Growing Our Future

As you read the feature stories in this edition of Grow, I invite you to consider how they reflect the mission, vision, guiding principles and priority themes for our college as we’ve identified them in our strategic planning.

The enormous potential of microbes for enhancing human health—reflecting our priority theme of health and wellness—is sure to be a predominant area of research in the next decade as new tools continue to improve our understanding of how microbes work with us as human hosts as well as in the environment.

Our cover story on pizza cheese exemplifies our work in food systems (a priority theme) and crosscuts into another theme, economic and community development. Food development is one of the things CALS does best, and I look forward to seeing what unimagined products will result from our new dairy research facility—which, thanks to the hard work of so many members of the CALS community, is included in the 2013-2015 state budget.

As for our third feature, knowing how to communicate science effectively is

As we map our future, the approaching year of 2014 offers and important occasion to reflect upon our past.

a science in its own right. We speak to the overarching importance of science communication in the eighth of our guiding principles—and we are fortunate to have excellent national leadership in this area on our life sciences communication faculty.

These stories reflect the cutting-edge activities we’ve been talking about this past year as we’ve discussed how CALS can best grow the future, as our new tagline states. The publication resulting from that work is posted at We invite you to take a look!

As we map our future, the approaching year of 2014 offers an important occasion to reflect on our past. It’s CALS’ 125th anniversary, or “quasquicentennial.” This milestone will give us a chance to celebrate our college’s many achievements, which we plan to highlight throughout the year at such events as CALS Week and Honorary Recognition as well as in news stories and a social media campaign involving alumni and friends of CALS from Wisconsin and around the world.

What do you consider to be CALS’ shining moments, past or present? And—to connect this milestone to our strategic planning—what activities should we pursue to ensure that the next 25 years will be as vibrant as the last? What do you think will be our next big ideas or breakthroughs? We’re eager to hear your thoughts at