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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
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A

Biographical Sketches of
Committee Members

Dr. Victor L. Lechtenberg (Chair) is special assistant to the president at Purdue University. Dr. Lechtenberg has served Purdue in several roles, most recently as acting provost from 2012 to 2013. He was vice provost for engagement from 2004 to 2011, interim provost from 2007 to 2008, and interim vice president for governmental relations from 2008 to 2009. Dr. Lechtenberg joined the Purdue faculty as assistant professor of Agronomy in 1971 where he taught crop science and conducted research on forage and biomass crops until 1982. He served as associate director for agricultural research and then as executive associate dean of agriculture from 1982 to 1993. He was dean of agriculture from 1993 to 2004. From 1996 through 2002, Dr. Lechtenberg served as chair of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board and as a member of the advisory board of the National Academies’ Division on Earth and Life Studies. From 2004 to 2011, as vice provost for engagement, Dr. Lechtenberg led Purdue’s engagement and outreach efforts to governmental agencies, corporate leaders, schools and community leaders across Indiana and beyond. Dr. Lechtenberg is a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and of the American Society of Agronomy. He served as president of the Crop Science Society of America and the Council of Agricultural Science and Technology. He received his BS from the University of Nebraska and PhD from Purdue University. Dr. Lechtenberg is a native of Butte, Nebraska, where he grew up on a general livestock farm.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

Dr. Steven S. Balling is director of agricultural and analytical services for Del Monte Foods. He is part of a team of scientists responsible for agricultural research, seed operations, and pest management programs supporting 17 crops grown on 110,000 acres. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Balling has been involved with the development and implementation of Del Monte’s widely recognized integrated pest management efforts in fruits and vegetables. He also manages Del Monte’s agricultural research program, including pest management research, new variety trials, and pea, bean, and corn breeding at six Del Monte locations in the West and Midwest. He directs the seed operations, which annually produce 7 million pounds of corn, pea, and bean seed for Del Monte operations. Dr. Balling received his BS in natural resources and his PhD in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Keith L. Belli is professor and head of the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville. The department he leads supports undergraduate and graduate programs of study in natural resources, forestry, wildlife, fisheries, forest products, and the environment. Its mission is to advance the science, management, and appreciation of natural resources in Tennessee, the region, and beyond through programs in research, teaching, and extension. He leads one of the largest units in the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, one of four units in the statewide UT Institute of Agriculture. Prior to his appointment with UT, Dr. Belli worked at Mississippi State University for 18 years, most recently as associate dean of the College of Forest Resources, associate director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, and interim head of the Department of Forest Products. Dr. Belli received his BS in forest science from the Pennsylvania State University, his MS in silviculture from Michigan State University, and his PhD in forest biometrics from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Belli currently serves as research chair for the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs.

Dr. Peter J. Bruns is a professor of genetics emeritus at Cornell University and vice president retired from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). From 1969 to 2000 he held the following positions at Cornell University: assistant, associate, and full professor of genetics; faculty fellow; chairman, Section of Genetics and Development; associate director, Cornell Biotechnology Program; director, Division of Biological Sciences; and director, Cornell Presidential Research Scholars. He pioneered methods to genetically manipulate the separate somatic and germinal nuclei of the single-celled organism Tetrahymena thermophila. From 2001 to 2010 he was vice president for grants and special programs at HHMI, and oversaw

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

one of the nation’s largest private funds in support of science education from precollege through graduate. In addition he directed HHMI’s international grants program in support of basic research outside of the United States. In 2011, he received the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education from the Genetics Society of America and the Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education from the American Society for Cell Biology. He recently served on the workforce studying higher education for the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and currently is on the Technical Advisory Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education for the American Association of Universities. Dr. Bruns received an AB in zoology from Syracuse University and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Steven T. Buccola is professor and director of the Graduate Program in Applied Economics at Oregon State University. He was an assistant professor at Virginia Tech from 1976 to 1981, joining the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (now Applied Economics) at Oregon State University in 1981. His research has concentrated on the economics of productivity. Recently he has focused in particular on the economics of science and technology, authoring articles on the implications of basic research for applied research, on the synergies between research productivity and funding success, and on the dynamics of life-science research investment. Dr. Buccola is a Distinguished Fellow and former president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, is former editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and has served on the editorial boards of four other professional journals. He was the recipient in 2008 of Oregon State University’s R.M. Wade Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in both 2004 and 2008 of the Outstanding Journal Article award at the Review of Agricultural Economics (now Applied Economics Policy and Planning). He received his PhD (1976) from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. James C. Carrington, president of the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, is internationally recognized for his research on gene silencing, the functions of small RNA, and virus-host interactions. His work in the small RNA field has focused on mechanisms through which plants and other organisms use non-coding RNA to control growth and development and to defend against viruses. His awards include the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the Ruth Allen Award from the American Society for Phytopathology, and the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Phytopathological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

