The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology of the United States is the most prestigious organization in America dedicated to promoting, advancing, and funding agricultural science and technology.
It’s a little odd when you try to think about an organization dedicated to promoting, advancing, and funding agricultural science and technology. But maybe that should be the first thing that comes to mind.
The organization has a mission statement that says it is “to advance and promote agricultural science, technology, and research.” And that sounds like it’s about as much of a mission statement as “I am a cat.” Well, since nobody’s going to say, “I’m a cat,” let’s call it “I am a farmer.
And of course it’s not a mission statement at all. It’s more of a statement of purpose. And by that I mean the things they do in the name of increasing agricultural productivity. The problem is that they have a lot of different goals, and they have varying degrees of success in each of them. They claim to be a “resource for researchers,” but their website makes it clear that they are more like an agricultural research institute than a resource for researchers.
The council states that they are “funded from international sources”, but the website doesn’t say how they arrived in that state. The site states that they are a community of farmers who have been working together for three years, but doesn’t say how they arrived there. The site states that they are a “community of researchers”, but doesn’t say how they came up with that goal.
This site is actually very misleading. If you look at the site’s description, you will see that it is simply a community for scientists. However, it also states that the members are working together to create a “research institute” with a mission to “develop and commercialize innovative agricultural technologies.” That mission is not at all clear to me.
A few theories have been floated about what this mission might be, but perhaps the most common explanation is that the site was created for farmers to join in the research effort. However, the mission itself is unclear, which means that it is difficult to determine how well the site will work as a collaborative research environment.
The mission’s purpose is hard to tell in the trailer, but it does seem to be a very promising one. For one, it’s the first such organization I’ve seen that is explicitly funded by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. The A.R.S. has long been a proponent of a more “farm-to-market” agricultural system, where the farmer sells his or her crop to a larger scale grower (typically a corporation) that then delivers it to the general market.
This is an interesting experiment because it’s also the first time I’ve seen a site that explicitly tries to integrate research into its business model. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I think it is both. I’m still not sure what the ultimate purpose of the site is, but it seems like the A.R.S. has a real interest in this sort of research.