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Ag Info Network to Expand

By Brian Norris,(301) 504-6778,
May 22, 1998

Representatives of 21 U.S. and Canadian universities and other organizations are working to expand the global reach of AgNIC, the Agriculture Network Information Center, on the World Wide Web.

AgNIC members view it as a broad alliance to help meet worldwide needs for reliable, fast sources of agricultural information, especially during times of drought, flooding or other natural disasters.

From its home page at, AgNIC links agricultural information networks throughout the world to provide "one-stop shopping." It maintains information on and links to more than 800 agricultural databases, a contact list of agricultural specialists and a calendar of agricultural conferences. AgNIC also is setting up "centers of excellence"--on-line libraries or information centers that provide in-depth content and personalized assistance.

A prototype AgNIC went on-line in 1995 through efforts of Cornell University, Iowa State University, University of Arizona, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and the National Agricultural Library (NAL) of USDA's Agricultural Research Service. AgNIC services and information resources have grown steadily along with worldwide interest in it.

Last month, AgNIC members developed rules for the system, elected an executive board and established a coordinating committee. Plans call for AgNIC to expand its coverage of subjects, add new centers of excellence and attract new members. The goal is to make AgNIC the most comprehensive, helpful and well-used agricultural information resource in the world.

Current AgNIC members are the American Society of Horticultural Science, Canadian Agricultural Library, Clemson University, Cornell University, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, National Agricultural Library, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, University of California at Riverside, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, and Washington State University.

Organizations interested in joining AgNIC can contact Melanie Gardner, AgNIC Coordinator, National Agricultural Library, 10301 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-2351, telephone (301) 504-6780,

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