CAES Research Keeps Georgia Agriculture on Leading Edge of Innovation

Jim Rogers Georgia

By Jordan Powers

The University of Georgia Office of Research recently announced a record-breaking fiscal year 2022 with more than a half billion dollars spent on research and development. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) was responsible for $112.8 million, an increase of $13.8 million from fiscal year 2021 in overall money spent on research.

UGA research

These expenditures contribute to the college’s position as a global leader in agricultural and environmental sciences.

“This increase in expenditures demonstrates that our research efforts are stronger, more productive and prepared to continue addressing issues facing agriculture, environment and health as a result,” said Nick T. Place, CAES dean and director. “In CAES, we are committed to research that produces meaningful results for producers, consumers and the industry as a whole — these funds are an indicator that we’re finding success today and setting our research programs up for even greater levels of success in the future.”

Innovation serving Georgia’s Largest Industry

In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, CAES researchers submitted 1,339 sponsored research proposals, more than 30% of the university total during the same timeframe. CAES was awarded $239.5 million in grants and federal funds in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

CAES faculty have generated 921 published journal articles from research conducted in laboratories and at eight Research and Education Centers (RECs) across the state, expanding the reach of faculty expertise well beyond the classroom.

CAES faculty are world leaders in research on turfgrass, cotton, peanuts, animal science and poultry science. Renowned UGA turfgrass breeders have developed varieties used in world-class sporting facilities, including Olympic stadiums.

Growing business and industry partnerships

While the college maintains well-proven efforts in securing grants and federal funding, CAES leadership recognized the need to invest in business and industry partnerships.

In July 2020, Chris Rhodes joined CAES as director of industry partnerships and project-based learning. In this role, Rhodes acts as a liaison with the agriculture industry, facilitating interactions between industry partners, students and faculty.

These partnerships span all areas of expertise within CAES, from partnering with an international company on the world’s first honey bee vaccine to expanding vertical farming efforts to stay on the cutting edge of controlled environment agriculture research.

Rhodes also facilitates CAES participation in the UGA Innovation District.

“CAES is one of the top programs of its kind in the world, and the breadth of agricultural activities in Georgia provides UGA a unique opportunity to build a leading environment of entrepreneurship and public-private partnership,” Rhodes said.

To learn more about research and innovation at CAES, visit