Industry and Academia in AG

On November 11th, Dave Mayonado talked to our class about the industry and academia in agriculture. He talks about the technology in agriculture, working in industry, and safety and litigation. Farming used to be very hands on, people were involved, and animals. Agriculture use to be very labor intensive. He talked about the Morrill Act of 1862 and 1890 which established the raising of funds and allowed land grant to universities. UD happened to be one. The Hatch Act of 1887 established an agricultural experiment station, this was affiliated with the grant. Technology allows farmers to be innovated. Farmers can produce larger crops while improving soil and fostering environment with technology. Farming used to be hands on work (muscle), then it became mechanical (steel), then it became chemical (small molecules) and has no-till, then it was biological (proteins, RNA/ information). When it became biological, they got CRISPR, RNAi, GMO, and, GWS. Agriculture is all about genes and proteins. Proteins are not generally stable outside the confines of living cells. Genes are information packets for making proteins. Is it safe to modify a crop? If they do the right regulations to make sure all their crops are safe, then yes. USDA has a job to make sure the crops are safe to grow, EPA must approve if it’s safe for the environment, and FDA makes sure it is safe to eat. When working in industry, to survive, you must know your products. Industries must keep relationships with colleagues in academia and keep them abreast with their products. I learned some cool things by listening to today’s guest speaker Dave.

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