Through the many trials we encountered in 2021, we persevered as a department resulting in a successful year for our faculty, staff, and students. I am so impressed by everyone’s “Think and Do” spirit that propelled us forward in unexpected ways while helping one another overcome personal and work-related challenges. We truly have a family environment in our department that is more evident today because of the pandemic.
Technology continues to drive our research momentum. Machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics advance and enhance sustainable crop production while improving our environmental footprint. We’ve embarked on critical climate change studies, notably carbon sequestration and saltwater intrusion from rising sea levels in eastern NC.
In teaching, we reached record enrollment numbers of undergraduate students in our two and four-year programs. Graduate student numbers are increasing, and our students continue winning awards at national meetings and student competition events like soil judging and the Ag Tech Hackathon.
In the field and through multimedia, our Extension faculty lead the way in educational programs to train farmers, landowners, consultants, government personnel, and county Extension agents at a time when details matter. They are the topical experts whom industry media frequently feature.
All of this momentum begets growth. Generous private donors continue uplifting our work through research initiatives, distinguished professorships, student scholarships, and graduate student support. Soon, we will introduce several new faculty joining our groundswell in crop and soil sciences.
I’m proud to share with you our 2021 Year in Review. What a year it has been! Thanks to the resiliency and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students, we are advancing our department mission in ways none of us could have imagined. Their wins shine as triumphs through the pandemic.
Thank you for your shared commitment to the essential work in Crop and Soil Sciences. We invite you to join us again in 2022 as we continue, undeterred, in Growing the Future.
Department Head, NC State Department of Crop and Soil Sciences