USDA scientists work 365 days to provide safe and sustainable food, water, and natural resources in the face of a changing climate and uncertain energy sources. To recognize the contribution that agricultural science and research makes in our daily lives, this week’s “Banner Year” series features stories from 2015 that show the successes that USDA science and statistical agencies made for us all.
In 2015, we’ve seen agriculture and natural resources at the crossroads of the world’s most critical problems: establishing sustainable food production, providing clean and abundant water, responding to climatic variability, developing renewable energy, improving human health, and strengthening food safety. The immensity and diversity of the difficulties Americans face allowed USDA an excellent opportunity to once again demonstrate our ability and capacity to rise and meet the greatest of challenges.
Here are five stories from 2015 to review:
USDA recognizes that antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or the ability of bacteria and other microbes to survive the effects of an antibiotic and then proliferate, is a serious threat to both animal health and human health. USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary Catherine Woteki explains how USDA’s ‘One Health’ approach addresses AMR.
Pollinators are vital to agricultural production, providing billions of dollars in pollination services for the fruits, nuts and vegetables that contribute to a healthy diet. USDA Deputy Under Secretary Ann Bartuska tells how the Research, Education and Economics mission area supports the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, through intramural and extramural research programs noted in the Pollinator Research Action Plan.
Water is a precious resource and will become scarcer as the human population continues to grow. In many areas, climate change is expected to affect weather patterns. At the 7th Annual World Water, USDA showcased the latest science and technology research being done at the Department.
USDA Chief Scientist and Undersecretary Catherine Woteki appear on NPR’s “The Takeaway” program that examined the “The Biggest Challenges Facing America and the World.” The episode included an interview with on the challenge of being able to feed a world population that is estimated to reach more than 9 billion people by the year 2050. Dr. Woteki discussed how open data for agriculture and nutrition could be a key to harvesting enough future crops to meet future challenges.
At the 3rd Annual Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), GODAN partners met to discuss broadening the partnership in 2015. GODAN is an initiative that seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritional data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide.