What Are Great Challenges?
Noble Research Institute’s mission is “to deliver solutions to great agricultural challenges,” and, in 2018, the organization identified three challenges that frame Noble’s research and education. These are significant threats to the viability of agriculture, but they are also opportunities for Noble to apply its strengths and meet the needs of farmers and ranchers.
Great Challenge #1:
Risks associated with variable climates, markets and consumer demand all play roles in the economic uncertainty of agricultural production. Many of these risks are out of the hands of producers, but they do have control over the way they manage their resources. Noble Research Institute helps producers mitigate risk by looking at ways to make agricultural production systems more resilient and efficient. This could include targeted management practices, science, technology or products.
Great Challenge #2:
Today, agriculture as an industry realizes that management practices can both positively and negatively impact soils, air and water. While science has greatly advanced understanding of the soil’s physical and chemical properties, much remains unknown about the biological aspects, and its greater impact on air and water. Noble Research Institute is poised to help answer questions related to soil health and ecosystem functions. Researchers are evaluating ways to measure soil health and biology, and they are working to help producers implement practices that build soil health and enhance ecosystems.
Great Challenge #3:
Education and Training
It’s not enough just to develop new tools and technologies or to evaluate different practices. In order for these different ideas and options to take practical shape on a producer’s operation, the producer needs to know what is being done and learned from research fields. To bridge this gap, Noble Research Institute offers educational programs to farmers, ranchers and other land stewards. The goal is to create a Noble Learning community where producers can learn in ways that best meet their needs. This way producers will take away the information and experiences they need to help them make confident decisions for their operations.