Five Days, 1,800 Miles and 18 Research Stations

Two men looking out at a mountain view

Written by Richard Linton, dean

Last week, June 10 through 14, I was fortunate to visit all 18 of our research stations.

After more than 1,800 miles traveled, from east to west, north to south and everywhere in-between, I witnessed the incredible work being accomplished at each of our research stations. All around, it was an amazing week. These are my takeaways:

We have one of the most diverse research station networks in the country with many soil and climate types. These varied soil types and climates allow us to research different types of plant and animal systems and to evaluate them under varying conditions. It is uncommon to offer such diversity of soil and climate within the bounds of one state.

The work of our faculty on these farms is amazing. More than 80 faculty members currently have research projects on one or more research stations, and we are working on projects that are meaningful to our agricultural stakeholders and farmers – from breeding to best productions practices. I also noted a collaborative spirit among our faculty: They are building out the interdisciplinary teams needed to solve the complex issues of the day.

We couldn’t keep our research stations up and running without our outstanding research station staff.

Our partnership model is like no other. The collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA) is a critical foundation – and the support from NCDA drives new agricultural practices. Another valuable partner is the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). USDA-ARS has a strong presence on most of our research station locations. We are also collaborating with NC A&T State University at many of the stations.

We have incredible assets — from people to the land. We need to appreciate what we have and continue to take advantage of our network and our partnership as we move forward to support our statewide community.

I walked away proud and thankful. I am so appreciative of our NC State staff and faculty and our partnership with NCDA on every station.

Thank you all for the great work that you do and the innovative spirit that you carry.