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Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Natural Resources R&D Round Table

The Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Natural Resources R&D Round Table was March 15, 2011, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.

The R&D Round Table program combined presentations by science policy officials with reports on exemplary R&D case studies to raise the profile of agriculture, food, nutrition and natural resources research and development work throughout the public and private sectors.  The program highlighted the value of federal investment in agriculture-related sciences and the positive impacts of such investments on society.  A summary of program highlights is available, as well as a proceedings of the day’s presentations.

The keynote address was given by Shere Abbott, associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. The science agenda for the 21st century was the topic for Cathie Woteki, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Extension.

Featured in the program were case studies of selected collaborative research projects that have yielded significant impacts for taxpayers through benefits to agriculture, food, nutrition or natural resources. The case studies presented involved such topics as the bovine genome, nutrition, food safety, pest control, crop production and water management, conservation, wildland restoration, and biofuels.

In recent years, the federal investment in agriculture-related research and development work has lagged behind other areas of science supported by the federal government.  Increasing concerns over global food security are another reason to focus attention on agricultural research.  The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that global food production will need to double by 2050 to feed a population of 9.2 billion people.  FAO also estimates that 70% of that increased production will need to come from the creation and adoption of new technologies.

The March 15, 2011 Round Table was targeted to high-level federal government agency officials involved in research related to agriculture, food, nutrition and natural resources, as well as representatives of key scientific societies, universities and the industry of agriculture.

Organizers
The Round Table was organized by Farm Foundation, NFP, Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation, Institute of Food Technologists, Federation of Animal Science Societies, the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Society of America, in collaboration with USDA’s Research, Education and Economics Mission Area, the USDA Forest Service and USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Advisory Board.

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