NPR talks about land grant universities
Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, NPR's Talk of the Nation did a segment about land grant universities.
Sara from Fresno called into the show to explain the role of UC Cooperative Extension. She said: "...we use the extension service to help us determine what kinds of things we can use to keep the crop healthy, not just pesticides, but how to check the crops and to make sure that they're healthy. They use independent research all the time to help us with this. And with the public funds just dwindling, we have a lot less independent research that go on and have to go on more of what the chemical companies are telling us."
When asked for an example, according to the show's transcript, Sara said: "Well, I'm looking at a cotton crop right now, and the farmer advisers, the cotton farmer advisors in California, helped us what the program called plant mapping, where we were able to take a look at what's going on with the plant even though we might have bugs out that could be damaging the crops."
Sandy Rikoon, professor of rural sociology at the University of Missouri, told listeners, "Many countries are trying to duplicate the extension system. Many countries have research, agricultural research, but what they don't have is that group of people who take the research and then take it to the people."
Host Neal Conan mistakenly said the California State University is one of the land grants and we have asked NPR to correct the online version to state that UC is California's land grant institution.