Vilsack Launches Institute of Food and Agriculture


Ag Sec. Tom Vilsack

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) during a speech on the role of science and research at USDA at the National Press Club on Thursday.

In a statement, AFBF President Bob Stallman commended Vilsack and Undersecretary Raj Shah for creating NIFA. “This new agency represents an opportunity to advance and expand food and agricultural science and education within the U.S., thereby improving agricultural productivity, rural development and human health,” Stallman said.

“We appreciate the new funding provided in the appropriations bill, which is a great first step in solidifying funding for NIFA’s mission and making agricultural research a priority. We look forward to working with Secretary Vilsack and Undersecretary Shah toward the success of this worthwhile endeavor.”

Vilsack said USDA’s science and research efforts are strengthened by the formation of the new institute. NIFA was created by Congress in the 2008 farm bill and is aimed at enhancing USDA’s research efforts by working with top scientists from around the world.

“USDA science needs to change to respond to…pressures, to ensure the sustainability of the American food, fuel and fiber system and to address some of America’s—and the world’s—most intractable problems,” Vilsack said.

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