Good idea to try again.
As Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission Chairman Jim Doornink puts it: “This investment builds on the strategic road map outlined by the industry and WSU.”
Good to see industry rise to the cause of research. All those new ideas generated by WSU for growers appear to have made an impression, for they’re saying “send us more.”
WSU is getting good returns on its “The Campaign For Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas” effort targeting a $1 billion contribution bulls eye.
The state’s tree fruit sector has contributed $32 million toward that goal, which has already garnered $758 million to increase support of WSU students, faculty, and research/extension programs.
Not bad for a program launched in 2010.
Private donors, businesses contributions and organization funds have helped achieve that level.
What is needed now is good monitoring by the ag industry to assure the kind of research WSU conducts will indeed directly help improve production economics and bring new ideas for helping the environment. Special advisory committees established as part of these fundings must do their job to guarantee a sharp focus on ag’s most necessary study areas.
A word must also be said for the university fund hunters who collaborated with industry to solicit these new dollars in a world where researchers and administrators are now as much marketers as they are scientists.
In the end, the enhancement of industry sponsorship of public research will spur not only a continued flow of new technology and ideas, but a closer relationship between the researchers and industry.