USDA scientists work 365 days to provide safe and sustainable food, water, and natural resources in the face of a changing climate and uncertain energy sources. To recognize the contribution that agricultural science and research makes in our daily lives, this week’s “Banner Year” series features stories from 2015 that show the successes that USDA science and statistical agencies made for us all.
In 2015, we’ve seen agriculture and natural resources at the crossroads of the world’s most critical problems: establishing sustainable food production, providing clean and abundant water, responding to climatic variability, developing renewable energy, improving human health, and strengthening food safety. The immensity and diversity of the difficulties Americans face allowed USDA an excellent opportunity to once again demonstrate our ability and capacity to rise and meet the greatest of challenges.
Here are five stories from 2015 to review: Read more »
ARS scientists identifying bacterial pathogens in the lab. Photo by Peggy Greb.
Antibiotics are lifesavers. We depend on them to treat bacterial infections and diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis and strep throat, as well as ear infections and infected wounds. In response to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidance, veterinarians and producers are moving toward more judicious antibiotic use in food animals, while keeping them healthy and ensuring that our food supply remains safe.
This is especially important because certain bacterial strains have become resistant to some of the current antibiotics used to treat infections in humans and animals, escalating the need worldwide to find and develop alternatives to antibiotics. Read more »
One World. One Health. Animal. Human. Environment infographic. USDA photo (Click to enlarge)
This week is World Antibiotic Awareness Week and USDA remains focused on prolonging the usefulness of a very precious resource—antibiotics. These medicines successfully treat and prevent infectious diseases and must be used responsibly to remain effective to all who need them. USDA also recognizes that antimicrobial resistance, or the ability of bacteria and other microbes to survive the effects of an antibiotic and then proliferate, is a serious threat to both animal health and human health.
Earlier this year, the World Health Assembly developed a global action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The five objectives of the plan are: Increasing awareness, strengthening research and surveillance, reducing infections, optimizing antimicrobial use, and ensuring sustainable investments to contain AMR. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Beth Lautner, Director of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. We’re the animal health reference and confirmatory lab for USDA. We work mainly with livestock and poultry health, but also deal more and more with companion animal issues. It is exciting to be on the front lines of what’s going on with regards to animal health.
I grew up on a livestock farm and had many dogs and cats. I always enjoyed working and interacting with animals and admired the veterinarians I met. From the time I was twelve, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. After vet school, I practiced for 12 years in a mixed animal (livestock and dogs/cats) practice. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of different aspects of veterinary medicine. Read more »