Carrington Research Extension Center


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Research Collaborations and Partnerships


The 2019 research year is well underway, with nearly four hundred research projects planned for implementation at the Carrington Research Extension Center. These projects are designed to address issues that affect our crop and livestock producers and the natural resource base that supports our diverse agriculture in North Dakota. At the CREC, research program leaders in the disciplines of agronomy, soils, plant pathology, precision ag, organic ag, animal science, and fruit production, initiate research projects independently and in collaboration with colleagues at the Main Station in Fargo and other NDSU Research Extension Centers.

Ultimately, the research projects at the CREC represent many different collaborations and partnerships between the public and private sectors working together to meet the diverse needs of farmers and ranchers. Many who follow the programs at the CREC are likely familiar with the collaborations we have with our NDSU colleagues. We also partner with the USDA, other Federal agencies and certainly state agencies such as the Agriculture Department, Department of Health, Water Commission, Soil Conservation Districts and others. Our collaborations with the different crop commodity organizations are very important. Their financial support allows us to work to address many of their priority needs.

The research collaborations that are often under the radar and especially significant in both number and impact are those collaborations we have with private sector businesses, our broad agri-industry. NDSU agricultural research is a very important part of the process that the private sector utilizes to bring new technologies into the marketplace. Agriculture is a complex industry, there are hundreds of companies that are involved with providing services and products to our farmers and ranchers. We have a continuous evolution of new technologies that are being developed, evaluated, refined and ultimately introduced to our producers because of their merits or discarded because of their fallacies. Typically, dozens of private sector businesses collaborate with researchers at each REC annually. These businesses range from the major multi-national companies to new start-up enterprises. These collaborations allow us to greatly leverage our state resources to expand the capacity for agricultural research on behalf of the state’s major industry. Our private sector collaborators look to the RECs to evaluate their product in our unique environments.  Our research is used to refine product-use strategy, provide comparison to competitor alternatives, develop data for product registrations and ultimately aid in determining whether the product is viable. Finally, the resulting information is highly sought after as the primary source of non-biased, research-based information by the farmers and ranchers as they decide whether to incorporate that product or technology into their operation. 

One might question how our researchers determine what issue, challenge or problem they will design a research project to address given the very diverse agriculture we have in North Dakota and the many potential trials that are brought to their attention. The ongoing communications we have throughout the year with our producers, commodity organizations and industry ultimately formulate a perspective of which needs are the priority. We also have a formal means for our farmers and ranchers to provide input and direction for our research. This is achieved through the information we receive from our CREC Advisory Board. Our advisory board is comprised of 16 board members who represent counties within this region, the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District and the Carrington community. This advisory board meets twice a year with the next meeting scheduled for June 11. During this meeting board members each have the opportunity to share their ideas as to what are the most pressing challenges they face in their own operation and those of neighbors across the county or area they represent. The CREC Advisory Board plays an important role in guiding the direction of our research programs for not only their benefit, but for the benefit of agriculture across the state.

Blaine G. Schatz
Director and Agronomist

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