USDA names directors for Foundation for Food and Agriculture

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 -- USDA has chosen representatives from 11 universities, including a Nobel Prize laureate, plus officials from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Cargill Inc., the chairwoman of the National Corn Growers Association and a former U.S. Agriculture Secretary as board members for the new Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research.

The non-profit foundation, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, will raise private funds to match $200 million in public funds that will be directed toward agricultural research. The 15-member board of directors was officially announced today and is meant to represent the many diverse agricultural perspectives and voices and areas of expertise, according to a news release from Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Stabenow’s home state will be represented on the board by Dr. Douglas Buhler, director of AgBio Research and Senior Association Dean for Research for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University.

Another board member is Dr. Stanley Prusiner, the 1997 Nobel laureate in physiology and medicine and the director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology, University of California-San Francisco.

The other appointees are:

-Dr. Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University.

-Dr. Nancy Creamer, Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems, North Carolina State University.

-Dr. Deborah Delmer, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of California-Davis.

-Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, current Executive Director of the Aspen  Institute’s Congressional Program.

-Dr. Robert Horsch, deputy director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

-Pamela Johnson, chairwoman, National Corn Growers Association.

-Dr. Mark E. Keenum - president, Mississippi State University.

-Dr. Michael Ladisch, director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University.

-Dr. Christopher Mallett, vice president of research and development, Cargill Inc.

-Dr. Pamela Matson, Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University.

-Dr. Terry McElwain, associate director and professor, Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, and Executive Director, Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Washington State University

-Dr. Yehia “Mo” Saif, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University.

-Dr. Barbara Schaal, Professor of Biology at the College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Genetics at  the Medical School, Washington University at St. Louis.

The appointees will join five ex-officio board members, all of whom were designated by Congress. They are USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack; Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist; Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service; Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Dr. France A. Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation.


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