The University of Arizona

Photo of Dr. KaltenbachFrom Dr. Colin Kaltenbach (

This nation has experienced dramatic changes in the business of agriculture since the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station was founded 117 years ago. Agriculture has evolved from an industry based mostly on hard work and ingenuity to one based on science and technology. The modern food and agricultural system encompasses primary production, processing, marketing, retailing and consumption activities that now involve more than 18 percent of U.S. employment, and substantial contributions to the nation's export earnings.

The need for continued increases in agricultural productivity will be met in large part through research conducted by the Agricultural Experiment Station System at the nation's land-grant colleges of agriculture. The Arizona Experiment Station has more than 200 ongoing formal research projects. These represent a continuum, from fundamental research on the structure and function of genes to integrative research that develops fundamental discoveries into targeted practices and technologies, to adaptive research that applies the findings to actual production, processing, marketing and environmental systems. Research is conducted in the areas of the environment and natural resources; animal and plant systems; family, youth and community; trade and economics; and human nutrition, food safety and health.

Research is important to everyone as a way of identifying and solving problems, both in the scientific community and in local communities. For example, students in the College conduct research as an integral part of their degree programs. Visiting high school students also learn about research techniques in special summer school programs in the College. Extension faculty and volunteers also use research methods to gather data in communities for decision making.

Faculty, staff and students share results of their research with the public through reports, journal articles, articles in the popular press, field days, workshops, seminars, and one-to-one conversation.