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Posts tagged: REE

No Laughing Matter

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.

How many of us have said this–”Yeah, I could definitely stand to lose a few pounds”–usually with a self-deprecating chuckle?

In reality, obesity is no laughing matter in the United States.  Did you know that an obese person spends over $1,530 more per year on health care than a person with normal weight spends according a 2010 report by the Congressional Budget Office?  Rates of childhood obesity in the U.S. have more than tripled in the past 30 years, and rates of adult obesity have doubled in that time. Read more »

A Science Agenda for Food Security

Consumers in low-income countries on average spend half their income on food, leaving little or no money to spend on other goods and services. As the world population grows, agricultural science will play an important role in helping us combat hunger and malnutrition around the globe. (photo courtesy of the World Food Program/Rein Skullerud)

Consumers in low-income countries on average spend half their income on food, leaving little or no money to spend on other goods and services. As the world population grows, agricultural science will play an important role in helping us combat hunger and malnutrition around the globe. (photo courtesy of the World Food Program/Rein Skullerud)

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.

The world is not merely facing a challenge of sustainably producing enough food to feed a world whose population will exceed 9 billion by 2050, but also confronting the continuous challenge of ensuring that nutritious and safe food reaches needy families, so that every child can have a safe and healthy childhood.  Combating this urgent crisis requires a global collaborative effort.  According to experts, by 2050 agricultural production will need to increase by 70% to meet increased demand for food, diet changes and additional demand for industrial uses for plants.  To help meet this goal, USDA has developed a Global Food Security strategy, focused on research, development, education and extension.  As part of USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist series of white papers on USDA’s research portfolio, this plan aligns USDA’s food security research with the goals of President Obama’s Global Food Security Initiative, Feed the Future. Read more »

Study: Undergraduate Women Outnumber Men in Land-Grant Ag Programs

Virginia Tech student Stefanie Pagano weighs a mouse as part of a research study on work level and food taste. Photo courtesy of Jim Stroup.

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.

A national study of 70 land-grant universities found that undergraduate women enrolled in agriculture programs outnumber undergraduate men by more than 2,900 students. This study, conducted by the Food and Agricultural Education Information System, explored trends in the gender of undergraduate students enrolled in 14 agriculture academic areas at land-grant institutions from 2004 to 2011. Read more »

Science Today for Solutions Tomorrow

As USDA’s Chief Scientist I oversee a team of world class scientists, economists, statisticians, and support staff working to solve some of the biggest challenges facing us all – a changing climate, uncertain energy sources, rising childhood obesity rates, food insecurity around the globe – and making sure our solutions are safe and sustainable.

In 2010, one of my first initiatives as Chief Scientist was to ask this group of food, agricultural, and natural resource science professionals to develop an Action Plan for USDA Science.  The Action Plan provides an in depth analysis of these challenges and identifies the roles of USDA’s science agencies in addressing them. Read more »

To Bee Keep or Not to Bee Keep

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bee Research Laboratory displays a live bee colony in a two-sided glass case at 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Thursday, June 28, 2012 on the National mall in Washington, D.C.  One of the three themes this year is “Campus and Community.” It celebrates the 150 years of the USDA and the Land-Grant University System. The USDA and the Land-Grant system extend education across the country, contributing to American agriculture success and rural prosperity. “Campus and Community” has demonstrations, discussions, hands-on activities, and entertainment to that showcase the many ways that this partnership works to improve American agriculture and rural life.  USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bee Research Laboratory displays a live bee colony in a two-sided glass case at 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Thursday, June 28, 2012 on the National mall in Washington, D.C. One of the three themes this year is “Campus and Community.” It celebrates the 150 years of the USDA and the Land-Grant University System. The USDA and the Land-Grant system extend education across the country, contributing to American agriculture success and rural prosperity. “Campus and Community” has demonstrations, discussions, hands-on activities, and entertainment to that showcase the many ways that this partnership works to improve American agriculture and rural life. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

This week, representatives from USDA have been down on the National Mall, staffing hands-on exhibits about food safety, bioenergy and even bees.  Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have, for years, been studying Colony Collapse disorder (CCD), which has been attacking honey bee colonies since 2006. Read more »

USDA Celebrates 150 years of Campus and Community

At 11:00 am today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, will be helping open the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, hosting visitors from around the world who will come to the Mall in Washington, D.C. for this annual event.  The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the only federal agency lucky enough to be located right on the Mall, and this year we’re also honored to be a part of the Folklife Festival, celebrating our 150-year partnership with the Land Grant University system. “Campus and Community: Public and Land Grant Universities and USDA at 150” is one of the three themes highlighted at the Festival this year.

USDA scientists, agricultural experts and speakers will be partnering with representatives from 29 Land Grant Universities (LGUs) to showcase all the great work we do together to support agricultural production, education and rural communities across America.  USDA works hand-in-hand with Land Grant and public universities to put research into action locally, regionally and globally. Read more »