Farmers, Ranchers & Foresters

Grants and Funding Information of Interest to Montana Farmers, Ranchers, and Foresters

Find more resources in the Toolbox Out in the Shed.

Toolbox Out in the Shed

from transcript of recent Talk of the Nation radio interview
Land-Grant Universities and Agriculture’s Future

NPR Host Neal Conan:  . . .  [Land-grant universities] support farmers, ranchers and gardeners, and, of course, they face 21st-century challenges, beginning with funding. We want to hear from farmers, ranchers and gardeners in the audience today about agriculture extension services. . .  Joining us here at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is Sandy Rikoon. He’s professor of rural sociology at the University of Missouri. Nice to have you with us today.

. . .

RIKOON: Yeah. OK. So I’m from Missouri. You know who’s headquartered in Missouri.

CONAN: I think it’s Monsanto.

RIKOON: Yeah, this little corporation called Monsanto. And for people who are critics of the University of Missouri, they have retitled us Monsanto University. Frankly, it’s not the truth. I mean, if you look at where the funding comes from for agricultural research, even in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource, the primary source of funds remains the USDA and public funds.

It’s not that we don’t look for industry funds and we don’t partner with Monsanto. We have a Monsanto Auditorium in one of our buildings. But really, they are still the minority of funding. And public funding, which is the best kind of funding, in my opinion, still drives our research agenda.

CONAN: But that public funding in dwindling.

RIKOON: It’s really tough. It’s really tough. We depend on the USDA not only to fund research but to fund extension and to fund our agricultural experiment station farms around the state. And as the state, you know, cuts back on its funding and the Feds face obvious cuts in their funding, how we are going to maintain this research and these programs becomes really questionable.

Find the full interview broadcast here and contribute to the discussion.

Montana Wheat

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