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Minnesota State Mankato Designated as Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture

Designation came from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-24-2015

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato recently was notified that it has been designated as a “Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture” by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture provide important translational research and outreach benefits, while developing a highly skilled workforce for the agriculture, food and natural resource industries. The priorities that make NLGCA teaching programs and graduates unique are real-world, hands-on experiences in laboratories, undergraduate research, independent studies, and internships on campus farms and laboratories, with producers, in industry and in government agencies.

Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture place emphasis in their curricula on business, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, creativity, communications and teamwork. NLGCAs produce science-based and workforce-ready graduates with a strong work ethic who may choose to pursue graduate studies (often at land-grant institutions), enter into industry and government careers, and return to production-oriented positions on our nation’s farms and ranches.

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport said receiving the Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture designation reflected objectives in the University’s recently published academic master plan, which outlines how the University is working to expand its academic programs in the area of agriculture.

“Securing this designation is an intentional and strategic accomplishment that is part of the University’s recent and growing focus on agriculture, food and natural resources, as well as applied and integrative research,” said Davenport. “The University is committed to becoming an agricultural leader in Minnesota, and we are engaged in a number of initiatives that demonstrate that commitment.”

Davenport cited Minnesota State Mankato’s active participation in Greater Mankato Growth’s Project ABE (Ag Business Epicenter) and close work with Riverland Community College through the Future Maverick Program – Transfer Pathways as specific examples of ways in which the University is working to expand its academic programs in the area of agriculture.

Jonathan Zierdt, president & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., said the designation would provide the University new ways to contribute to economic opportunities in the region.

“This is a key development for the University, and one which we applaud for their alignment with Project ABE (Ag Business EpiCenter) and for their commitment to economic opportunities and priorities for the southern Minnesota and northern Iowa region,” said Zierdt. “This designation allows the University new opportunities to have a primary impact on our current and future ag businesses, interactions, education, innovation and application.”

Riverland has recently begun offering associate’s degrees in agricultural sciences, providing direct pathways into Minnesota State Mankato’s bachelor’s degree programs in food science technology, biotechnology and geography/geographic information systems.

America’s 60 Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) have a long and successful history of educating and preparing professionals in agriculture, food, and renewable resources and many related fields, according to a summary posted on the Association of Public Land-grant Universities website.

For more information, contact Marilyn Wells, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Minnesota State Mankato, at 507-389-1333.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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