Fostering Next Gen Skills and Communities: Role of Professional Societies

Friday, 13 February 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 230B (San Jose Convention Center)
Jean Steiner, U.S. Department of Agriculture, El Reno, OK
Advancing toward the U.N. Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger for a growing population will require the world's agriculture to increase global food, feed, fiber, and fuel production on existing farmland with agricultural systems that enable food security; use resources efficiently; enhance soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem health; and are economically viable and socially responsible. Professional scientific societies play a unique role in engaging the next generation of agricultural researchers and educators by helping shape the image of agricultural sciences and agricultural careers as exciting, challenging and rewarding in order to attract the best and brightest students to scientific disciplines that will are essential to innovative agricultural systems. Professional societies foster the next generation through student programs and mentoring early career professionals. Networking through professional societies provides life-long collaborative opportunities to address increasingly complex agricultural systems. Societies provide forums for the scientific community to identify and advance the science and technologies as agricultural management grows more and more on the ability to obtain and utilize diverse information sources in scientifically sound and risk based decision making in agriculture. With rapidly advancing and complex technologies, life-long learning through conferences, education programs, and publications are critical resources. Professional societies also provide mechanisms to facilitate essential cross-disciplinary and cross-sector dialog. Finally, Societies play a key role in the agricultural sciences by providing peer review systems, standards, certification programs, and publications that are essential to support innovation for Next Gen Agriculture.