Building a new graduate program as a model for collaboration between institutions and industry

E. D. Pliakoni, C. A. Shoemaker, R. Janke, C. L. Rivard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In 2010, the Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources launched a new specialization in our Master's program titled Urban Food Systems (UFS). This program is unique in its food crops emphasis, interdisciplinary training focus, and the research project design, development and implementation with existing urban mentor organizations; and students move through the program as a cohort, experience fully the grant process from preparation through final report, and complete a food production practicum. At about the same time as the UFS program was launched, Kansas State University opened a new campus in Olathe, KS, a suburb of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. This new campus focuses on animal health, food safety and security, and provides graduate education, research and engagement with strong academic/industry/government partnerships. The UFS program was the first graduate program approved to be offered through the K-State Olathe campus. This paper will present the model of collaboration between the two campuses as well as the collaboration between the institutions and industry. This paper will also present the challenges and opportunities of placing a traditional graduate program with tenure-track faculty on a campus that has an expectation to serve the local residents and the greater Kansas City animal and food industries, help attract new business to the local county, provide training to the local workforce, and develop new technologies in collaboration with public and private companies. And finally this paper will discuss how the UFS program was developed to grow student numbers and respond to future needs of the areas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication29th International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture
Subtitle of host publicationSustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes, IHC 2014: Plenary Sessions of IHC 2014 and 7th International Symposium on Education, Research Training and Consultancy
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789462611368
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 2016

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Masters program
  • Urban agriculture
  • Urban food systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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