The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) today presented a report on the importance of USDA’s leadership in agricultural research. The Council is a diverse group of individuals appointed by the President from across the basic and applied scientific community to advise the President and the Executive Office of the President on key scientific issues.
Report to the President on Agricultural Preparedness & the Agriculture Research Enterprise, by the Council, concludes that the United States is the undisputed world leader in agricultural production today, but also cautions that U.S. agriculture also faces a number of challenges that are poised to become much more serious in the years ahead.
There is no question that the report recognizes American agriculture and USDA’s leadership in agricultural science and research as critical to the efforts to ensure greater food security and a better future for everyone. Read more »
ARS studies have shown that there are effective alternatives to conventional broad-spectrum pesticides for fighting sweet potato whiteflies on cotton plants.
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 portfolio.
Some Arizona growers rely on broad-spectrum insecticides to treat whiteflies, but scientists with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are studying the option of letting nature lend a hand in combating the costly pests. Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »