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Page updated July 13, 2009

NCDA&CS, NCSU, NCA&T delivers strategic plan for North Carolina's agricultural research stations to legislative committee

Working Together for Agriculture:
A Strategic Plan for North Carolina Agricultural Research Stations

May 1, 2009

Dear Designated Legislative Committees / Friends of North Carolina Agriculture,

Throughout history, the American agricultural industry has repeatedly answered the call to provide the United States and many of our neighbors with an abundant, safe, wholesome food, fiber, and forestry supply. That call is growing louder: world population is projected to continue to grow and worldwide incomes are expected to continue to rise, further increasing demands on our industry. At the same time, agriculture must help to meet our energy needs, and food supplies are threatened. Consumers have voiced an increased interest in the environmental impact of food, fiber, and forestry production practices. Expectations are rising for the high quality applied research necessary for our farmers to sustain our rural economies and meet global competition. This is a critical time for urgent and coordinated action to address the needs of our State’s agricultural research system – the so-called “seed corn of the agricultural industry.”

With these concerns and needs in mind, the members of the North Carolina General Assembly directed the Commissioner of Agriculture and the Deans of the State’s two land-grant universities to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the management of our state’s agricultural research stations system. Since receiving that mandate, we have been working together to reach our common objective to enhance efficiency, improve effectiveness and modernize our research facilities.

We established a Strategic Planning Council and a Working Group consisting of expert members from each organization. We appointed an External Advisory Committee comprised of 23 leaders in the agriculture community. The Committee met three times, providing valuable input for our plan. We held facilitated discussions with faculty at NCSU and NC A&T, and with research station superintendents, to discuss current challenges and future needs. We conducted “peer reviews” to identify savings and improvements at each research station. We also held four regional meetings across the State to receive public comments and gather information from key farmers, commodity leaders and agricultural communities. Nearly 400 people participated in our planning process.

This plan is only the beginning. We must continue to apply efficiencies in everyday management. Toward that end, we will: 1) refine standard operating procedures to streamline administrative functions and facilitate communications; 2) review and consolidate commodity research programs to realize budget savings; 3) establish an advisory board to actively provide input and guidance; and 4) publish an annual report of research station projects and activities.

We share a common vision and a continuing commitment to work together to enhance the future of North Carolina agriculture. We certainly appreciate your ongoing support.


Steven W. Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture
Johnny C. Wynn, Dean and Executive Director of Agricultural Programs
Donald R. McDowell, Interim Dean

UPDATE: 2/16/09: NCDA&CS, NCSU, NCA&T developing strategic plan for North Carolina's agricultural research stations

In June 2008, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Johnny Wynne, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, and Alton Thompson, dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T State University, announced that their organizations would jointly develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the management of the state's agricultural research stations.

In a letter to agricultural organizations, the three leaders said: "We share a common vision of an agricultural research system that is efficient and up-to-date. We also share a continuing commitment to work together for the best future of North Carolina agriculture."

The goals of the plan are to enhance efficiency, improve effectiveness and modernize research facilities.

Three groups have been created to guide the strategic planning process. Information about the planning process will be posted on this page.

Regional meetings were held across the state to receive public comments, and they will be included in the strategic plan.

The strategic plan is due to the General Assembly May 1.

Strategic Planning Council

N.C. State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Dr. Johnny C. Wynne, dean and executive director of agricultural programs
Dr. Sylvia Blankenship, associate dean, (919) 515-6213

N.C. A&T State University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Donald R. McDowell, interim dean
Dr. Ray McKinnie, associate dean, (336) 334-7956

N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Steve Troxler, commissioner of agriculture
Dr. Richard Reich, assistant commissioner for agricultural services, (919) 733-7125

Strategic Planning Working Group

NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Dr. Winston Hagler, Dr. David Monks, Dr. Roger McCraw

NCA&TSU School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Leon Moses, Dr. Ralph Noble, Dr. Keith Baldwin

Eddie Pitzer, Debbie Robertson, Joy Hicks

External Advisory Committee

David Autrey, nurseryman, Yancey County
Jimmy Burch, grower, Duplin County
Pete Burgess, N.C. Farm Bureau, Vance County
David Davenport, grower/agribusiness, Pitt County
Bob Ford, N.C. Poultry Federation
Beth Foster, grower, Washington County
Jimmy Gentry, N.C. State Grange, Iredell County
Dr. Dan Godfrey, Guilford County
Charles Hall, N.C. Soybean Producers Association
Mary James, grower, Duplin County
Norman Jordan Jr., dairyman, Chatham County
Ervin Lineberger, grower, Cleveland County
Kirk Mathis, grower, Wilkes County
Roland McReynolds, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Randall Patterson, grower, Rowan County
Mark Peters, nurseryman, Guilford County
Bud Sales, grower, Buncombe County
Neal Stamey, grower, Haywood County
Jeff Turner, agribusiness, Duplin County
Dan Ward, grower, Bladen County
Harold Webb, Wake County
Harold Wright, grower, Bladen County
Kendall Hill, N.C. Agribusiness Council

NCDA&CS Research Stations Division, Teresa Lambert, Director
Mailing Address: 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1001
Physical Address:2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3236   FAX: (919) 733-1754

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