Kathryn J. Boor, food science researcher and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, applauds President Obama’s call for increased funding for basic research, particularly in agriculture.
A trained scientist, Boor researches biological factors that affect transmission of bacteria in food systems, from the farm to the table.
“I applaud President Obama's call for increased governmental support of basic research. Such support is keenly needed in agricultural research. Considerable pressure exists for American agricultural technologies to evolve to further enhance production capacity while simultaneously minimizing negative impacts on the environment. That’s a huge challenge, perhaps as daunting today as the idea of putting a man on the moon was in 1960.
“Agricultural research and development are expensive. It can take several years before the full impact of research is realized. But benefits from basic agricultural research can be significant, and are measured in real dollars. We should not forget that agriculture is one of our largest drivers of economic development.
“The responsibility, and costs, for this endeavor cannot be shouldered by a singular entity. It will require the ongoing programs of the country’s land grant institutions — such as Cornell — backed by the combined commitments of continued federal and state funding. The President's call for investment is a critical moment that should be heeded.”
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