Texas A&M Agrilife services to bridge gap between consumer and producer

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VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) —Texas A&M Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Patrick Stover has certainly not been keeping his office and conference room chairs warm lately, instead he is crisscrossing the state visiting all the A&M Research and Extension Centers to find out what they have been doing in each community, and what more they can do. His latest stop was Vernon.

“Not only do we get to see our great scientist and our great extension specialists to learn about what we’re doing, but we also see their seamless interaction with the communities and with the producers, and we get to hear first hand from those producers what they value in terms of the extension we offer in terms of the research that we offer,” Texas A&M Vice-Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences Dr. Patrick Stover said. “And also gratefully, you know, they’re very frank with us. They tell us areas where we could be doing a little bit better.”

Though agriculture is vital to the economy of Texas, Dr. Stover says there appears to be a growing gap between producers and consumers, especially in the ever-expanding urban areas.

“It’s increasingly recognized that both for the good of the producer and the good of the consumer we have to better align agriculture and consumer,” Dr. Stover said.

“One of the things we have is the “Path to the Plate” initiative which is part of taking that information and the knowledge that we know about agriculture and the importance of agriculture and communicate that to folks that may live in an urban area, but they’re still obviously impacted by the food supply and what they eat every day,” Regional Program Leader with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Brent Batchelor said.

With an estimate that by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on earth, the exploding population means a growing demand for food and that is why the A&M Extension Service hopes to play a large role in matching the population growth with a corresponding growth in science on the farm.

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