I have some exciting news about our organization to share with you. Earlier this year, the Noble Board of Trustees elected to separate the activities of Noble Foundation, and that transition began on May 1, 2017.
The organization's research, education and consultation activities will remain with our existing entity but will continue forward with a new name: Noble Research Institute, LLC. The new name connects this organization to our history and founder, Lloyd Noble, as well as demonstrates our reliance on research to meet agriculture's greatest challenges.
The philanthropic activities, including grant-making and scholarship programs, of the current organiza¬tion are being placed in a new, private foundation, which will carry the same name, Noble Foundation.
As the Noble Research Institute, we are still a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, but we are transitioning from a private foundation to a new type of public charity called an agricultural research organization (ARO), which is focused on the conduct of agriculture research.
One question I am certain you will have with this announcement is "Why does the organization want to become an ARO?" In short, the purpose of becoming an ARO is to allow us to do more to assist farmers, ranchers and land stewards than ever before. Because of this change, we will be able to expand our collaborations with industry and have options for commercialization activities, as well as branch into fundraising/development and – when appropriate – advocacy.
You will receive additional information about the changes in the months ahead, but I want to assure you that the services we have provided to you in the past will continue uninterrupted into the future.
The Noble Research Institute will continue to perform the same activities we did as "Noble Foundation."
We will conduct no-cost producer consultation and education, and we will work to a greater degree with agricultural industries on behalf of producers. We will provide targeted education to agricultural producers and youth, science students and instructors, urban and rural agriculturalists, and scientists and other agriculture and land stewardship professionals.
We will continue operations on 14,000 acres of farms and ranches conducting applied agricultural systems and land stewardship research and demonstrations, emphasizing producer-focused systems management in the areas of forage-based beef cattle production, pecan management, land stewardship and specialty agriculture.
We will continue striving to identify and implement technologies and innovations that enhance producers' management capabilities, operational efficiencies and resource sustainability. We will continue to conduct fundamental and applied plant research, plant breeding, and forage and cropping systems development strategies.
We will continue leveraging relationships to answer the grand challenges facing agricultural producers today, tomorrow and into the future.
The only significant change you may observe in the years ahead is the Noble Research Institute will be more prominent in regional and national agricultural activities than we have been historically.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me or others at the Noble Research Institute.