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Name of Collaboratory :


Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 1995 End Date : Info Last Updated : Wed, Dec 8 2010 11:01am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Community Data Systems  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Virtual Community of Practice  

Domain(s) :

  BIOLOGICAL/AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES >Agricultural Sciences >Agricultural Science, General  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC) is a voluntary alliance of members based on the concept of \“centers of excellence\”. The member institutions are dedicated to enhancing collective information and services among the members and their partners for all those seeking agricultural information over the Internet.

By joining forces to enhance impact and deliver increasing access to information and expertise, it enables partner institutions to make the most of available resources and increase impact.

Collectively the Alliance harnesses:

• More than 80 information and subject specialists
• Over 60 topics covered comprehensively
• Full-text and web-based resources
• Participation from five countries with collaborative contributions from many more

AgNIC members represent primarily universities and research institutions, government agencies, and a non-profit organization. AgNIC partners are voluntary members of the alliance with the common goal of providing quality information to customers through a common gateway. Each partner maintains its own identity and resources. There is, however, a synergy gained through these collaborations that could not be achieved by individual effort. As a voluntary partnership, AgNIC members do not receive regular extramural or external funds for participating.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  AgNIC partners select important information sources that are readily available on the Internet for inclusion in the AgNIC system. These selections are based on quality and significance to AgNIC customers (citizens, government, associations, education, research, students and most anyone who needs access to current and historical information in a variety of topics about agriculture and those areas related to agriculture such as rural sociology, business, food safety, and others). AgNIC partners also create resources and tools to assist customers in accessing key information on selected topics. These topics cover a full range of agriculture, environmental, and food related disciplines. Members offer concentrated subject sites, and they monitor search term logs and usage (or site) statistics to evaluate and modify services.

Specifically, the AgNIC portal is a gateway for presenting selected content through specific services. These services are:
a. Resource database – this database contains selected web sites, image collections, lists of publications, documents, databases, and institutional repository resources
b. Calendar of events – this service includes meetings, seminars, and conferences in the agricultural and related sciences ranging from local events to international congresses
Revised May 2010
c. News – this service relays selected news items impacting the related communities

They have extensive by-laws, guidelines, regulations, etc. freely available on their Website.

Access to People as Resources :

  AgNIC requires that all member institutions/organizations make every effort to attend the annual meeting held throughout the U.S. each spring.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
National Agriculture Library (NAL)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:
The USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL) supports the AgNIC program by acting as the AgNIC Secretariat, providing the AgNIC Coordinator, an AgNIC IT Specialist, and one AgNIC Librarian. Currently, these positions serve to coordinate programs, develop and maintain the current technology of the main portal, and add metadata. Over the past four years, NAL has been able to fund small cooperative projects for building digital content, launching new sites, and increasing metadata. The total for these projects comes to $190,000 in 2009 with an average of 20% of program contribution by cooperating institutions, although, in some cases a higher percentage, and an additional 2 to 5% in-kind NAL support.

