SDSU, partners launch agribusiness center

Published on: Oct 18, 2013

The new Center for Agribusiness & Food Systems Management was launched Oct. 17 at South Dakota State University (SDSU).

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 the leading source of innovative applied information for the regional agriculture industry and beyond. The collaborative model will enhance the center's ability to respond to a range of increasingly complex and multidisciplinary needs, the announcement said.

"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."