02/07/2020 - Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the "USDA Science Blueprint," which outlines the agency's science priorities for the next five years. The document highlights the following five overarching themes to help guide the USDA's work through 2025: Sustainable Ag Intensification; Ag Climate Adaptation; Food and Nutrition Translation; Value-Added Innovations; and Ag Science Policy Leadership.
The Academy commends the USDA for their planned efforts to address sustainability, especially through the Food and Nutrition Translation initiative, which "must address challenges to reduce foodborne illnesses; understand the drivers of poor diets and nutritional choices; provide better access to nutritious foods in low-income households; and reduce the overall cost of foods through more efficient processing, packaging, and repurposing to minimize food waste."
The Academy has voiced its support of research that will improve farm practices and policies that conserve soil, water, air, habitat and biodiversity, and will help assure the next generation of farmers have access to land and the skills and incentives to grow healthy food.
The Academy will continue to advocate for government agencies and legislation that support this research agenda such as the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and the America Grows Act.