July 11-12, 2002


ITEM 116-2008-R0702��������������� Approval of Proposal to Establish the Institute for Biobased Products and Food Science; Montana State University-Bozeman


THAT:�������������������������������������� The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Bozeman to establish the Institute for Biobased Products and Food Science.


EXPLANATION:����������������������� The agricultural industry, in Montana and across the country, is facing challenges and changes to long-held beliefs and practices such as marketing commodities as an individual producer, restricting production to monocultures, or limited value-added initiatives.� A proactive and innovative approach must be undertaken to maintain and strengthen Montana's economic sustainability.� A biobased focus to agriculture is being discussed by agricultural leaders from across the United States as an opportunity to add value and revitalize agriculture and rural communities.� By adding value to Montana's agricultural products, Montana's economy can realize increased jobs, rural community development, and agricultural product sustainability.� A focus on biobased agriculture allows Montana producers to expand their options beyond the traditional crops and markets.� As a land grant university, Montana State University-Bozeman is compelled to broaden and build on food systems that develop a biobased economy.� This focus will promote global competitiveness, sustainable production, and rural development.� The new frontier in agriculture needs to be more than production and commodity oriented.� It should be expanded to include cost efficient food production systems, diversification of production efforts, value-added products, end-use and biobased product development, and integrated marketing strategies.� Producers need to find ways to share in the profits from agricultural products.� A safe and secure food system and the process of agriculture revitalization need to be based on focused, innovative education, research, and extension programs.� These programs will provide the knowledge foundation, while partnerships among the university, local/state/federal agencies, public and private sector organizations, producers, communities, business, and consumers will form the network necessary to build a team approach to agricultural economic development. The Institute for Biobased Products and Food Science will address issues of a safe and secure food system and agriculture and rural community revitalization.� The goal of the new Institute is to provide an infrastructure that encourages collaborative programs that address issues such as biobased product/value-added alternative crops, value-added meats, risk assessment, and product development.� The Institute for Biobased Products and Food Sciences will serve as a state, regional, and national model for biobased economic development.� The objectives are: a.) establish cutting-edge biobased, product, and food science research programs; b.) enhance partnerships that will include faculty from across the Montana University System, producers, ag-industry, and, would include investigators from other institutions in the region; and c.) conduct outreach activities related to biobased products and food science for producers, agri-business, and others in the state, region, and nation.� There will be a sustainable future for Montana if we develop a viable agriculture foundation in the state.� Science and technology, product analysis, and investment will foster new innovative products and processes to meet the challenges of the marketplace.� Public/private partnerships and a solid education and research foundation will facilitate research and development efforts to start and/or expand Montana businesses and employment opportunities.� Montana has the opportunity to assure high quality products, improve human nutrition, and assume a future in the global marketplace if we aggressively pursue value added commodity end-use products.�


The state of Montana provided funds during the last session to establish the Institute for Biobased Products and Food Science.� Funding to sustain the Institute's activities will be sought from industry, foundations, and state/federal grants.� Industry and foundation funds have already been received to support operations.