Keenum Appointed to Board of Directors of USDAS Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

In addition, FFAR fosters collaboration amongst agricultural researchers to address unmet and emerging research needs through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and memoranda of understanding.

Keenum said the U.S. Department of Agriculture appointment will allow MSU to be represented “in this vital process and that fact greatly enhances our university’s status as a major player in national and global agricultural research efforts and activities.”

Vilsack today announced the creation of FFAR and the appointment of a 15-member board of directors. The new foundation will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy.

The research funded by FFAR will address issues including plant and animal health; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agricultural and food security; and agriculture systems and technology.

The foundation’s board of directors was chosen to represent the diverse sectors of agriculture. Seven of these board members were selected by the unanimous vote of five ex-officio members from lists of candidates provided by industry, while eight representatives were unanimously elected from a list of candidates provided by the National Academy of Sciences.

In announcing the 15-member FFAR board today, Vilsack remarked, “Public-private partnerships are vital to the agricultural research community, and this is reflected in the membership of the foundation’s board of directors.”

In addition to Keenum, the 15 voting members include:

In a time of federal budgetary restraints, the new foundation is another innovative way to continue and expand investment in agricultural research. FFAR will complement existing Federal and Federally-funded agricultural science research endeavors and accelerate solutions to the challenges American agriculture.

Today’s announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit usda.gov/farmbill.