This week’s meeting of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture focused on agricultural research and how the state can best position itself to meet future research needs. With increasing on-farm challenges, research institutions need to be flexible and responsive in meeting the needs of California’s farmers and ranchers.
Research is critical for California agriculture and the public investments we make in research today will have significant advantages for our future. We need to develop more partnerships between our agricultural organizations and our academic research institutions to leverage the outstanding research resources we have available within this state. California agriculture has had a long legacy of partnership with the UC and CSU system, but in reinvigorating this collaboration across multiple disciplines, we can see great gains for our industry.
What we heard from several farm and commodity representatives at the meeting is that improved communications are necessary to ensure research meets academic and research priorities; that there are questions and issues to be addressed regarding intellectual property protections; and that there needs to be a process to allow agriculture a seat at the table in funding and research decisions. We have world-class research institutions with the UC and CSU systems and working collaboratively with our agricultural community we can address some of the key challenges and opportunities that are before us.
“Promoting Agricultural Research that Anticipates 21st Century Challenges” is a core recommendation of the California Ag Vision. As a convener, this Board will work with CDFA and our agricultural stakeholders to further the discussion and address concerns that could hinder the ability of California agriculture to be continue its leadership in fast-changing regional, national and global markets.