The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (UGA CAES) Dean Scott Angle provided an update on the college during the Hot Topics Seminar, which kicked off the Georgia Peanut Tour today. He says the college’s budget has been reduced by 25 percent and the college will see significant changes over the next few years. Angle says the college will need to downsize in some areas and will not be able to teach, provide research and extension services on every topic. “We are looking into collaboration with other land grant universities in the Southeast so that we can reorganize to maximize use of our resources,” Angle says. “We are not being forced into these changes. It’s simply the right thing to do and we are good stewards of the tax payers’ money.” Another change in the college that will have a profound effect on the peanut industry is the public breeding program. Angle says, other colleges report that when plant breeders retire, they will not be replaced. On the other hand, Angle says, the college will become the administrator for developing new cultivars and move new germplasm into the marketplace. “We have a great program for breeding and we are committed to the breeding programs whether it is for peanuts, turf grass, ornamentals or blueberries,” Angle says.”We are filling in the gaps in areas where the private sector has not picked up the breeding programs.”
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A photo album of the tour will be added tomorrow so check back for more updates.