On Friday, April 29th, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics issued a memo stating the resignation of Dr. Roger Beachy as Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Beachy joined USDA shortly before the transition of the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES) to NIFA. As the first NIFA Director, Beachy was tasked with leading the transition and standing up the new agency. He also shepherded the creation of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and championed the importance of the investment in competitively awarded research. USDA officials have begun their search for the next NIFA Director.
On April 11th, FASS Washington Representative Lowell Randel participated in the American Dairy Science Association’s (ADSA) Board meeting. Lowell updated the ADSA Board on recent FASS Science Policy activities and current developments in Congress and the Administration.
As a follow-up to the ASAS Science Policy meetings in Washington last year, FASS Washington Representative Walt Smith has continued interaction with EPA and has organized a conference call to discuss with the EPA Water Branch the first in a series of possible briefings on animal agriculture issues.
The FASS Scientific Advisory Committee on Food Safety, Animal Health and Animal Drugs began planning for its annual symposium in Washington, D.C. The event is scheduled to take place on June 6th at the American Farm Bureau Federation offices in Washington. FASS Washington Representatives are actively working with the committee to develop the agenda and secure speakers for the event. It is anticipated that speakers from FDA, USDA, industry and academia will come together to address critical issues in animal science such as antibiotic use in animals, food safety, and disease traceability.
Planning is underway by the FASS Science Policy Committee to conduct a webinar on biotechnology. The webinar will provide a forum to highlight the recently adopted FASS Science Policy Statement on Biotechnology as well as to hear from a prominent FASS scientist and a representative from the Food and Drug Administration.