From the Dean
Both the Georgia Bulldogs and CAES kicked off this fall football season ranked No. 3 in the nation. This year, we are ranked third in the nation among all U.S. colleges of agriculture by Niche.com, an organization that ranks colleges and universities nationwide. Our growing reputation of excellence at home and around the world, along with our $628 million impact on Georgia’s economy, is indeed an Ag Dawg point of pride that we should celebrate.
Yet, many in the South were beginning to wonder if fall would ever arrive this year – 91 days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit was a new record in Athens. As a result, much of the state now faces growing drought conditions.
While this year’s weather challenges pale in comparison to the hurricane damage suffered in the past two years, it does remind us of the vital role the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences plays in supplying Georgia farmers with the innovations and production solutions they need to succeed in their constant combat with nature to produce our nation’s secure food supply.
In this issue of Southscapes you will get an inside look at our exceptional network of research centers all across Georgia. These facilities are living laboratories for our scientists to test new plant varieties and production practices customized for Georgia’s many growing regions and conditions. Others specialize in improving irrigation practices and livestock production. Through sound applied research, this critical link in our College’s land-grant university mission helps connect our basic research to the growers who need to put the discoveries on the ground.
Another major focus for us this fall is kicking off a campaign to fund a new, state-of-the-art poultry science center on the Athens campus. Our Poultry Science Department is No. 1 in the U.S. Our strong partnerships with Athens-area USDA poultry research facilities and the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, coupled with our close proximity to the nation’s largest poultry producing area makes UGA poised to become the epicenter of poultry science research and learning in the world.
As we strive to reach these goals and answer Gov. Brian Kemp’s call for us to become the top agricultural college in the U.S., we value the support of all of you – our alumni and friends, our industry leaders and the entire Ag Dawg Nation. Together we can tackle this!
Dean and Director,
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences