USDA publishes ‘Science Blueprint’

-The Hagstrom Report

The Agriculture Department has published a “USDA Science Blueprint” to serve as its vision for and commitment to scientific research through 2025.

Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics Scott Hutchins announced the publication during the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Researchconference in Washington on Wednesday.

The USDA Science Blueprint lays out five overarching themes for research, education, and economics, each with established objectives, strategies, and evidence-building measures.

▪ Sustainable ag intensification

▪ Ag climate adaptation

▪ Food and nutrition translation

▪ Value-added innovations

▪ Ag science policy leadership

“USDA has a long history of putting its scientific discoveries and knowledge into practice,” said Hutchins.

“By prioritizing our research initiatives around these themes, it will enable us to best conduct critical, long-term, broad-scale science and spur innovation throughout our nation’s agricultural enterprise, natural resource base, and food systems. We are committed to putting science to work for the American public. We will always strive for scientific excellence and integrity in support of America’s agriculture.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a news release today that “the USDA Science Blueprint will serve as a roadmap to guide our scientific collaboration over the next five years across the department and with our partnering research organizations.”

Solutions from the Land, a national network of agricultural leaders who work on climate change, said in a news release, “The roadmap suggests an ambitious undertaking that can serve as a great aid to growers, who are also developing practices that can mitigate climate change (such as those that retain carbon in the soil).”

“Effort will be required to ensure that the White House requests from Congress funding that can fully carry out USDA’s adaptation research efforts, especially given that this administration has had its issues with federally supported scientists.

“Lawmakers in turn will have a huge responsibility to see that these efforts to explore the means to adapt our farms, ranches and forestland to the changing climate are well supported.”

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