North Carolina A&T State University Partners With USDA to Host National Technology Center
GREENSBORO, N.C.North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to relocate one of NRCS’s three national technology centers and a remote sensing lab to Greensboro. The agreement will bring approximately 80 advanced-degree scientists and technologists from across the country to Greensboro at an earning capacity of $93,000. A&T was in the running with dozens of other locations all vying for the chance to host one of the three NRCS sites. NRCS originally had six regional offices. A&T is the only site connected to a university and is a strengthening of NRCS’s relationship with a historically Black land-grant institution.As part of its reorganization, NRCS selected Greensboro as the site for the East Region National Technology Support Center. The East Center will serve 24 states and the Caribbean area. A center is also located in Fort Worth, Texas, and Portland, Ore. Greensboro will also be home to the Remote Sensing Lab. “This is a great day for A&T and Greensboro,” said Chancellor James C. Renick. “This allows the university to continue its mission to serve as an engine for economic and intellectual development. In addition, the opportunities for student and faculty interaction with NRCS and the research and technology transfer opportunities are enormous. We are excited about A&T being selected and we want this partnership to serve as a model for other research centers in the Triad.”NRCS professionals help landowners and communities use conservation practices effectively and manage their natural resources wisely. These specialists develop cost-effective solutions for producers that best fit their operations and help them meet their environmental and natural resource goals. The specialists also focus on the needs of small and limited resource farmers. The National Technology Support Centers were established to strengthen scientific and technological support for NRCS’s conservation programs and activities. These centers have two primary functions: to provide technological direct assistance and technology transfer (including collaboration with others for technical training) to states and the Pacific Basin and Caribbean areas and to acquire and/or develop new science and technology in order to provide cutting-edge technological support. These centers are also charged with developing and maintaining national technical standards and other technological procedures and references.Each center is staffed with an agronomist; a forester; a rangeland management/pasture land specialist; a soil scientist; a biologist; an agricultural engineer; an environmental engineer; a sociologist; an economist; a water management specialist; a GIS specialist; an environmental compliance specialist; and a plant materials specialist.
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