SOUTH Dakota State University (SDSU) announced the Oct. 17 launch of the Center for Agribusiness & Food Systems Management.
Focused on nutrition, food safety, food processing and business management, the center will draw on collaborative, interdisciplinary and intercollegiate partnerships to provide guidance and solutions to challenges facing the agriculture industry throughout the northern Great Plains, the announcement said.
As part of SDSU's economics and management program, the center comprises faculty members from the colleges of Agricultural & Biological Sciences, Engineering, Arts & Sciences and Education & Human Sciences, as well as from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., and Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.
SDSU said the center will facilitate broad communication with industry stakeholders seeking information critical to the continuing success of their operations. A key objective will be offering analyses of regional, national and global economic, environmental and market conditions that support strategic decision-making at all levels, from producers to processors and manufacturers, to lending agencies and banks and to animal and human health providers.
The intercollegiate aspect of the center will enable greater depth in the exploration of consumer economics and will incorporate behavioral and social aspects of health, nutrition and food safety, the announcement said.
"The center will bring together and leverage the strengths of SDSU and our partners in the sciences, technology, economics and business management," said Barry Dunn, dean of the College of Agricultural & Biological Sciences and director of SDSU Extension. "By partnering with our sister institutions, cooperatives and private businesses, it will be a catalyst for engagement and unbiased research, education and outreach."
Short term, the partnerships between faculty and researchers and industry partners will support timely responses to real-world challenges in the areas of agriculture, food systems and agribusiness.
Longer term, the center will become a source of innovative applied information for the regional agriculture industry and beyond, the announcement said.
On the educational side, the center will offer undergraduate and graduate students hands-on opportunities to respond to complex problems in the classroom, working with faculty and though internships and other learning experiences with external partners such as First Dakota National Bank, First Bank & Trust, South Dakota Wheat Growers, Valley Queen Cheese Factory and Dakotaland Feeds (others are pending).
"We see the center as a gateway to the university for our external stakeholders, offering them access to our problem-solving capabilities and the outcomes of our purpose-driven research," Dunn said. "That, in turn, creates employment opportunities for our graduates and helps enhance the agricultural and agribusiness sectors of the region's economy. Ultimately, the new center builds upon and leverages SDSU's land-grant mission."