About a thousand new faces show up in Texas every day, moving into the Metroplex, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, and they have little to no connection to the state’s agriculture-based culture and economy.
Dr. Patrick Stover, Texas A&M AgriLife vice chancellor, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research in College Station, explained his plan to change that information gap during recent visits to Vernon and Stephenville.
Stover, a little more than a year into the job, sat down with Texas A&M AgriLife faculty and staff at both locations, as well as community leaders and producers, to discuss future opportunities to continue to bridge the gap between urban and rural populations.
Stover said Texas A&M AgriLife has the unique opportunity to create a national model to bridge that divide to make sure everyone appreciates the role food plays in their daily lives – in their health, security and well-being.
Stover said in order to better align the two, the advocacy and mythology that surrounds the food chain must be replaced with sound science. Texas A&M, as the land-grant institution for the state of Texas, has a mission to do that.
“Efforts are being made now to ensure Texas A&M becomes the place that Texans can get truthful, unbiased, rigorous information on any questions anyone may have concerning production agriculture or consumption,” Stover said.
A scientific evidence center that will be an authoritative source of trustworthy information is being designed to reach consumers and policymakers who need to know about agriculture and the important role it plays in their lives, he said.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.