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YOU HAVE IN YOUR HANDS SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Dean Molly Jahn

This inaugural issue of Grow is more than just a new magazine for our college. It represents a new way of communicating with you. We do not intend to talk at you about the activities of the college, but rather with you –– engaging you in an ongoing dialogue about our work, our missions and our core values. We hope this magazine can be a vital way that we stay connected as a community.

As I look toward the future of this college, I see tremendous importance in fostering and enhancing this community. Across all of our academic disciplines, we are witnessing significant changes, which are creating new challenges and opportunities for our agricultural industries. We are in the midst of a scientific explosion that is rapidly expanding our knowledge of fundamental biology. At the same time, we are facing pressing concerns about how best to protect our farms, preserve our natural resources, promote good health and secure a more sustainable energy future.

These are broad issues that do not fit neatly into the confines of traditional academic departments. We must bring forward communities of expertise, working together to integrate knowledge and solve problems. Ultimately, our brightest future will require new heights of cooperation and teamwork, new modes of communication and renewed commitments to life-long learning.

The very name of this magazine reflects this commitment. We have envisioned this publication as a way to grow –– to grow as a college and to grow as a community. Our focus will be forward, and we invite you to join us in this journey.

From my office in Ag Hall, I can look out the same windows as have 11 deans before me. What I see are many of the same challenges and constraints that my predecessors faced. But I also see a community of unlimited talent poised on the brink of possibility. Our scientists have recently received the largest research award in the college’s history, which will allow us to explore the enormous potential of bioenergy and create a focused, responsible discussion about a sustainable energy future. It is appropriate and exciting that this new venture is the subject of Grow’s first cover story.

Yet even as we pursue these scientific frontiers, we are guided by core values that have been with us since our earliest days: a commitment to excellence, visionary innovation, accountability, practicality and the knowledge that we’re in this for the long haul. So as we lift our eyes to the future, I can assure you that the lights will burn late into the night around our campus. And in that regard, some things never change.