The ability of university, government, and private sector entities to research and control plant diseases successfully depends on whether agricultural colleges and universities across the U.S. can provide students with a strong knowledge of plant pathology and experience in applying that knowledge to the challenge of disease management. However, the historic strength of this vital "feeder system" is at risk. In response to this critical need, PPB has supported the efforts of the APS Future of Education in Plant Pathology Ad-Hoc Committee with the following efforts.
Due to efforts from several fronts by agricultural scientific societies, including APS, and agricultural industries, the message that there is a critical need to educate plant pathologists to address the challenges facing agriculture in the future is being well received in DC. In general, the funding agencies acknowledge that they play an important role in knowledge infrastructure. Some difficult questions to answer were raised in our meeting with Director of NIFA Roger Beachy: “What is the economic cost of NOT having enough plant pathologists in the future?” and “What is the ‘right’ number of departments of Plant Pathology and the number of faculty within those departments in the future.” How would you answer these questions, if asked?
Proposed funding for plant pathology graduate students who are crucial for future scientific advancements and a sustainable workforce.
With support from USDA and NSF, APS coordinated the National Workshop on the Future of Education in Plant Pathology and Related Disciplines.
Shared APS research data on status of education in plant pathology and suggested plant pathology as a possible "model system" for other related-ag science areas with similar issues.
Whitepaper overview / Webcasts on Research Results Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Requested USDA and NSF partnership and funding support for a National Workshop on Education for the Future of Plant Pathology.
Brought attention to USDA about the need for broadly-trained plant pathologists.