What is the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, Inc.?
The Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, Inc. (“Institute”) – an agricultural research organization (ARO), is a Nebraska nonprofit corporation operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
What is an ARO?
An ARO (Agricultural Research Organization) is a type of public charity that is directly engaged in the continuous active conduct of agricultural research in conjunction with a land grant university.
Define ecoagriculture. Is it a new area of study?
Ecoagriculture is an emerging area of scientific study regarding how sustainable agriculture and ranching can be conducted across diverse landscapes while maintaining ecosystem integrity and contributing towards solutions for local and global issues, such as biodiversity, climate change, native species and habitat loss, environmental contamination, water depletion, food production, etc.
What is the mission of the Institute?
The mission of the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture is to research, develop, practice, and disseminate sustainable strategies and
techniques for conserving ecosystems, agriculture, and rural communities
What university or universities do you plan to work with?
The Institute builds off an existing collaborative ecological and agricultural research relationship between Turner Ranches and South Dakota State University, which recently completed the development of a Center of Excellence for Bison Studies. Additionally, we anticipate regular research collaborations with other land grant institutions.
What research has Turner Ranches done in the past?
Turner Ranches continues to be involved in diverse areas of research concerning animal and environmental sciences. Bison production, finishing, welfare, physiology, and ecology have been areas of research interest.
Our research has also focused on issues in restoration ecology and imperiled species conservation. Wildlife and bison diseases have been investigated, as well as climate change, ecosystem services, and landscape ecology. With the creation of the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, the tradition of research in these areas will continue and thrive with the Institute’s focus on complex ecoagriculture issues.
What do you hope to achieve with the creation of the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture?
By implementing, testing, and sharing our land management philosophy we want to demonstrate how ranching operations can meet economic and production objectives while protecting and enhancing natural resources and conservation values of large landscapes. Ultimately, through research and innovation we want to deliver outcomes that support humankind, such as sustainable food production, thriving rural communities, ecosystem services, native biodiversity, and a healthy environment.
Being a nonprofit organization, will the Institute be exempt from paying property taxes?
We recognize the importance of property taxes to local governments, and do not plan to apply for exemption from property taxes.