By Ronald D. ; Sharron D. Knutson; David P. Ernstes. Knutson
Publication by way of Knutson, Ronald D. ; Sharron D. Knutson; David P. Ernstes.
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Extra info for Perspectives on 21st Century Agriculture: A Tribute to Walter J. Armbruster
Not only does normative economics expose the educator to possible misinterpretation or errors in the data, imprecise analysis and the like; the prescriptive cure for a problem gets into values. Facts are facts, although there can be debate based on what we think are facts, but everybody has a unique value system. And values play a key role in policy decisions. S. agriculture based on his treadmill theory of technological innovation in farming and on his studies of the inherent instability of farm commodity prices.
I start with the assumption that involvement in the public interest by educational professionals in public policy education is a good thing and should be fostered by public institutions. Involving a new generation of land grant specialists is critical if such an activity is going to be continued. What then needs to be done? • • • • There has to be strong administrative support for the nonadvocacy public policy education function. Administrators need to understand the risks involved in controversial issues and both make sure staff knows how to deal with them and in turn protect the staff when a nonadvocacy approach is followed.
Farm Foundation has made a monumental decision to discontinue support for the National Policy Conference in favor of creating a new Institute for Public Issues Education. While the concept represents a bold change for the future, the question remains whether or not the old model of pro bono collaboration that helped me throughout my career will be sufficiently competitive during the next century to attract and sustain the next generation of policy educators. Or alternatively would establishing an institute that includes a network of centers who wish to be aligned with Farm Foundation make a more competitive model in terms of providing professional homes and sustainable resources for a network with national capacity on a wide range of public policy education topics?