Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the 15 members who will sit on the FFAR board of directors. Three members of The Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative Advisory Group were named to the FFAR board: Dan Glickman, former USDA Secretary and Cochair of the Global Agricultural Development Initiative; Dr. Mark E. Keenum, president of Mississippi State University; and Dr. Barbara Schaal, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
The foundation's board of directors was chosen to represent the diverse sectors of agriculture. In announcing the 15-member FFAR board, 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."
Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of both national and international significance. Congress also provided $200 million for the foundation which must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects. The research funded by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research 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.
To learn more about FFAR and the board of directors, read the USDA news release.