We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Leadership in Agriculture

Case Studies for a New Generation

John Patrick Jordan

Publication Year: 2013

In a world facing chronic and increasing shortages in food crops and natural resources, visionary leadership in agriculture becomes more and more critical for building and maintaining a sustainable future. It is of paramount importance that the dynamic and challenging evolution in agriculture over the last century and a half be met today with imaginative leadership in virtually all aspects of activities and organizations involved.

Leadership in Agriculture: Case Studies for a New Generation focuses on key characteristics and elements of leadership. Using case studies from research, industry, education, administration, and extension services, the authors present real-world circumstances ranging from natural disasters to major restructuring that demanded problem solving, new initiatives, consensus, and organizational commitment. Drawing on their own experiences and covering topics as diverse as closing facilities, mounting a national research initiative, reinventing a major corporation, and dealing with invasive termites, the studies contain examples of both good and bad outcomes and tie back to the stated leadership principles and qualities.


Preface vii
Acknowledgments xiii

Leadership in the Agricultural Environment 1
Character: The Bedrock of Leaders and Leadership 13

Case Studies—How Leadership Can Make a Difference 37
1. Facing Down Nature: How a Regional Lab Survived Hurricane Katrina (Addressing Physical Crises) 38
2. Exerting Ag Leadership in Distributed Geographic Locations (Coordinating Dispersed Units within One Organization) 49
3. Closing and Relocating Facilities and Terminating Programs (Leadership Challenges with Organizational Restructuring) 59
4. National Research Initiative: Creating a Shared Leadership Vision (Bringing about a New Solution) 73
5. Battling Formosan Subterranean Termites (Forging a New Approach) 81
6. Gathering of the Agricultural Clan (Bringing Leaders Together without Central Authority) 90
7. Monsanto: How One Company Saw the Future and Transformed to Seize It (Leadership’s Role in a Significant Change) 96
8. Enhancing Leadership in the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (Cultivating New Leadership) 123
9. Development of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) (Enhancing a Better Understanding of Agricultural Science and Technology) 133

Lessons Learned from Case Studies 145
Making Leadership Work for You 152

Appendixes: How Does the Scientific Agricultural System Work? 161
Appendix A. The Land-Grant System: A Key to America’s Dream? How Does It Function? 161
Appendix B. The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service: Focus on National and International Issues 165
Appendix C. The Industrial Approach to Research: Diverse Foci Linked to Industrial Economic Effects 167

Notes 171
Bibliography 173
About the Authors 177
Index 179

For more information, please visit www.leadershipinagriculture.com.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service Series


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 2-5


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-xii

Of all the requirements for maintaining life, the primary one for all living things is an adequate supply of food. Without it, starvation and death occur. The creation and growth of a food supply brought about by successful agriculture has remained fundamental throughout human history in spite of drought, floods, economic depressions, wars, ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xiii-17

Acknowledgements and thanks are due to many hands that have helped in the preparation of Leadership in Agriculture: Case Studies for a New Generation, including Leanne Chafin and Evelyn Folds (University of Georgia); Louise Jordan, who did splendid work in preparing the manuscript; David Songstad and Tamara Craig Shilling (Monsanto Corporation) and Charles E. Hess ...

read more

Leadership in the Agricultural

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-12

During the last ten thousand years, a number of major developments have created evolutionary and revolutionary changes in the initial and simple concept of agriculture. From the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle1 to today’s global environment, feeding the population has changed dramatically. As with any evolutionary process, some ...

read more

Character: The Bedrock of Leaders and

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 13-35

Character is as essential to a leader as oxygen is to respiration. With respect to leadership, the importance of character is highlighted by examining the definition adopted. In this work, leadership is defined as the act and process of inspiring others to participate in an endeavor oriented in a specific direction and/or intended to accomplish a ...

read more

Case Studies—How Leadership Can Make a Difference

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 36-53

Frequently case studies provide examples of how others have addressed problems that may be similar to one that a reader is facing. Thus, case studies are used here to show leadership approaches in dealing with agricultural issues, especially those in research and outreach. ...

