Discussion: Human Capital Needs of Black Land-Grant Institutions

Carlton G. Davis
1985 Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics  
Parks and Robbins have prepared a paper nomics human capital needs of black landon an interesting and timely topic for the grant institutions and will offer some addi-Southern Agricultural Economics Association tional viewpoints on certain issues and im-(SAEA) meeting. First, the black land-grant plications. This approach is intended to institutions will soon be celebrating a cen-provide a more identifiable contextual frametury of outstanding service to southern rural work for analysis of the
more » ... sues that were and urban clientele, as well as the nation presented by Parks and Robbins. (Smith; Williams). Second, this year, being The discussion and issues presented by the seventy-fifth anniversary of our parent Parks and Robbins could have been more organization, the American Agricultural Ecoeffectively presented if the arguments were nomics Association (AAEA), might be an op-developed within the following contextual portune time for the Association to critically sequence. First, establish very early in the evaluate its collective contributions to the paper, a sense of the historical and evoluinstitutional and human resource developtionary characteristics of the role, scope, and mental efforts of this component of the landservice dimensions of the black land-grant grant complex. institutions as they adjusted to structural The authors approached the topic from the changes in the agricultural and rural sectors. following vantage points: (a) a review of Second, review and assess the facilitating confactors associated with current and projected tributions of the agricultural economics shortages of agricultural scientists, including profession to the changing institutional obagricultural economists, (b) a review of trends e n clientele needs of the instituin the supply and demand for persons with jectives and clientele needs of the instituin the supply and demand for persons with tions. Third highlight any disciplinary graduate training in agricultural economics, t encies that might have or are still im-(c) a review of some of the relevant theoposing constraints on the ability of the profesretical and empirical issues relating to blacks resn ailit ly the evol sion to respond facilitatively to the evolving in the agricultural economics labor market, institutional and human capital needs of these and (d) evaluative observations relating to nsttution. the interactive impacts of labor market and istitutions. institutional factors on the agricultural eco-Within the conte three iernomics capital stocks of black land-grant in-related dimensions, the paper could have stitutions. been improved by reviewing the evolutionary Some of the issues raised in the paper have and greatly expanded mission and service recently been the focal point of professional role of the black land-grant institutions. The dialogue at the national level (Davis and original sixteen 1890 Land-Grant Institutions Alien; Jones et al; Robbins and Evans; Strauss were charged with the responsibility of deand Tarr). The paper has contributed to the veloping educational, extension, and reprofessional dialogue by: (a) identifying some search programs for rural black people. of the key issues in the debate, (b) presenting However, technological revolution in the agan outline of certain issues which serve to ricultural sector triggered major resource addirect our thinking, and (c) highlighting some justment problems for rural blacks. By virtue of the policy and program agenda items for of legislative mandate and sensitivity to clienthe profession relative to these issues. This tele needs, these institutions were forced to discussion will attempt to refine some of the expand their role, scope, and services to a issues raised relative to the agricultural eco-disproportionate number of black, poor, and
doi:10.1017/s0081305200017064 fatcat:76qzwezajfhrjecm7mf54cibmq