Nomination Update: Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on USDA Under Secretary of REE, Chief Scientist Nomination

On November 28th, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Dr. Scott Hutchins as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), which also serves as USDA Chief Scientist. Hutchins, the former global leader of Corteva AgriScience, is an entomologist by training and … Read moreNomination Update: Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on USDA Under Secretary of REE, Chief Scientist Nomination

Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary

Last evening, the Senate voted 87-11 to confirm Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.  Despite being one of the last cabinet nominees named, Perdue experienced a relatively easy confirmation process with considerable bipartisan support.  Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) used floor debate prior to the vote to endorse the candidate.  The Trump … Read moreSonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary

NIFA Introduces FACT Program for Data Science in Agriculture

On October 10th, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) convened a summit in Chicago for the purpose of identifying the future of data in agriculture and building on existing US government-wide investments in big data.  NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, who attended the summit, announced a new initiative named … Read moreNIFA Introduces FACT Program for Data Science in Agriculture

Policy Update: FDA Announces RFI and Accompanying Public Meeting on Biotechnology

On October 16, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Request for Information (RFI) on “Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of Biotechnology” and announced a public meeting.  This is the next step in … Read morePolicy Update: FDA Announces RFI and Accompanying Public Meeting on Biotechnology

An Egg-speriment: volunteering with ASPB at the White House Easter Egg Roll

I did an experiment this week. In and of itself, this is nothing unique for a graduate student. My experiment was brief, has not been replicated, and is based on a small sample size. But the results are too good to not share. I started by asking my lab mates, “Who wants to plant some … Read moreAn Egg-speriment: volunteering with ASPB at the White House Easter Egg Roll

NRC Publishes Review of AFRI Program

Dear US ASPB members: A very important report, “Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Program,” was recently published by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences. A large portion of the researchers in our community are, have been, or will … Read moreNRC Publishes Review of AFRI Program