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Secretary’s Column: Groundbreaking Research Provided by a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

This year, USDA is committed to helping Congress get a comprehensive, multiyear Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed as soon as possible. This is critical to provide certainty for U.S. producers, while giving USDA the tools we need to continue strengthening the rural economy.

Without a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, one area that would be seriously impacted is USDA’s agricultural research.

For more than 100 years, USDA scientists and their partners have made tremendous advancements. They’ve developed more nutritious foods, invented new medicines and fabrics, improved food safety, learned more about the production of many different plants and animals, and helped create new ways to use plant materials for incredible biobased products. 

Today we continue to partner with researchers across the nation to grow agriculture’s productivity and improve the lives of all Americans. For example:

USDA scientists are working with the military to develop insect-repelling uniforms – keeping

our military safe from insects like mosquitoes and sand flies that can carry disease.

They’re looking into the potential to use byproducts from olives to combat E. coli and keep our food safe.

They’re developing new methods to employ natural predators against corn rootworm, a pest which costs farmers anywhere from $1 billion to $2 billion each year.

And they’re working with University partners to develop agricultural solutions to environmental challenges. Just this week, USDA awarded nearly $20 million to research teams led by the University of Wisconsin and Oklahoma State University. These teams of University researchers will study the impacts of weather and climate on cattle. They’ll work toward solutions that sustainably improve dairy and beef production, while protecting the environment.

These are just a few examples of many USDA research projects that are ongoing right now. Our scientists are busy still today unlocking plant and animal genomes to keep our farmers producing the tomatoes, corn and wheat that the world eats. Their work on genetics helps identify valuable traits like insect and disease resistance, or improved environmental characteristics, like drought tolerance.

They are looking at the most important issues in agriculture – looking at how we use resources, and finding ways to increase efficiency – while developing new products for the future of the biobased economy. All together, these projects provide important economic benefits for our nation, with every dollar invested in agricultural research returning $20 to our economy.

From nutrition – to renewable energy – to food safety and beyond, USDA scientists are working hard every day to grow the economy and ensure an abundant, affordable U.S. food supply.

This year, we need a comprehensive, long term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will allow important research to continue, strengthen American agriculture and create more good jobs in rural America.


3 Responses to “Secretary’s Column: Groundbreaking Research Provided by a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill”

  1. Jane Roberts Maher says:

    I guess you drank the GMO Kool-Aid too Secretary Vilsak.
    Did you wear a Hazmat suit in your fields, when you were a farmer, because of the toxic levels of pesticdes sprayed?
    Monsanto workers do. Do you eat this stuff?


    greetings USDA,

    hey, did you guys know that a simple and natural way to grow plants,flowers and crops more fuller is an organic compund we all have stored inside our bodies…but we release it without noticing it’s value? the compound is called “URINE” (lol)!!! it’s funny but true.. have you ever had your grandfather tell you to “pee on the grass”and in the summertime that part of the grass grows more fuller?’s true!!!! and this can happen the same for plants,flowers,and crops such as watermelond and so on…

    even better… it works even better if this “natural resource” goes stagnant, meaning if it firments.. this compound ,i would believe you aggies call this “ammonia” or if this was written out i would believe it would be called “ammonium nitrate”, but organic or natural.. compare this to your anhydrous ammonia or even you cleaning agent ammonia.. to tell you the truth, i would rather have this in use outside than inside (lol)!!!

    don’t believe me , just experiment for yourself.. you’de be surprised at what you find out…

    i’d be surprised if this ends up on the bloomberg ticker…here’s the bloomberg NYC stock exchange…. 1 says pork bellies…and another says poltry… and the other says “URINE”… it be funny as hell too, but extra profitable….

  3. K. Willis says:

    What does the comments about urine and Monsanto have to do with this press release? The ARS studies lots of organic solutions to problems in agriculture as well as chemical controls. We should continue to fund agricultural research. In an era of rapid climate change it is vital if we want food security.

    On the urine thing – yes urine could fertilize things but I don’t eat from anyone’s garden that uses their urine to fertilize it. There’s a reason indoor plumbing has helped reduce disease. Human urine is filled with medicine residue and toxins from the the things people eat and despite urine being sterile inside the body it gets contaminated with disease organisms as it passes. Keep human urine away from food crops.

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