From the launch of the ground-breaking Plant Sciences Initiative to the quarter-century celebration of NC State’s largest tailgate event, the past year has been a big one for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
And, as Dean Richard Linton says, the future is bright.
“2016 was an extraordinary year for CALS,” says Linton. “And I’m happy to report that we’re charging full steam ahead into the new year, more focused than ever on transforming agriculture and life sciences challenges into opportunities that benefit the state of North Carolina and beyond. The possibilities are exciting.”
Join us in saying goodbye to 2016 with a top-10 list of college highlights from the past year (in no particular order):
10: The Plant Sciences Initiative
Thanks to tremendous stakeholder support, the North Carolina Bond Referendum and a significant gift from the Golden Leaf Foundation, the Plant Sciences Initiative is $144 million further along, and the dream of a new building is becoming reality.
9: The Food Processing and Manufacturing Initiative
Feeding a world population of 9.5 billion by the year 2050 is no small matter. In partnership with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA), the Department of Commerce and the Governor’s Office, we now have a path forward to grow this important industry and help lead the charge to feed a growing world.
8: The Food Animal Initiative
CALS partnered with the College of Veterinary Medicine to fund three grants that support the production health of swine, cattle and poultry. Our colleges also are working side-by-side to build the Reedy Creek Equine Farm, a new $5 million facility to serve students, clinicians and horse owners. And we’re working with the NCDA and our animal industry partners to strengthen the state’s food animal industry.
7: The Leadership Initiative
Developing future leaders is at the core of who we are and what we do. In 2016, the college continued its work building a pipeline of leadership, including youth programs like 4-H and FFA, CALS Proud leadership programs for faculty and staff, and one-of-a-kind leadership opportunities for external stakeholders. In 2017, we will introduce a new Executive Leadership Program for farmers in partnership with the Poole College of Management.
6: Strategic Faculty Hires
After a long budgetary challenge, CALS is now hiring faculty again. In the next year, the college plans to bring on board more than 20 faculty and four new department heads.
5: North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Extension continues to be a statewide leader in the response to Hurricane Matthew, which is especially significant considering that many of our specialists and agents also had to deal with their own losses from the storm. Extension just released a series of instructional videos to help homeowners recover and rebuild.
4: International Programs
The work of CALS faculty extends far beyond North Carolina, delivering results all over the world. Right now, the college has 176 faculty involved internationally, with 67 ongoing projects in 40 countries.
3: Research Awards
This year, CALS researchers brought in $70 million in contracts and grants for projects ranging from crop production to obesity prevention. We are close to our 2020 goal of $75 million!
2: Student Access
In 2016, we also made tremendous headway toward the goal of increasing student access to CALS, through programs like STEAM and ASPIRE, and launched our online “Nominate a Student” program. Check out the latest edition of CALS Magazine to learn more.
1: Alumni Achievement
Last, but certainly not least, are our alumni and stakeholders. At the CALS Alumni Award ceremony in November, the college honored 28 alumni award winners, including two who received the 2016 World Food Prize, one of the most important and coveted international awards given in agriculture. “CALS alumni and friends are our legacy and our future,” Linton says. “For all you do, we are extremely grateful.”
Hold onto your hats, for 2017 holds extraordinary promise …