read more

Chapter 1

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 37-48

Key points include the following: (1) finding people after the storm; (2) housing them at temporary locations; (3) providing resources for personnel, supplies, and equipment; (4) communicating with personnel who were located across the country; (5) implementing a different form to handle those manifesting disciplinary problems; (6) returning home; (7) repair of the center; (8) continuing productivity after the storm; (9) assessing damage; and (10) coordinating the return of personnel to the center. ...

read more

Chapter 2

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 49-59

... While site-specific or at least regional research is often needed to support and promote these practices, general principles of agricultural science and technology can also be broadly applied. Accordingly, a combination of both site-specific and more general scientific activity has emerged in the university-based and federal systems that support food and agricultural enterprises in the United States. ...

read more

Chapter 3

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 60-73

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership in the academic environment is keeping research programs relevant, ensuring adequate and appropriate facilities for research, and keeping all activities in line with available resources. While these challenges sound simple and straightforward, they are fraught with pitfalls that can spell disaster for administrators. ...

read more

Chapter 4

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 74-82

... With a modest beginning of only $73 million, the NRI has been sustained over the ensuing years and is now enjoying a renaissance with new structure and increased funding. From 1991 through 2008, the NRI has provided about $2.3 billion for research. It has provided a focused resource for research in the sciences basic to food, agriculture, and natural resources and has supported new starts over a relatively broad spectrum of research. ...

read more

Chapter 5

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 83-91

This case study demonstrates challenges relating to organizing research and outreach programs among institutions over which one has no direct authority. It also uses modern science to address both a half-century-old problem and unanticipated problems that cropped up during the implementation of a complex program. ...

read more

Chapter 6

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 92-97

Not infrequently, one aspect of agriculture cannot connect easily to another. This is especially true when either a natural or some other crisis leaves a void in the normal flow of information. Some states have found a way to expedite communications. A recent case involves Louisiana. ...

read more

Chapter 7

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 98-124

Based upon its original design and intent, Monsanto Company, founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901 with a sole focus as a chemical producer, would have been an unlikely addition to an agricultural leadership book. For more than ninety years, the company manufactured several types of industrial, consumer, and agricultural chemicals and chemical products from saccharin to plastics and fibers to ...

read more

Chapter 8

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 125-135

Prior to initiation of the Experiment Station Committee on Policy (ESCOP) Leadership Development Program, there were no formal leadership-development opportunities available to personnel in the state agricultural experiment stations. If individuals wanted to enhance their leadership skills, they were required to seek leadership training in another venue. ...

read more

Chapter 9

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 136-148

This case study illustrates the myriad of challenges associated with developing an organization that embraces many groups, individuals, and scientific disciplines. In the late 1960s science and technology began placing increasing pressure on agriculture. The publication of books such as Silent Spring had called attention to the widespread use of pesticides and their potentially harmful side effects. The use of antibiotics ...

read more

Lessons Learned from Case Studies

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 149-155

We recognize that readers may have focused on different parts of this book, depending on their own experiences, interests, and background. Perhaps some will even have read most or all of the chapters. In this chapter we recapitulate some of the main points that caused us to decide that yet another book on leadership would be of use to those coming into or already in leadership roles in various parts of ...

read more

Making Leadership Work for You

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 156-163

In its simplest definition, leadership is about motivating other people to follow you in a given direction to achieve a specific goal. The evolution of agriculture to an enterprise that is based more on science and technology rather than on resources requires a greater degree of visionary leadership. This trend is expected to project into the foreseeable future. We are witnessing a greater involvement of the social ...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 165-173


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 175-176


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 177-179

read more

About the Authors

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 181-182

JOHN PATRICK JORDAN has taught chemistry and biochemistry as well as conducting research in space medicine. He completed the Harvard Institute for Educational Management program, was director of the university-wide Biology Core Program at Colorado State University, became university-wide official responsible for the Experiment Station, and later oversaw the Cooperative Extension ...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 183-190

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 210-210

E-ISBN-13: 9781603449618
E-ISBN-10: 1603449612
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603449410

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 4 b&w photos. Map. Line art. Index. Bib.
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service Series
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 841909865
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Leadership in Agriculture

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Leadership -- United States -- Case studies.
  • Agricultural administration -- United States -- Case studies.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access