The School of Agriculture Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems is a valuable new way to address agricultural issues. It is:

The Chair is dedicated to stimulating discussion, new ideas, and leadership in agriculture leading to a healthy environment, vital communities, and economic profitability over the long term.

The objectives for the Chair are:

Four cornerstones form the Chair's foundation:

The Chair utilizes a two-step selection process.

The topics provide focus for the program, yet allow for creativity and flexibility to stimulate innovative, effective problem-solving of agricultural issues.

The long-range vision of a three-year plan, when coupled with annual reviews, assures both diversity and continuity, and makes the Endowed Chair a timely and effective means for addressing agricultural issues.

The Chair provides a forum for farmers, consumers, business people, students, educators, legislators, and other stakeholders in agriculture to help sustain the dream that the School of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota (SAUM) began more than 100 years ago.

In 1888, the School of Agriculture was established on the St. Paul Campus to serve the citizens of the state of Minnesota as an agricultural high school. At the time, few rural communities had secondary schools of their own, so the School of Agriculture attracted students from all across the region.

By the close of World War II, the School offered an advanced, post-high school curriculum to meet the ambitions of aspiring young adults. During its seventy-two years of existence, the School fostered the development of many outstanding state and national leaders in agriculture. The School closed in 1960, and its students and programs were merged into the College of Agriculture.

Thanks to the dedication of its alumni, the SAUM legacy lives on today. With their generous financial support, as well as contributions from the Minnesota State Legislature and the University of Minnesota, the SAUM Alumni Association created the Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems in 1995.

The Chair assures that the dream that began at the University more than a century ago will continue on in perpetuity. The School of Agriculture's pioneering spirit flourishes in the Chair's continuing quest for new and innovative approaches to producing quality food and fiber while sustaining the environment and rural communities.

The School of Agriculture Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems offers an unprecedented opportunity to address agricultural issues. While it embodies the values and traditions of several generations, the Endowed Chair is clearly focused on the future. Its vision for a sustainable agriculture is threefold: a healthy environment, profitable farms, and thriving rural communities.

The Endowed Chair is based on the recognition that every element in the agricultural system is interdependent. It acknowledges that farming systems must embody a stewardship ethic toward natural resources and at the same time by profitable for individual farmers, who will in turn help to support a network of rural communities.

Designing and promoting profitable, productive, and environmentally-sound farming systems is crucial for creating new promise and potential for those who will guide the future of agriculture.

The Chair is directed by a diverse committee of stakeholders that selects topics and recipients. This committee brings together producers, educators, students, members of the non-profit and agribusiness communities, and members of the Board of the SAUM Alumni Association.

The program is managed by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), a unique partnership between the University of Minnesota's College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences and the Sustainers' Coalition, a group of non-profit community organizations.

The Endowed Chair invites leaders at every level to become actively involved in advancing the work and ideals of sustainable agriculture that began in the School of Agriculture in 1888.

It's a proud tradition, one in which we may now share as the School's good work moves forward through the Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems.

Your questions and comments are welcome... please contact MISA,