SoAR Calls for New Emphasis on Transdisciplinary Research and Systems Approach in Agricultural Science to Drive Long-Term Sustainability


For more information, please contact: Josh Stull, +1-703-‪828-5219 or jstull@supportagresearch.org

WASHINGTON, DC (July 30, 2020)—The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation beckons for a renewed effort to achieve the long-term goals and strategy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030. Through a strong emphasis on transdisciplinary research and systems approach in agricultural science, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can ensure the long-term productivity of America’s farmers and ranchers while feeding the growing world population.

“As stated in Science Breakthroughs 2030[1], business as usual won’t solve the already overwhelming stresses on U.S. agriculture,” said Thomas Grumbly, president of the SoAR Foundation. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these stresses and economic recovery is unlikely to be linear, especially if there are subsequent waves of infection. What we learn from this pandemic could be used to ensure that farming is more resilient to future challenges.”

Additionally, Science Breakthroughs 2030 emphasized that transdisciplinary research and systems approach to the agriculture and food system is needed and the report highlighted the importance of protecting the global food supply chain.Ibid COVID-19 has illustrated that a breakdown of supply chains exists in the agriculture and food sector, especially within the livestock industry.

USDA has a unique opportunity to drive research to include cultivation of new more resilient, high value crops and improved crop and livestock management practices. Also, USDA can promote transdisciplinary research and systems approaches and provide leadership with these approaches in the agriculture and food sciences to benefit farmers, ranchers, and consumers.

See SoAR’s submission of comments for USDA’s immediate consideration. USDA recently issued a broad request for stakeholders’ input on agriculture innovations.

[1] https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/science-breakthroughs-2030-a-strategy-for-food-and-agricultural-research

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