Science. Dr. Carrington earned his BS in plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside. After receiving his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, he served on the faculties at Texas A&M and Washington State universities. Prior to joining the Danforth Center, he served as director of the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, the Stewart Professor for Gene Research, and Distinguished Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University.

Dr. Machi F. Dilworth is retired director of the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Prior to her retirement in 2012, she served as a research administrator with the federal government for 33 years. During her 24-year career at NSF, she held a variety of positions, including deputy assistant director (acting) for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences; head of NSF’s Toyko Regional Office with concurrent appointment as science and technology attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo; division director for Biological Infrastructure within the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), and program director for a number of programs in BIO. In 2002, Dr. Dilworth received the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for her leadership in the development and management of a series of major research programs at NSF. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists. She earned her BA in natural sciences from International Christian University in Tokyo, and MA and PhD in plant biochemistry and physiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Cutberto Garza holds the rank of university professor at Boston College and visiting professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and George Washington University School of Public Health. He served as provost and dean of faculties at Boston College from 2005 to 2013. Previous to 2005 he held the rank of full professor at Baylor College of Medicine (where he served as the associate director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Children’s Nutrition Research Center) and Cornell University (where he served as director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences and vice provost). He received his BS from Baylor University, MD from Baylor College of Medicine, and PhD in nutrition and science from MIT. Dr. Garza is a specialist in pediatric nutrition and has worked on projects sponsored by the United Nations University (as director of the UNU Food and Nutrition Program), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and other international and national organizations with interests in infant and young child health. He served as chair of the WHO Steering Committee that developed the new WHO growth standards for infants and young children, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Food and Nutrition Board, and the National Research

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

Council’s Board on International Scientific Organizations. He currently serves as chair of the World Food Program’s Technical Advisory Group. He is a member of the IOM and was named to the inaugural class of the National Associates of the National Academy of Sciences. He also is a member of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition, the Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Pediatric Society, among other organizations.

Dr. Ronnie D. Green has been the Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at University of Nebraska–Lincoln since July 2010. His position also serves as University of Nebraska vice president. He previously served as the senior director of Pfizer Animal Health overseeing global technical services for Animal Genetics, a position he held since April of 2008. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Green served as the national program leader for animal production research for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and as the executive secretary of the White House’s interagency working group on animal genomics within the National Science and Technology Council. In this role, he directed a $45 million annual research portfolio and was one of the principal leaders in the international bovine, porcine, and ovine genome projects. He has served on animal science faculties at Texas Tech University and Colorado State University, and received a number of distinguished local, regional, and national teaching and research awards for the work he led in those positions. Author of numerous refereed and other publications and invited speaker in almost all 50 states and foreign countries that range from Australia to the United Kingdom, Dr. Green was president in 2010–2011 of the American Society of Animal Science and has served as a board member, recording secretary, and member of the executive committee. He has held leadership positions in the Beef Improvement Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Board, Discover Conferences, and the National Block and Bridle Club. Raised on a mixed beef, dairy, and cropping farm in southwestern Virginia, Dr. Green received his BS and MS degrees in animal science from the Virginia Polytechnic and State University and Colorado State University, respectively. His PhD, with a focus on animal breeding, was completed jointly in 1988 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the USDA Meat Animal Research Center.

