Agronomists have done many things in service to the public in the history of our profession. Like other segments of the agricultural community, we have the present challenge of helping many other parts of our society know who we are and what part we play in the economic, social, and educational fabric of our country.
Thus, it is that attention has been given especially the past few years to addressing our public responsibility both by doing what we do best—research, teaching, and extension of information about soils and crop production—and by spending some time explaining those activities.
We are learning how to communicate with decisionmakers more effectively. We recognize our effort is part of a greater total venture in government, industry, and university settings. Thus, we have chosen to hear from persons that can help us understand more fully what decisionmakers need to know and how we can represent ourselves more effectively to them.
This ASA special publication presents the two addresses which were shared in our Tuesday afternoon general session at Ft. Collins. Roland Rautenstraus is President of the University of Colorado. He has a rich background in University administration and also brings us unique insights from the perspective of a professional engineer on “Public Responsibility of an Agronomist—A University President's View.”
Anson Bertrand, Director of Science and Education, USDA, provides us the view of one heavily involved in science and education policy and with the further advantage of both USDA and University experience in his background. Dr. Bertrand addresses “Public Responsibility of an Agronomist—A USDA Administrator's View.”
These papers were well received on first hearing—the officers of ASA are happy to share them with you for further reflection on how we supplement our major professional work responsibilities with some time spent on helping others to know us better.
Roger Mitchell, President
American Society of Agronomy