leading in the assimilation of new technologies in agriculture, is one of the things that this College is very much about. In this issue you’ll learn about the Futures Summit, a gathering in June of nearly 300 Cooperative Extension agents and specialists to discuss the future of agriculture, natural resources and community and rural development Extension programs in the state. There, Dr. Jon Ort, associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service, said, “We will have to recognize and appropriately adapt our programs to emerging trends and needs.” He was referring to challenges and issues identified at the summit, such as farm and environmental policies; greater societal demands for food safety and quality and for environmental protection; and technologies such as genetic engineering and precision farming.

Many North Carolina rural communities are adapting to change by embracing a new “commodity” — agritourism. In this issue, we take you from the mountains to the coast, following back roads and trails, paddling on streams, navigating crop mazes and visiting historic farm sites — just some of the (literally) growing attractions intended to entertain tourists and, at the same time, educate them about the agriculture industry that drives our country.

Initiating change and progress through scientific discoveries and breakthroughs is the work of our research programs. Among many of these efforts reported here are a newly developed tool to assess phosphorus loss in farmland; a genomics outreach workshop and a new poultry biotechnology scholars program; and a developmental biologist’s work that gives undergraduate students important, hands-on lab experience studying the role of genes in early organ development.

Finally, our College Profile is Dr. Beth Wilson, an assistant professor in the College’s Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. Among her activities, Wilson guides high-school agriculture teachers and students in the use of biotechnology in their curricula and helps them adapt to a model for agricultural education that approaches agriculture as the life science it is.

Her work exemplifies how the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State both leads in adjusting to change and sets the pace in creating it.

James L. Oblinger
Dean, College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences
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