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 comprised 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:
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.
By understanding the interactions among the components of the agricultural and community system, including its natural resources, economic base and social elements, the Dudley Smith Initiative intends to make agriculture sustainable over the long term.
Also, by acknowledging that systems research and outreach of this sort is dynamic and will evolve over time as new knowledge and increasingly powerful technologies generate more relevant questions and by seeking to exploit these technological advances, the Dudley Smith Initiative intends to reinvigorate and redefine the agricultural system.