Male student helping build a farm for a school in Africa.


We’re taking the initiative to turn priorities into action — and challenges into opportunities.

Our Ideas Work

Setting priorities is easy. Living them takes focus. It takes effort. It takes initiative.

At the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we’re taking the initiative to turn global challenges into opportunities: opportunities to feed the world, to build new economic sectors for North Carolina and to shape a new generation of agriculture and life sciences leaders.

Once we create those opportunities, we take advantage of them. Through initiatives that give life to our values, we’re bringing researchers, agriculture leaders and citizens together, giving them the resources they need and sharing their results.

We act on our own initiative at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. We make things happen for North Carolina, the United States and the world.

Our Access Initiative helps N.C. students find paths to CALS.

44% of all applicants were accepted to NC State in 2016 – 40% were from rural North Carolina.

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Maximizing Human Potential

Many hands hold the future of agriculture. Revolutionary ideas may begin with our faculty and students, but they can only have impact if they reach the farmers, industry partners, policymakers and untold others who have a stake in agriculture and life sciences.

Through our Leadership Initiative, we’re initiating all these stakeholders into a new way of approaching ag and life sciences challenges. It’s an approach that reaches across communities, bringing CALS faculty, staff and students together with lawmakers, producers, commodity leaders and industry heads. Each is learning from the other, and that exchange of ideas is creating a generation of agriculture advocates who see the big picture — and redraw it.

We work hard every day to fulfill our land-grant charter of teaching, discovering and extending the knowledge our communities and stakeholders need to thrive and grow. With our Access Initiative, we’re helping qualified students find their path to NC State and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with a particular focus on students from our rural and agricultural communities.

Growing New Economies

In agriculture, North Carolina does it all: We farm the full array of field crops. We labor over livestock of every variety. We work in a wide range of climates.

There’s one role the Land of the Pine doesn’t play: manufacturer. For all the sweet potatoes we harvest, the hogs we nourish and the soybeans we sustain, we produce, package and market precious few of the consumer goods that spring from N.C. soil.

Our college is taking the initiative to change that. Three initiatives, actually.

Our Plant Sciences Initiative aims to make North Carolina the global hub for agriculture’s fastest-growing sector. Over the next quarter-century, 84 percent of ag jobs are likely to emerge in plant sciences. All those workers will be essential to the effort to feed an exploding population.

The centerpiece of the initiative is the Plant Sciences Research Complex. With our partners at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, we’re building a hub where academia, government, industry and producers unite to keep our state at the forefront of the plant sciences revolution.

With our Food Animal Initiative, we’re partnering with the College of Veterinary Medicine to help current and future students acquire the essential skills for success in animal agriculture, the life sciences and veterinary medicine. The result: unique opportunities on campus and in the real world for our students and graduates, and well-trained professionals to support the largest segment of the state’s agricultural economy.

The North Carolina Food Processing and Manufacturing Initiative is leading the charge to build a food processing industry in the state. We’re taking the abundant products of N.C. agriculture, applying NC State expertise to every step of processing them, and sharing our insights with industry partners who can put that research to work in the real world.

Our goal is to expand the impact of agriculture and agribusiness in North Carolina by 22 percent between now and 2025.

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