Your Opinion: Local initiative on global issue
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Please forgive a statement of obvious fact — production of food and production of energy are issues inextricably intertwined. Further, as use of fossil fuels declines and world population grows from seven to over ten billion in this century, meeting worldwide demand for food will be an ever-increasing problem — a problem destined to dominate world affairs for decades to come. A community, institution, company or individual will benefit greatly if they play a role in successfully mitigating that problem,
One might ask how that relates to affairs in Jefferson City and surrounding area. When pondering that question one should know that several large committees of local volunteers worked diligently for many months during the past year to consider and recommend ways to enhance economic development and appeal of our community. Some of those committees focused their attention on the role that local colleges and universities might play in pursuing that objective. Their final recommendations reflect a strong emphasis on that approach.
We’re indeed fortunate that Lincoln University has research and teaching faculty focused on factors directly related to those two intertwined problems, food and bio-energy. It’s a small, fledgling but entirely competent and serious beginning, believed to be unique among four-year universities in Missouri. It deserves our attention and support.
Food and bio-energy programs at Lincoln, coupled with capabilities of Linn State Technical College and other institutions, represent significant economic development potential for the local area and state of Missouri. That potential can best be pursued and ultimately turned into local industries through action of an “innovation center” as proposed in the Jefferson City Transformation Package. That’s the kind of thing citizens might keep in mind at they consider a halfcent sales tax proposal that will support our community transformation.