BUILDING THE LAND-GRANT CONCEPT INTO THE WORLD WIDE WEB

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2133

The land-grant system was founded on the principle that education and information make a critical difference in people's lives, and that the government plays an important role in providing education and information by funding teaching, research, and extension programs. This mission was interpreted previously as a charge to establish great educational institutions to provide a low-cost, quality education to everyone who applied, to place extension professionals within every county in the nation, and to build massive research centers to provide a continuous flow of new, science-based information to all at no charge. My thesis is that the World Wide Web and other emerging information technologies represent the only solution to the dilemma faced by the land-grant system for providing research-based, high-quality education and information to a growing clientele at a reasonable cost. Aggie Horticulture (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu), a Web server that is modeled on the land-grant principle, will be used as an example of one approach to land-grant programs of the 21st century.

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