Dr. Rosemary R. Haggett is vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Success at the University of North Texas System (UNTS), where she directs academic planning, reporting, and campus support. As the system’s chief academic officer, she provides leadership and consultation in the development of the academic planning process, academic and research policy, and academic personnel policy. Dr. Haggett is also charged with oversight and evaluation of educational programs, professional education,

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

major systemwide academic initiatives, and graduate and undergraduate student affairs. Dr. Haggett served as provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Toledo from 2007 until 2010. Dr. Haggett has extensive experience both in academia and the federal government. Prior to becoming provost at Toledo, Dr. Haggett was acting director of the Division of Graduate Education and senior adviser of the Education and Human Resources Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her other positions at the NSF since 2003 include acting deputy assistant director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate and director of the Division of Undergraduate Education. Dr. Haggett was the second woman in the United States to serve as a College of Agriculture dean when she was appointed dean of the West Virginia University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences in 1994. In addition to her work at the NSF, Dr. Haggett held a professorship in Animal and Veterinary Sciences at West Virginia University (WVU) from 1994 to 2007. Dr. Haggett served as associate provost for academic programs at WVU from 1999 to 2003, and as dean of the WVU College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences from 1994 to 1999. Dr. Haggett also worked at the USDA for more than 6 years as a grant administrator in the Competitive Research Grants Office and the National Research Initiative. Dr. Haggett has published in the areas of reproductive biology and neuroendrocrinology, as well as student learning outcome assessment and undergraduate science education. She received her BS in biology from the University of Bridgeport and PhD in physiology from the University of Virginia, and completed postdoctoral work in reproductive biology at Northwestern University.

Mr. Gene Hugoson is on staff, part-time, at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus. He is liaison for external and constituent relations for the deans of the College of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources as well as the College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, he does food system policy work for the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety. Prior to joining the university, Mr. Hugoson was commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture from 1995 to 2011. In addition to the regulatory responsibilities, Mr. Hugoson worked to promote value-added industries and international trade opportunities. While commissioner, he served as chair of the Environmental Quality Board and the Next Gen Energy Board. Mr. Hugoson also served on the board of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) for more than 8 years including serving as NASDA’s president in 2003–2004. Prior to his commissioner’s position, Mr. Hugoson was elected five times to the Minnesota House of Representatives beginning in 1986. Mr. Hugoson received a BA degree in social science education from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He served

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam after which he did graduate work at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Mr. Hugoson and his family operate a corn and soybean farm in Martin County, located in southern Minnesota.

Dr. Bennie I. Osburn is retired dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California (UC), Davis and was interim executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Colleges. His scientific career focused on the health and welfare of food animals, particularly cattle and sheep. He has been involved in key discoveries about food animal viruses, developmental immunology, congenital infections, and more recently, food safety. He has published more than 285 peer-reviewed publications. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologist (ACVP); and past president of ACVP, the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; and chair of USDA’s Agricultural Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee. Dr. Osburn served as head of the Infectious Disease and Immunology Unit at the California Regional Primate and Research Center from 1975 to 1983 and as associate dean for research and graduate programs at UC Davis from 1975 until he became dean in 1996. Dr. Osburn earned his BS and DVM degrees at Kansas State University and his PhD in comparative pathology at the University of California, Davis. From 1964 to 1968 he served on the faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Philip G. Pardey is professor of science and technology policy in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota where he also directs the university’s International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center. Previously he was a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, and prior to 1994 at the International Service for National Agricultural Research in The Hague, Netherlands. He is a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association, a distinguished fellow and past president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, and a winner of the Siehl Prize for excellence in agriculture. His research deals with the finance and conduct of research and development globally, methods for assessing the economic impacts of research, and the economic and policy (especially intellectual property) aspects of genetic resources and the biosciences. He currently co-directs a Gates Foundation project, HarvestChoice (www.HarvestChoice.org), designed to inform and guide investments intended to stimulate productivity growth in African agriculture. Dr. Pardey is author of more than 300 books, articles, and papers, including Ending Hunger in

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

Our Lifetime: Food Security and Globalization (John Hopkins University Press, 2003), Saving Seeds: The Economics of Conserving Crop Genetic Resources Ex Situ in the Future Harvest Centers of the CGIAR (CAB International, 2004), Agricultural R&D in the Developing World: Too Little, Too Late? (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2006), and Persistence Pays: U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth and the Benefits from Public R&D Spending (Springer, 2010). A native of Australia, he has a BSc in agricultural science from the University of Adelaide (Australia) and obtained a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota in 1986.

