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A Research Guide for Agricultural & Food Systems 401

Project Goals

Partnering Organization: J.R. Simplot Company

Project Goals:

  • To identify regions in the world where potato varieties can be grown and distributed to meet the food scarcity needs of developing populations.
  • To review climate patterns, government stability, GMO perception, business opportunities and staple crop data to determine which places to prioritize.
  • To review the focus areas of existing areas of financial support for developing crops such as the Gates Foundation and USAID.
  • To recommend traits in potatoes that would meet the needs of developing counties such as vitamin enrichment or disease resistance.

A Note About Finding Resources

Among many different types of research resources, this project is going to require finding data pertaining to global food security, information regarding how different corporations support such issues, and scholarly research regarding potatoes. 

Listed below are resources that might assist you with this project. This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive. Rather it is meant to get you thinking about what sort of resources you might need and where they may come from.

If you have any question, please email me.

Food Security Resources

Below are some resources regarding finding global food security data.

Understanding Food Security

Finding Data Regarding Food Security

Global Potato Yield Information

Finding Information About Where Potatoes Are Grown

Existing Areas of Financial Support

Finding out where support for crop development can come from will take some digging. That said, you should be able to locate some useful resources.

For example, the USDA provides Federal grants supporting Potato Breeding Research as well as Organic Transitions. Although these grants may be closed or closing, they are characteristic of grants that you may find

As noted, also look for non-profits that may provide assistance. The USDA also provides a list of hunger relief organizations

Find Industry Info

Part of this project requires an understanding of the hop industry. This information may include company or industry profiles, newspaper reports, press releases, and more.

Below are a few resources to get you started. 

Helpful Industry Resources

  • Nexis Uni - Provides information on U.S. and international private and public companies. Info may include: Company description and history, competitors, subsidiaries, size, officers and directors, annual stock price averages, and more.
  • Business Source Complete - Allows you to search company and industry information across popular press, trade journals, product reviews, and much more. Also provides information regarding company and industry profiles. This may be helpful when for searching for information regarding companies within the hop industry. 

For more in-depth information regarding corporate research, take a look at the Company Research Library Guide. 

Newspaper and Trade Publications

  • Newspaper Source - This database provides selected full text coverage for 245 newspapers, newswires and other sources.
  • Nexis Uni - An excellent source for searching for information within state/regional/US newspapers (including the New York Times) as well as English-language foreign newspapers and foreign language newspapers. 

Finding Scholarly Research

Much of this project is going to involve finding scholarly research regarding a myriad of topics. Although you may find this research across many different resources, I'd start at the following databases:

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us