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Posts tagged: REE

USDA’s Chief Scientist Woteki Helps Connect Scientists from across the Globe to Meet Global Challenges Facing Food and Agriculture

In an effort to advance food and agricultural research that enables farmers and ranchers to meet the growing global demand for food, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki will lead the U.S. Government’s delegation to the first-ever Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) in Guadalajara, Mexico this week. Member countries committed to the meeting earlier this year at the June 2012 G-20 Leaders Summit, as a step to gain greater efficiency and utility from global agricultural research investments. The meeting is being convened by the Mexican government as part of their role heading the Group of Twenty (G-20) this year.

“Over the next 50 years, we will need to produce as much food for the world’s population as has been produced in the entire history of mankind,” said Woteki, who is also USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “A challenge this serious and urgent requires bringing together the best minds in food and agricultural science to chart our course on research. This meeting is the first of its kind, and I believe it is the beginning of a collaboration that will benefit scientists, farmers, and citizens around the world.” Read more »

Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program Improves Health of Reservation Communities

American Indian youth ricing. The  Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe  rely on water to preserve their culture, their agriculture and their overall quality of life

American Indian youth ricing. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe rely on water to preserve their culture, their agriculture and their overall quality of life

When Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe water resource professionals discovered that 60 percent of the Minnesota reservation’s septic systems were sub-standard or failing, they feared for the reservation’s health, indigenous rice fields, and fish populations.

Shirley Nordrum, a Leech Lake Extension educator with the University of Minnesota, responded with an extensive education program.   She explains to homeowners how having the sanitation department pump their septic systems could protect their health and contribute to the safety of the environment and their community.  She uses funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) to conduct this outreach effort.  Her program has become a model for other communities. Read more »

Recognizing the Importance of Grandparents

Evelyn Eagleman, 63, remembers driving the long distance off Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Mont., to rescue her grandson when he was two. His father was serving in the military and his mother had been arrested on drug charges.  The boy needed a new start.

She brought the child home to Rocky Boy, where she and her husband, Francis, became the child’s foster parents.  Her grandson, now a teenager, will soon graduate from high school and plans to major in forestry in college.  Eagleman said she and her husband are proud of the man he has become and gives much credit to the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program at Stone Child College, in Box Elder, Mont.

“There are a lot of legal issues involved with foster parenting, and I can’t remember them all, but with this program, I know where to go for help,” she said.   “We learned about our rights as foster grandparents.” Read more »

More Complicated Than Rocket Science

ARS Technician Jeff Nichols collects a water sample from the Walnut Creek watershed in Ames, Iowa.

ARS Technician Jeff Nichols collects a water sample from the Walnut Creek watershed in Ames, Iowa.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

From ensuring the sustainability of our water resources, to breeding crops tolerant to changing climactic conditions, to preparing for the increased food demands of 9 billion people by 2050, finding solutions to the biggest agricultural challenges we face will require a new level of scientific innovation, coordination and long-term planning.  As Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean Joe Colletti recently put it, ag science is not rocket science – it’s more complicated than rocket science! Read more »

Food Safety Science

Colorized SEM (scanning electron micrograph) of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enteritidis. Photo by Jean Guard, ARS.

Colorized SEM (scanning electron micrograph) of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enteritidis. Photo by Jean Guard, ARS.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.

When it comes to microorganisms that contaminate our foods, you may think it’s a veritable jungle out there—but in fact, in the United States, most of the illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths caused by foodborne pathogens come down to 14 bad players. Read more »

USDA Research Prepares Farmers for Change

NIFA-funded grad student checks soil moisture gauge.

NIFA-funded grad student checks soil moisture gauge.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a lot of variability in the weather, with severe droughts in some places, excessive flooding in others, and more extreme weather events all over the country.  While there has always been variability in the weather, scientists predict increasing variability in weather patterns as the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) increases in the atmosphere. Such changes present challenges for farmers, who, in many areas, are trying to grow crops under hotter, drier climate regimes and must protect their crops from damage during extreme weather events.  That’s why the USDA is actively doing research on how to produce crops and livestock through increasing climate variability, and that’s why the fourth in a series of Office of the Chief Scientist white papers on the Department’s research portfolio is focused on what USDA science is doing to help prepare the agency, and the nation’s farmers for a changing climate. Read more »