Message from Dean Brian Buhr

The 2017 legislative session provides our college with the opportunity to remind legislators and the community of the many ways our teaching, research, and outreach benefit the state of Minnesota. And, it offers an opportunity to show a vision for the future of food, agriculture, and natural resources.

Since 2012, $22 million has been allocated annually to CFANS through agricultural state special funding. The ultimate rationale for public investment in food and agricultural research is to provide safe, nutritious, and affordable food for everyone and to utilize renewable resources for, among other industrial uses, fiber, building materials, and energy. Accomplishing this in ways that preserve and even enhance our natural assets--including the soil, water, and biological resources--is a goal that is shared between our college and the State of Minnesota.

Last week I presented a report to the Senate Agricultural Finance Committee detailing the return for this investment. My report highlights our role in ensuring top talent for Minnesota’s workforce, how we contribute to competitive economic growth, the ways we are reducing impact on natural resources, and how we are developing new products and markets for Minnesota.

The report reveals how the St. Paul campus has developed into a true living laboratory with additions such as the Bee Lab, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center, and the Bell Museum and Planetarium. The full slide deck is available for your review.

On February 28th, the University of Minnesota presented its legislative budget request to the senate higher education committee. As a part of this request, Bell Museum Executive Director Denise Young made the case for operational support of the new Bell Museum and Planetarium on the St. Paul campus.

As important work continues to take place at CFANS there will continue to be opportunities to talk about the value our college brings to the State of Minnesota. You’ll find more information about the University’s budget request and ways to make your voice heard.