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Protecting Pollinators from A New Threat – First-Ever U.S. Sightings of Asian Giant Hornet

It’s not the first time that European honey bees and other pollinators in the United States have encountered invasive pests, with the parasitic Varroa mite being the most noteworthy. For years, researchers and beekeepers have wondered what the next invasive pest of concern would be. Perhaps Tropilaelaps mites, a parasitic mite that feeds on bee brood? Or an Asian honey bee, which is known to outcompete our European honey bees? Ultimately, it was the Asian giant hornet, making a confirmed appearance in Washington state during winter of 2019.

Beefing up Cattle Research to Meet Climate Demands of Today and Tomorrow

In recent decades, cattle production and ranch profitability have been declining in the desert southwest. Especially during drought conditions, thirsty beef cattle have had to remain close to sources of water (it takes 1,590 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef), greatly reducing the area over which they can graze and causing overgrazing in parts of fragile rangelands. This loss of productive range capable of supporting cattle is one reason why the cattle industry in New Mexico is suffering.

G20 Meeting of Agriculture Chief Scientists Reflects Trends in 2020 and the Value of Core Research Principles

As the new decade unfolds, a remarkable trend is evident in the world. In 2020, the global community and the media have been focused on the surge of a novel virus, the spread of African swine fever, wildfires, outbreak of desert locust, and debates on the safe use of agricultural technology. These challenges have similar characteristics – they span borders, have significant economic outcomes, and require global scientific collaboration to effectively address them. Public policy makers look to researchers to advance critical knowledge and offer solutions, and this research requires international collaboration. For success, however, efforts must be grounded in foundational principles and values that support international science.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Dominique Carter

In this blog, we feature Dr. Dominique Carter, Agricultural Science Fellow with USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Carter’s work touches various research portfolios to measure the performance and impact of USDA science initiatives. In addition to her work, she is also interested in emerging technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Jodi Williams

In this blog, we feature Dr. Jodi Williams, Senior Advisor for Food Safety, Nutrition, and Human Health with USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Williams’ work focuses on policy development and operational planning pertaining to food safety and nutrition, and human health programs and activities. She reviews, evaluates, and critiques a broad range of policy and program management issues related to USDA’s coordinated food safety and nutrition science programs.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Neena Anandaraman

In this blog, we feature Dr. Neena Anandaraman, Veterinary Science Policy Advisor with USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Anandaraman’s work focuses on zoonotic infectious diseases (those that can be transmitted between humans and animals), antimicrobial resistance, and biosecurity. Her work provides science-based advice to senior leadership to help inform their policy decisions.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Dionne Toombs

In celebration of Women’s History Month, USDA is proudly sharing stories of women leaders in agriculture who are helping girls and other women succeed along the way.

In this blog, we feature Dr. Dionne Toombs, the Director of USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. As director, Dr. Toombs provides leadership on a wide range of issues affecting science programs and science policy in agricultural research, education, and economics.

Mirror, Mirror, What Do You See? I See a Scientist Looking at Me

Strolling down the aisles of most toy departments, parents are likely to see more diverse options such as a brown-faced doll holding her microscope and African-American action figures in engineering sets. Many toy manufacturers have removed the stigma of “traditional gender roles” and created science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) toys with diverse physical features to encourage all children to see themselves in these roles. USDA strives to make these same improvements in the agriculture sector. It’s National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week and we’re celebrating the student support our science agencies provide every day to create a research workforce more reflective of our society.

Creating the Perfect Picnic with USDA’s Help

Have you ever considered what it takes to create the perfect picnic beyond the hamburgers, hot dogs, and iced tea? Most often, we include wholesome fruit and veggies to create the perfect side items or sweet treats. Whether its fresh corn-on-the-cob or plump, juicy strawberries on the shortcake, USDA-related research helps bring it all together.