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NCSU College of Ag and Life Sciences Listening Sessions Underway Today

When Dean Richard Linton came on board at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in September, he took the college by storm, and has yet to let up. Dr. Marshall Stewart, special assistant to the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focusing on special projects:

“Dean Linton brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion to the position. He has a great background as a leader in food science, having lead major efforts at Perdue University and then serving an administrative role at Ohio State University. Coming here, he sees great potential for our college and has been made even more enthusiastic by our potential.”

And in trying to maximize that potential, starting today, Dean Linton is hosting a series of listening sessions open to all interested parties, in an effort to hear how people from many different areas of agriculture see the future of NC State CALS:

“Dean Linton believes its important to have the input and also the relationship with the stakeholders of our college. CALS has a broad reach in all 100 counties through cooperative extension. We have literally 1000s of stakeholders and volunteers though our 4-H programs and ag research efforts, to say nothing of the tremendous academic programs we offer. So when you put all that together with a world class student body, with all that we do off campus through extension engagement, you have quite an entity. He realizes the need to go out and do a lot of listening, hearing what people are concerned about, but also an eye toward where do we need to go next and how do we take ourselves to do great things for the people of NC, and what can we do nationally and internationally as an institution. It gives you the opportunity and helps you to understand why its important to get that input as you move forward.”

In this series of listening sessions, Linton and his team are looking for real views and concerns of North Carolinians according to Stewart:

“We are trying to make sure that we get a lot of good input and from a real perspective. We don’t want to influence what they say, we want to have real NC views about what North Carolinians think about what this college is and what it can be as we move into the future.”

To keep up with what’s going on in each listening session around the state, Stewart explains that notes will be posted on the CALS website:

“As we go through those processes and we get feedback, we will be posting what each of those sites are saying and what we are learning at each one. Regardless of where they live, people will be able to see what people in other parts of the state are thinking about because we want people to be very engaged. The website will be a central point of contact as we move forward.”

Then at the beginning of the summer, a summation of all that is learned will be available as well:

“Our target is to have a draft report ready June 1. Then we will roll into some implementation as we take on new challenges and figure out how that melds with what you are doing now and leads into some new things.”

For a link to learn more about the listening sessions and how to participate, even if not in actual attendance, click here.

Assistant to the dean of NC State CALS Dr. Marshall Stewart. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.