The mission of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics is to discover and share knowledge and develop plant genetic materials that increase the efficiency, reliability, and profitability of crop production and utilization within Minnesota and around the world. 

We conduct these research and education activities in a local to global context to promote efficient crop production, rural and economic vitality, human wellness, environmentally sound practices, biodiversity, renewable energy, and alleviation of poverty and hunger.


We envision a world where each individual and every family and community is deeply connected to the food system and the land. In this world the landscape is healthy, diversified and beautiful with clean water, air, and soil, where the food we eat and grow is a balance between local and global production. Strong economies are supported by these agricultural production systems that benefit local, rural communities. Whether growing backyard gardens, protecting environmentally fragile areas, ecologically conscious urban development, or producing food and biofuels, we will all make decisions from a perspective that cares for nature; respects those who produce our food; seeks sustainable innovation in biofuels and natural products; develops appropriate technology; and provides public support to sustain ecosystems, agriculture, and related land grant programs. In this world, the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics will serve as a role model, conducting unbiased research, providing future-oriented and transformative educations, developing new materials for the landscape, building respectful connections between vital urban and rural communities, and contributing to robust regional agricultural systems and economies.


In keeping with the land grant mission of contributing to and sustaining the common public good, the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics values: 

  • High quality, innovative, ethical and unbiased teaching, research and extension efforts in basic, applied and translational components.
  • Proactive approaches that make a positive difference in Minnesota economies, ecologies, and communities and maintain relevance in agriculture, renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and health.
  • Collaborative, team-oriented approaches to our work.
  • Active support for personal and professional development for students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders.