USDA introduces “Cultivating Scientific Innovation”
By: Sydney Sheffield
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published the USDA Science and Research Strategy, 2023-2026: Cultivating Scientific Innovation. The publication details the vision for transforming United States agriculture through science and innovation and outlines USDA’s highest scientific priorities. The Science and Research Strategy aligns with USDA’s Strategic Plan for FY 2022-2026 and reflects input from across USDA’s eight mission areas as well as our external stakeholders and partners.
“I am excited to build on USDA’s latest Strategic Plan by releasing our Science and Research Strategy, 2023-2026. This first-ever Department-wide plan outlines our highest research priorities for the next 3 years and represents the input of both our stakeholders and all 8 of the USDA’s Mission Areas,” said USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As such, the content in this document will serve to spur innovation and collaboration across the USDA Science [research and development] R&D landscape as we seek to solve the future’s greatest challenges by partnering with the communities we serve.”
The Science and Research Strategy focuses on five main priorities:
Accelerating Innovative Technologies & Practices: To sustain agricultural and forestry products for a growing global population, USDA must rapidly catalyze the development of new technologies and practices that are innovative, resilient, and commercially viable.
Driving Climate-Smart Solutions: USDA will advance research that addresses risks from long-term and acute climate stressors, generates new revenue streams, and improves climate resiliency while bolstering sustainable markets for bioproducts.
Bolstering Nutrition Security & Health: USDA will deliver science-based information to support food and nutrition security, personalized food choices, food safety, and food accessibility while continuing to drive innovative solutions.
Cultivating Resilient Ecosystems: USDA strives to create a healthy, viable production ecosystem that provides food, feed, fuel, and fiber for all while enhancing quality of life and conserving natural resources for future generations.
Translating Research into Action: To drive the greatest impact, USDA science and research must respond to the needs of the diverse communities we serve, be accessible to all, and be translated into action in communities across the nation.
The Science and Research Strategy is also a call to action to stakeholders and the greater community to help identify innovative research strategies that lead to real-world, practical solutions that help farmers, producers, and communities thrive. The Science and Research Strategy is heavily focused on climate solutions but notes the importance of farmers and ranchers in the process.
The USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Chavonda Jacobs-Young stated, “Production agriculture requires constant innovation and adaptation as farmers and ranchers pursue climate-smart solutions to extreme weather, rural businesses seek new markets to remain profitable, and underserved communities seek trusted partners to tackle systemic issues. Access to information and new technologies undergirds each of these objectives, and when appropriately resourced, USDA Science has a proven track record in providing timely research, data, training, Extension services, and economic analysis to support farmers, ranchers, and producers.”
Read the publication here.