September 15, 2014

 

 Foundation to fund agriculture research

Posted Sept. 3, 2014

A nonprofit organization created by the federal government is expected to fund agriculture research through private donations.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an announcement July 23 that the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research will use private and public resources to increase research, innovation, and partnerships that improve the nation’s agricultural economy. The organization will seek private donations for research on “problems of national and international significance,” and it is endowed with $200 million in federal funding provided through the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research creates $20 in economic activity,” he said in the announcement.

The $200 million allocated by Congress will need matching funds from outside the federal government to be used in research projects, the announcement states.

The organization’s 15-member board of directors includes two veterinarians: Dr. Terry McElwain, an associate director and professor at the School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University and executive director of the school’s animal disease diagnostic laboratory, and Dr. Yehia “Mo” Saif, professor emeritus of the food animal research program at The Ohio State University.

At the end of July, the foundation was still planning its first meeting, and its board had not yet determined when the foundation could start collecting donations or funding research, according to a USDA spokesman.