first_imgHigher education in America was once a luxury for the privileged. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln changed that when he signed the Morrill Act, which established the nation’s land-grant universities and opened doors of higher education to more Americans. The act directed funding to agriculture, engineering and mechanical arts education, helping build the infrastructure that has kept us strong and helps feed the world today. This year we mark the 150th anniversary of the land-grant university system. We celebrate the advances the act provided. Today the U.S. has a safe, secure food supply, a well-educated population, vibrant centers of innovation and discovery, and hands-on local education enriches citizens’ lives.The act also helped grow a dynamic, successful middle class in America that is the backbone of our society, workforce and future.New challenges aheadEveryday we face new challenges. The population is growing, but available land to grow food is not. Our environment is suffering, and ways to protect it must be found. America is slipping behind the world in science education, and higher education must be openly available now more than ever for us to compete. The act embraced by President Lincoln 150 years ago is more important today than the day it was signed. When delivering the Justin Morrill Lecture last week at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities conference, Kenneth G. Cassman, professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, outlined the perfect storm of problems that lies ahead. He contended that rising fuel and food costs reduces spendable income, which causes education levels to decrease and birth rates to rise, creating a cycle that threatens our ability to feed people. Solutions to many of these challenges will be found in the classrooms, labs and programs of land-grant universities.At the University of Georgia, we are breeding better crops that can produce higher yields with less water and less environmental impact. We are working to find a dependable supply of bio-based fuels to help solve our energy problems. And we are discovering ways to produce food using fewer chemicals and fertilizers.The legacy and the futureThe legacy of the Morrill Act is evident across generations of American families and the landscape of our agricultural promise. Our system is the envy of many. Struggling countries often look squarely to our land-grant system as the solution to the problems that plague them. From Eastern Europe to Africa and Afghanistan, we’ve helped introduce the public educational system to promote a brighter future for us all. We must now greet the next 150 years with the same vigor and dedication we gave the past 150 years. It requires renewed commitment to reliable funding, sound policy and partnerships that got us this far. While today’s problems are more complex, so are the tools and technologies available to solve them. As we celebrate our successful past and remember the wisdom of President Lincoln, we will keep our sights set on developing the new innovations that will ensure a food-secure future. (J. Scott Angle is dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and chairman of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly.)last_img read more

first_imgTreñas also stressed the importance of proper coordination so that the city government could prepare for the returning OFWs such as their quarantine area and the provisions needed. According to the city mayor, what he was asking from the regional task force on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was the strict adherence to safety protocols to ensure that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, won’t spread in Iloilo and endanger the lives of residents. According to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), one batch would have 232 OFWs (Aklan, 28; Antique, 29; Capiz, 25; and Iloilo, 150) while the other batch, 301 (Aklan, 53; Antique, 24; Capiz, 30; and Iloilo, 194). “We will clarify this. Indi nami nga ginaguba ang syudad. Lain diri ang nagakatabo, lain man sugid sa babaw,” said Treñas. Late Monday night in a televised address to the nation, Duterte said, local government units such as Iloilo City must not turn away returning overseas Filipino workers “o pipilitin kong sumunod kayo. I don’t want to embarrass people.” “Our position is clear. We want Ilonggo OFWs back and be with their families. However, because Iloilo province is under an enhanced community quarantine, we have protocols to follow,” said Defensor. ILOILO City – The President was likely fed with the wrong information, according to Mayor Jerry Treñas. He denied having prevented Manila-stranded overseas workers from returning to Iloilo. Treñas did not name anyone who could be giving President Rodrigo Duterte with false information but gave a hint, “Sila man to may access sa babaw.” “There was never an instance or occasion nga ginpa-untat ta ang pagbaton sang OFWs,” stressed Treñas yesterday. Two more batches of OFWs are set to return to Western Visayas. This should not happen again, said Treñas. He cited as example the return of some 40 OFWs from Cebu City in the second week of April and the over 200 others just this April 29 from Metro Manila. He lamented what happened to the OFWs who returned last week. Meals were delayed at a hotel here they were quarantined and there was no regular checking of their health condition, such as their temperature. (Fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19.) For his part, Iloilo province’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. defended his recent request to MARINA to defer the scheduled May 2 return of the 232 OFWs stranded in Manila. He said they must first undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests in Manila and that their results must be negative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. He also pointed out that five of these OFWs tested positive for COVID-19 despite claims that their tests in Manila – prior to their departure to Iloilo – showed them without SARS-CoV-2. “I think may naga-intriga. Sa akon paglantaw lain ang information ang nagalab-ot sa babaw,” he said. The regional COVID-19 task force itself on May 4 sent Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the COVID-19 National Action Plan, a letter seeking the postponement of the return of stranded OFWs./PNlast_img read more