New Digital Platform Offers Insight and Analysis on Issues Facing Southern Agriculture
COLLEGE STATION - A group of 13 Southern Land Grant University Extension Programs in collaboration with the Southern Extension Economics Committee, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center at the University of Arkansas officially launched a new digital platform to provide timely, concise, insightful analysis on issues facing southern agriculture.
“It’s drafted with the farmer and the policymaker in mind, which are two groups of people with demanding schedules and limited time on their hands,” stated Dr. Joe Outlaw, Co-Director, Agricultural & Food Policy Center, Texas A&M University. “This content is intended to provide quick, impactful analysis and context on a given topic, so they can make informed decisions.”
The platform distributes a daily digital periodical that features a short peer-reviewed article on a different issue of interest. The topics follow a set schedule and include crop marketing, livestock marketing, farm management, agricultural policy, trade, and agricultural law. It is the only publication of its kind that covers the entire southern agricultural region in depth and brings together diverse voices with more than 100 contributors.
“We are not chasing the latest headline. The goal is to provide timely, thoughtful analysis beyond merely reporting on the news, but there is flexibility to weigh in on pressing issues, especially as the farm bill reauthorization heats up,” stated Dr. Bart Fischer, co-director, Agricultural & Food Policy Center, Texas A&M University.
Additionally, the co-founders believe the platform offers a level playing field to help provide access to information and data for underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers in the South.
“Farmers of every size and background across the South continue to adapt to the challenging agriculture environment made worse by the pandemic, current macroeconomic trends, climate variability, and disrupted supply chains,” stated Dr. Ron Rainey, Assistant Vice President for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and Center Director for the Southern Risk Management Education Center. “We hope Southern Ag Today is a valuable tool for all of our southern producers including socially disadvantaged, small, and beginning farmers, so they can feel confident in the decisions they’re making about their operations.”
The long-term vision of the platform is to expand content to include webinars, podcasts, video production, and a greater social media presence.
“We have a lot of ideas for how we can continue to grow this unique, one-of-a-kind effort that is bringing together 13 different universities across the southern United States in service to producers,” explained Dr. Nathan Smith, Extension Economist and Agribusiness Program Team Director. “Top of mind is always how can we boost production agriculture.”
For more information and to sign up for free, go to https://southernagtoday.org/