Extension to Play Vital Role in N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative

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The mission of NC State Extension is to transform science into everyday solutions that grow North Carolina. When it comes to agriculture and food, that mission is getting a huge boost from the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI).

Agriculture in the 21st century comes with a series of complex issues, including a rapidly growing population, less farmland, and emerging crop diseases and pests. Through N.C. PSI, and working alongside partners in the private, public and non-profit sectors, NC State University is redefining research and taking on agriculture’s grand challenges with interdisciplinary, team-based science.

How N.C. PSI Works
Extension plays a vital role as local conduit, helping to identify timely issues and opportunities, while translating the resulting knowledge into practical applications for farmers and agricultural entities statewide.
Extension plays a vital role in NC State's Plant Sciences Initiative.
“Extension needs research in order to be successful,” NC State Extension director Richard Bonanno said. “We pride ourselves in our mission of transferring research-based knowledge to the public.”

On April 12, the work extends into a state-of-the-art research building in the heart of NC State’s Centennial Campus. The Plant Sciences Building will feature high-tech labs and spaces for collaboration and education.

“The new building and N.C. PSI are aimed at connecting a wide variety of researchers from the college and beyond to solve the great challenges of agriculture,” Bonanno said. “This is an opportunity for us to go even beyond our current capabilities.”

The building will house researchers from NC State along with some of the brightest from industry and government agencies, all helping to advance N.C. PSI’s vision to be the world’s premier plant sciences enterprise. On a practical level, that means research and innovation to increase crop yields, create new varieties, extend growing seasons, enhance agricultural and environmental sustainability, and improve as well as produce new technology.

Exterior view of NC State University's Plant Sciences Building in Raleigh.

Exterior view of NC State University’s Plant Sciences Building in Raleigh, N.C. Photo by Patty Mercer.

Related: NC State University Plant Sciences Building Dedication

Leveraging a vast network comprising hundreds of websites and local centers across every county, Extension’s more than 1,100 experts are uniquely positioned to bolster N.C. PSI by identifying emerging issues, facilitating partnerships and applying the scientific outcomes in communities statewide.

“We want to make sure researchers are connected to the farmers, to address the problems,” Bonanno said. “Extension’s job is to get that information back to the producers and bring valuable discoveries to market that make an impact and change lives. It only makes the future brighter to feed a world with a larger population with less agricultural land on it.”

At NC State, the work doesn’t stop at the lab. Extension puts research into action through 8,000 educational programs across the state, aiding North Carolina agriculture and adding billions to the state’s economy. Discover more about how Extension works and its impact across the state.