Organizations with Un-Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC)
Strategic Partner; Subject Sites: Distance Education
Auburn University
Partner; Auburn University Libraries offers access to some full-text documents from the USAIN Preservation Microfilm Project.
Canadian Agriculture Library (CAL)
Sustaining Partner; Subject Sites: Canadian Agriculture
Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERnet)
Partner; Subject Sites: Children, Youth, Families, & Communities
Clemson University
Partner; Subject Sites: Animal Waste Management
Colorado State University (CSU)
Partner; Subject sites: Agricultural Water Conservation Clearinghouse Carnations and the Floriculture Industry Colorado Rangelands Wildlife Damage Management
Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (CWRRI)
Partner; Subject Sites: Agricultural Water Conservation
Cornell University
Cornell University Library
Partner; Subject Sites:Conservation Agriculture Geospatial data, New York State USDA Economics, Statistics, and Market Information System (ESMIS)
Farmland Information Center (FIC)
Partner; Subject Sites: Farmland Preservation
Fort Valley State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Goats
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
Partner; Subject Sites: Latin American Agriculture and Development
International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI)
Strategic Partner
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Partner; Subject Sites: Rice Research for Developing Countries
Iowa State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Swine
Kansas State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Wildflowers of Kansas Grain Milling and Processing Beef Cattle Kansas Rangelands
Kentucky State University (KYSU)
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
Department of Commerce (DOC)
   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
      Sea Grant
Maine Sea Grant (University of Maine)
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
Michigan State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Asparagus • Blueberries-Cultivated • Cherries • Elderberries • Strawberries • Viticulture
Mississippi State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi (CHARM) Southern Agricultural and Rural History • Aquaculture(AquaNIC)
Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Montana State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Montana Rangelands
University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas Library
Partner; Subject Sites: Rice Research & Culture
National Agricultural Law Center
Partner; Subject Sites: Agricultural Law
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
   Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)
Partner; Subject Sites: Wildlife Damage Management
National Agriculture Library (NAL)
Partner; Subject Sites: • Food & Nutrition (FNIC) • Food Safety Research (FSRIO) • Rural Information (RIC) Animal Welfare (AWIC) • Sustainable Agriculture (AFSIC) • National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) Water Quality
New Mexico State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Chile Peppers, New Mexico Rangelands
North Carolina State University
Partner; Subject Sites: • Systematic Entomology • Urban Entomology
North Dakota State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Flax, North Dakota Rangelands
Nova Scotia Agricultural College
Partner; Subject Sites: Blueberries-Wild
Oglala Lakota College
Partner; Subject Sites: Bison
Ohio State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Bees and Pollination
Oklahoma State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Animal Health, Oklahoma Rangelands
Oregon State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Oregon Rangelands
Pennsylvania State University (Penn)
Partner; Subject Sites: • Home Gardening • Turf Grass • Youth Development
Purdue University
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Partner; Subject Sites: Food and Nutrition Business
South Dakota State University
Partner; Subject Sites: South Dakota Rangelands
Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP)
Partner; Subject Sites: • Sustainable Agriculture • Natural Resource Management in Developing Countries
Texas A&M University
Partner; Subject Sites: • Agribusiness • Equine Sciences • Aquaculture • Texas Rangelands
University of Florida
Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (University of Florida)
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro (UAAAN)
Strategic Partner; Subject Sites: Arid Agriculture
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Partner; Subject Sites: Alaska Rangelands
University of Arizona
Partner; Subject Sites: • Rangelands West • Arizona Rangelands Aquaculture
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
University of Buenos Aires
Partner; Subject Site: Field Crops
University of California, Davis (UCDavis)
Partner; • Aquaculture • California Rangelands
University of California, Riverside
Partner; Subject Sites: Sub-tropical Horticulture
University of Georgia
Partner; Subject Sites: Sub-tropical Forestry
University of Hawaii
Partner; Subject Sites: • Pacific Island Crops • Hawaii Rangelands
University of Idaho
University of Idaho Extension
Partner; Subject sites: • Aquaculture • Idaho Rangelands
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Partner; Subject Sites: • Aquaculture (AquaNIC) • Corn • Soybeans • Agricultural Communications
University of Maryland
Partner; Subject Sites: • Biotechnology
University of Minnesota
Partner; Subject Sites: • Agricultural and Applied Economics • Forestry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Partner; Subject Sites: • Plant Science • Water Quality • Nebraska Rangelands
University of Nevada, Reno (UNR)
Partner; Subject Sites: • Plant Science • Water Quality • Nevada Rangelands
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Partner; Subject Sites: Pet Health
University of Vermont (UVM)
Partner; Subject Sites: Maple Syrup
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Partner; Subject Sites: American Cranberry
University of Wyoming (UW)
Partner; Subject Sites: Wyoming Rangelands
Utah State University
Partner; Subject Sites: Utah Rangelands
Virginia State University (VSU)
Partner; Subject Sites: Aquaculture
Washington State University
Partner; Subject Sites: • Tree Fruits • Animal Health • Washington Rangelands
West Virginia University
Partner; Subject Sites: • Appalachian Hardwoods
Partner; Subject Sites: Winter Sowing

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
Currently, there are four levels of membership: sustaining, strategic, sponsoring, and emeritus.


Communications Technology Used :

  Primary AgNIC server support and resources are distributed among the National Agricultural Library (NAL), Cornell University’s Mann Library, Michigan State University Cooperative Extension and Purdue University Cooperative Extension.

AgNIC uses the NAL Agricultural Thesaurus (NALT) to classify and group information and to assist with retrieval. The NALT is used to determine subject terms for metadata records [modified Dublin Core], and to assist the AgNIC SEARCH operation as a “Web Service”.
The technologies behind the AgNIC site are Open Source applications to keep costs low and sustainability possible.

Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

  The initiative has been successful starting out with 18.5 million web visits in 1999 to over 140 million across AgNIC sites in 2009.  
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