Senate Confirms USDA REE Under Secretary Chavonda Jacobs-Young
On June 7, by a vote of 95 to 4, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s nomination of Chavonda Jacobs-Young as agriculture undersecretary for research, education and economics (REE). In this role Jacobs-Young will also serve as USDA’s chief scientist.
In a floor statement before the vote, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Jacobs-Young “is extremely qualified” and noted that she “will be the first woman of color to serve in the USDA’s highest scientific post.” Stabenow also thanked Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the committee ranking member, for his help in advancing the nomination.
“Dr. Jacobs-Young has served American agriculture well in her career and I’m pleased she will continue her leadership as the undersecretary for research, education, and economics,” said Boozman. “I congratulate her on her confirmation and look forward to working together to support agricultural research and producers nationwide.”
Jacobs-Young has served as administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service, USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency, since February 2014.
Jacobs-Young is a native of Georgia. She holds a master of science and a doctorate in wood and paper science and a bachelor of science degree in pulp and paper science and technology from North Carolina State University. She is also a graduate of American University’s Executive Leadership in Public Policy Implementation Program.
We congratulate Dr. Jacobs-Young on her confirmation and look forward to working with her in this new role.
Science Policy at the ADSA Annual Meeting
The 2023 USDA budget and the coming Farm Bill have major impacts on priority areas for research in the coming years and the funding that will be available to do the work. ADSA and FASS are seeking input on priority areas for the Farm Bill, funding for science, climate change, and the future workforce. The FASS Science Policy Committee (SPC) is hosting a session at the ADSA Annual meeting, titled “Farm Bill and Science Policy Discussion with USDA NIFA.” It will be held from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, in room CC 2201. Deb Hamernik, PhD, Deputy Director, Institute of Food Production & Sustainability (IFPS) for NIFA, will be at the session to provide updates on NIFA. Members of the FASS SPC will provide an overview of the committee and its activities, share updates on the current status of the Farm Bill and FY23 budget, and seek your input on policy priorities for ADSA and FASS to pursue. If you are at the meeting but unable to attend this session, stop by the FASS Booth (#315) to learn more about FASS Science Policy activities and share your policy priorities. If you will not be at the meeting, please send your priorities to Ken Olson email@example.com. What areas of research can have the greatest impact for producers and consumers in the short and long term?
The State of US Science and Engineering 2022
The National Science Board is required under law to prepare and transmit the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators (Indicators) report to the President and Congress every even-numbered year. Indicators provides information on the state of the US science and engineering (S&E) enterprise over time and within a global context. The report is a policy-relevant, policy-neutral source of high-quality US and international data. The indicators presented in the report are quantitative representations relevant to the scope, quality, and vitality of the S&E enterprise.
The 2022 report was recently released. It provides useful data that advocate for research funding. A few key points from the report:
- Global research and development (R&D) performance is concentrated in a few countries, with the United States performing the most (27% of global R&D in 2019), followed by China (22%), Japan (7%), Germany (6%), and South Korea (4%).
- The global concentration of R&D performance continues to shift from the United States and Europe to countries in East-Southeast Asia and South Asia.
- Many middle-income countries, such as China and India, are increasing S&E publication, patenting activities, and knowledge- and technology-intensive (KTI) output, which has distributed science and technology (S&T) capabilities throughout the globe.
- The proportion of total US R&D funded by the US government decreased from 31% in 2010 to an estimated 21% in 2019, even as the absolute amount of federally funded R&D increased.
Much more information is available in the full report: https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsb20221.
Funding Opportunity - The 2022 Greener Cattle Request for Applications
The Greener Cattle Initiative anticipates awarding up to $4.67 million under this call for projects, with applicants able to request up to that amount or a portion of the funds available.
Formed by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and the Innovation Center for US Dairy, the Greener Cattle Initiative serves as a vehicle for multiple stakeholders to share knowledge and accelerate the development of scalable and commercially feasible technologies that reduce enteric methane emissions and enable the production of sustainable beef and dairy.
This initial request for proposals seeks preliminary research that can serve as the basis for future breakthroughs and scalable solutions. The Greener Cattle Initiative welcomes research that mitigates enteric methane emissions in one or more of the following areas: nutrition and management strategies; genetic approaches and phenotyping strategies; rumen microbiome research; or sensing and data technology.
Projects should have the potential to transform the field of enteric methane research and agricultural sustainability. Additionally, research must be commercially viable, economically feasible, and socially responsible, without negatively impacting animal health and welfare, productivity, product quality, and consumer and environmental safety. For more information, go to https://foundationfar.org/grants-funding/opportunities/greener-cattle-initiative-request-for-applications/.
Key Dates and Information
Pre-Application Due: June 22, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET
NOTE: An approved pre-application with an invitation to submit a full application is required for submission.
Full Application Invitation: July 27, 2022
Full Application Due: September 7, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET
Award Notification: Fall 2022
Anticipated Projects Start Date: Early 2023
Download the RFA
FASS Science Policy Committee
The FASS Science Policy Committee meets via Zoom call. The group continues to make progress on updating the FASS Science Policy Statements and planning activities to advance animal agriculture research. Please contact me if you have questions, ideas, or suggestions on any of these or other policy issues. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. We need to work together to maintain a strong and effective national research effort.
If you are interested in serving on the Science Policy Committee or communicating occasionally with members of Congress on issues related to animal agriculture, we are looking for FASS science policy advocates. Please contact me for details on that or with any questions on items in this report.
Ken Olson, PhD, PAS
FASS Science Policy Coordinator<