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Biotech Food and Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture
Dr. Norman F. Childers, Ph.D.

Much of the biotech food confusion today could be due to a gradual "demise" of the Land Grant college system in state universities in the area of food production, research and teaching for farmers and ultimately the consumers.  The Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture were started by the U.S. Government in 1862 (The Morrill Act) to teach agriculture and mechanical arts and to assist farmers in growing more and better crops for better profits.  Later, the agricultural experiment stations and extension services were added to the LG colleges to bring unbiased research and teaching to farmers.  Over the years, a close relationship between farmers and the colleges was developed.  Since the 1960's, the research in these colleges has been gradually taken over by big self-interest grants from corporations working in agriculture, accounting for 60% of the present college budgets with only 40% coming from public money.  This imbalance should be brought back to its initial status with the greater funding of LG colleges coming from public money.  This could bring back the trustworthy food research information to farmers and the general public.  Big corporations, with their enormous grants in the millions of dollars, may have "bought off" some of the confidence that the public had in the trustworthy agricultural research from these LG colleges.  And some of these corporations could be making a mistake or two in their power of recommendations to farmers and the general public.

Another need is for the deans and department heads in these state LG colleges to be given back the power (by providing adequate public money) to make their own decisions on how money should be spent on agricultural research in their respective states, rather than be guided by the desires of big corporations and by the biased grants committees of Federal money in Washington, D.C.