Each year, heads of agricultural economics departments meet to discuss mutual issues related to our teaching, extension, and research programs. A major continuing issue is our portion of research and extension funds— with a natural suspicion that we are not being allocated our “fair share.” An additional, and perhaps larger, concern has arisen in the last few years as we recognize the apparent movement toward increasing use of competitive grants for funding agricultural research. It is not the grants idea that concerns us as much as it is the research areas which have been developed and/or may be developed within which we must make our proposals.
Each department in a university draws its sustenance from the same pie. Each is concerned with the size of the pieces devoured by animal science, crop science, and the others. The following comments relate to both share and “pie enlargement.”