The goal of the Dudley Smith Initiative is to create and apply knowledge about the system that makes up the agricultural community. The agricultural community system is compromised of farmers, consumers, products, profits, natural resources, production, and many other components.
The Dudley Smith Initiative (DSI) intends to support innovative research and outreach that advances its fundamental goal of invigorating the agricultural system in Illinois. Innovative research:
- Incorporates the interactions among the social, economic, biological, and natural resource components of the agricultural community system.
- Is multidisciplinary and includes both a long-term and a short-term focus.
- Is willing to take a “non-traditional” approach.
A landowner with family roots in Christian County, Dudley Smith, Jr. recognized the long-term economic challenges facing agriculture in Illinois, and he anticipated their social impact on rural areas. Dudley Smith urged us not only to embrace technological advancements but also to address the long-term stewardship and sustainability of agricultural practices.