Why CASNR Is Family 
by Dean Caula Beyl

We have always considered CASNR as a family—a very large, nonhomogeneous, and lively family! So why do we say this? What are the characteristics of a family that CASNR shares? And finally, why does it matter? 

Families are a wonderful structure in which members are tied together through bonds of affection, mutual respect, and a shared culture. The culture in CASNR is founded upon an appreciation of the land-grant mission and what it means for future generations. We are preparing our family members who will be solving the problems of feeding the world and safeguarding the environment. Our CASNR family sees firsthand how research informs and is interpreted by Extension for the public, and research findings contribute to discipline knowledge taught in the classroom. Graduates of our College then become the next generation of scientists, Extension personnel, and stakeholders. All will be engaged in the development and use of new discoveries in agriculture.
Family members work hard to make the whole family better and they take pride in how the outside world perceives them. The pride in being part of the Institute of Agriculture is never more evident than in our students. They actively brag on their faculty and the great hands-on experiences that they enjoy as part of their curricula.
There is a shared culture of celebrating successes, cushioning failures, and sharing resources. Older members of the family (for example, faculty and staff) help the younger members (students) reach their potential. They mentor, educate, and even help them stretch to reach levels of performance that they had no idea they could reach.
​When push comes to shove, family members look out for each other and the family structure provides a safety net. Generally, when obstacles are faced or challenges emerge, someone in the family has the knowledge or experience to develop a strategy to overcome them. In CASNR, faculty are usually the first resource students go to for help followed by advising staff, administrators, and even peers. Students in CASNR, particularly those more experienced, are well known for giving advice and guidance to students just arriving, whether first-year or transfer students. Maybe this willingness to give comes from our early historical traditions in agriculture where it was common for neighbors to help each other in times of need.
Being part of a family also carries an obligation. Each member is unique as evidenced by the often huge differences among siblings of the same two parents! In a world divided by so many things, I enjoy the fact that in CASNR, we don’t just tolerate different people, we enjoy and learn from the way people approach things in their own way. When our students graduate, they know that they will continue to represent us wherever they go in life. They carry our name as they become successful in the world at large and, just like a family, they go forth with the values that we treasure, our culture, and all that they learned here in CASNR!