UMCP-AGNR Dean Craig Beyrouty and USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy welcome colleagues, partners and stakeholders to the Tactical Sciences Call to Conversation at the University of Maryland. College Park Campus on February 15-16, 2017
Tactical Sciences for the Protection of the U.S. Agricultural Enterprise: NIFA’s Call to Conversation
Over the past couple of years USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy had spoken about the need to strengthen investments in tactical agricultural sciences. These are scientific assets that protect the integrity, reliability, and sustainability of the U.S. food and agriculture system against known and potential threats from plant, animal, and human health pests and diseases. There is an urgent and growing need to strengthen our tactical science capabilities on a scale commensurate with threats to the safety, stability, diversification and profitability of our nation’s food and agricultural systems.
NIFA’s current tactical science investments are focused in three areas: detection and diagnostics (National Plant Diagnostic Network/NPDN and National Animal Health Laboratory Network/NAHLN), regulatory systems support (Minor Crop Pest Management/IR-4, Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database/FARAD, Minor Use Animal Drugs Program/MUADP), and deployment of new crop and animal production and protection technologies and management systems (Crop Protection and Pest Management/CPPM, IR-4, MUADP, Extension Disaster Education Network/EDEN). These programs have been critically important thus far to protecting our nation’s agricultural enterprise. With increasing threats to our food systems from within and without as a result of the impacts of globalization, climate change, and other factors on the suite of pests and diseases we see today, we can significantly increase our ability to protect our nation’s food and agricultural systems by linking the tactical science programs in a synergistic organizational structure, with a concomitant increase in the level of investments, to facilitate the development and deployment of tactical knowledge and tools to prevent potential future disasters.
NIFA invited partners and stakeholders for a conversation about current and anticipated pest and disease challenges facing the U.S. agricultural enterprise, the programmatic and organizational infrastructure needed to effectively address these challenges, and possible strategies for re-aligning and/or re-inventing the current NIFA tactical sciences portfolio.
Dean Craig Beyrouty of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will host the Call to Conversation at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, on February 15-16, 2017.