TEACHING, RESEARCH, AND EXTENSION make up the mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Tests and trials, usually field trials, are the core components of that mission. We test students’ comprehension of what they’ve learned. We conduct field trials to learn how crops and cultivars respond to management or conditions.
Tests and trials have taken on new meaning for the college and its faculty and staff. We, like all Idahoans and Americans, are experiencing tough economic conditions and even tougher choices in recent months. As educators and researchers, we have to stick to our fundamentals. We have to ask, what have we learned in 108 years since the University of Idaho Regents formed the college, and what have our past trials revealed? From those perspectives, this magazine offers some important lessons.
Our educational efforts are having an important impact on the world, from helping Idaho high school students prepare for college to our graduates who are addressing important issues from within our state and on to Africa, Baghdad, and Jamaica.
As a research organization, our work has been as fundamental as helping Idaho growers give us our daily bread. Wheat provides one of the state’s staples and one of Idaho agriculture’s forces that help to stabilize our economy. The college’s ties to the Idaho Wheat Commission yield benefits to the state and the world.
UI Extension takes the findings of our researchers and helps growers apply them to weed control, irrigation, and management to ensure they reap the best quality crops and highest yields. Home gardeners can rely on UI Extension educators to plant successful victor y gardens. Youth leadership development through 4-H is another initiative that links thousands of families and volunteers each year. A magazine or even a college textbook really can only provide a snapshot of a moment in time of our world or our understanding of it. One thing that we know is our mission is important to Idaho. We won’t pass the current test by forgetting that.