Dr. Sally J. Rockey, National Institutes of Health (NIH) deputy director for extramural research (DDER), leads the NIH extramural research activities. Her role is to oversee the development and implementation of the critical policies and guidelines central to the successful conduct of NIH-supported biomedical research across the nation and world. Dr. Rockey has a PhD in entomology from the Ohio State University, and has spent the majority of her career in the area of research administration and information technology. In 1986 she joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, soon becoming the deputy administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, overseeing the USDA extramural competitive grants program and serving as the agency’s chief information officer. In 2005, Dr. Rockey moved to NIH as deputy to her current position and became the DDER in 2008. Dr. Rockey leads or is active on a number of federal committees related to science, research administration, and electronic government. She works most closely with other federal science and university administrators, small businesses, professional societies and the scientific communities here and around the world. She co-chairs the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Science Research Business Models. In 2012 Dr. Rockey co-led a groundbreaking effort on the biomedical workforce. Dr. Rockey is a skilled public speaker, giving countless presentations on research administration, workforce, and policy. She is the author of the widely read “Rock Talk” blog and has been recognized for her numerous professional accomplishments including receiving the Presidential Rank Award in 2004 and the Joseph F. Carrabino Award in 2013.

Dr. Juliana M. Ruzante is a senior associate for the Food Safety Campaign at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Prior to joining Pew, she was a risk analysis manager for the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), in College Park, MD. She worked for the University of Guelph and Public Health Agency of Canada developing and operationalizing a multifactorial framework to rank foodborne risks using multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) and at the Western Institute for Food Safety and

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

Security developing training material on animal health and food safety. She also worked as a quality assurance specialist for one of the largest pork and poultry processing companies in Brazil. She was a member of the Food Safety Research Consortium and has served as an expert on the meeting organized by Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization on the risks associated with Enterobacter sakazakii in follow-up formula. Dr. Ruzante received her DVM from the University of São Paulo and master of preventive veterinary medicine (MPVM) and PhD in comparative pathology from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. James J. Zuiches was vice chancellor for the Office of Extension, Engagement and Economic Development at North Carolina State University from 2006 until his retirement in 2011. In this office, he led statewide extension and engagement programs, including the Small Business Technology and Development Center, Industrial Extension Service, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, continuing education, and STEM-related programs. He previously was dean of Washington State University’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics from 1995 to 2003, and director of the Agricultural Research Center (1986–1994) and of Cooperative Extension (1995–2000). He was associate director of the agricultural experiment station for New York State at Cornell University from 1982 to1986. He also served as a grant-making program officer for the National Science Foundation in sociology and W.K. Kellogg Foundation in community and rural development, and taught at Michigan State University for 8 years. He serves on the Commission that provides oversight of the Food Systems Leadership Institute. He also served on the USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board, the National Research Council (NRC) Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and on three NRC committees, most recently, the Framework Committee on the Review of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Research Programs. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research and extension specializations include demography, rural sociology, entrepreneurship and community development, leadership, innovation, and organizational processes. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Energy Research and Development Administration (now DOE), Kellogg Foundation, and USDA. He has more than 80 publications, including edited books, journal articles, book chapters, bulletins, and editorials. Dr. Zuiches has an MS and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2014. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18652.
×
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The United States embarked on bold polices to enhance its food and agricultural system during the last half of the 19th century, investing first in the education of people and soon thereafter in research and discovery programs aimed at acquiring new knowledge needed to address the complex challenges of feeding a growing and hungry nation. Those policies, sustained over 125 years, have produced the most productive and efficient agricultural and food system in history.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the primary agency responsible for supporting innovations and advances in food and agriculture. USDA funds are allocated to support research through several mechanisms, including the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). In 2008, Congress replaced USDA's National Research Initiative with AFRI, creating USDA's flagship competitive research grants program, and the 2008 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act, known as the Farm Bill, outlined the structure of the new program. Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture assesses the effectiveness of AFRI in meeting the goals laid out by Congress and its success in advancing innovations and competitiveness in the U.S. food and agriculture system.

Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture evaluates the value, relevance, quality, fairness, and flexibility of AFRI. This report also considers funding policies and mechanisms and identifies measures of the effectiveness and efficiency of AFRI's operation. The study examines AFRI's role in advancing science in relation to other research and grant programs inside of USDA as well as how complementary it is to other federal research and development programs. The findings and conclusions of this report will help AFRI improve its functions and effectiveness in meeting its goals and outcomes.

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