K-State’s College of Agriculture Update with John Floros

(Jamie) We’re back with Kyle and John Floros for an update on the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University.
(Kyle Bauer) Hi, this is Kyle Bauer. I have the opportunity to visit with the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, John Floros. Dean, can you give us an up-to-date on the College of Agriculture at Kansas State? (John Floros) For the last four or five years, we’ve had the highest enrollment in terms of students, both undergraduate and graduate students in the college. What’s even more impressive is the quality of teaching that we do and the type of students that we produce now. There are a lot of really good things that are happening within the College of Agriculture in terms of research, which connects directly to how we train our students, because we use our research to train our students better. In terms of research, we have grown tremendously and we continue to grow. Four or five years ago, our faculty and our staff, they were competing for grants and contracts, and we were bringing in somewhere between $20 to $25 million. This last year, we brought in almost $60 million. That’s 150% increase in just four years. This is a phenomenal growth and the reason for that is because we have hired really good people, we have managed to keep our good faculty and our good staff, and they go out there and they compete very well. We put them in groups so we submit larger grants. We have focused our research in a few areas and those few areas are Animal Agriculture. And with NBAF coming to town, this will be another area for us to expand. Beef, dairy, swine nutrition or everything that pertains to the animal agriculture we put emphasis in. Crops, particularly the crops that are very important to Kansas, wheat and sorghum, we do a lot of work in those areas from genetics and genomics all the way to new variety of development and how we’d take that through our Extension efforts and we take it to the farmers, and we connect directly with the people that will use some of those varieties. Water is another area that we have a lot of expertise and we’ve competed very well for external funding. We support the Governor’s vision in water. We’ve done a lot of really interesting things with KDA. In terms of water, our efforts are really towards better quality and preservation of our natural resources and water resources, particularly, Ogallala Aquifer. We’re working on different irrigation techniques, we are working with different types of crops that we can use that use a much less water, we work with cover crops, with rotations and so on and so forth. The other area of expertise that we have is food safety and the value added component of agriculture. We have a lot of emphasis on grain science, for example, emphasis on food science, emphasis on meat science and dairy science. All of that combined with the ability that we have to do very unique work when it comes to the safety of our food supply, make us one of the probably the world’s best destinations to come to, to really learn, do research and really understand how the whole global food system works. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, John Floros. This is Kyle Bauer reporting, back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Stay tuned – we’ll be back with more after this break.

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