The March 15, 2011, Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Natural Resources R&D Round Table spotlighted the value of federal investment in agriculture-related sciences, as well as the value of collaborative research work. The program combined presentations by science policy officials with reports on exemplary R&D case studies highlighting characteristics of highly productive research and development collaborations.

In recent years, the federal investment in agriculture-related research and development work has lagged behind other areas of science supported by the federal government. Increasing concerns over global food security are another reason to focus attention on agricultural research. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that global food production will need to double by 2050 to feed a population of 9.2 billion people. FAO also estimates that 70% of that increased production will need to come from the creation and adoption of new technologies.

The Round Table was organized by Farm Foundation, NFP, Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation, Institute of Food Technologists, Federation of Animal Science Societies and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America, in collaboration with USDA's Research, Education and Economics Mission Area, the USDA Forest Service and USDA's National Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Advisory Board.

Round Table Agenda

Neil Conklin, Farm Foundation, NFP

Opening Session
Moderator: Cathie Woteki, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics

Keynote Address
Shere Abbott, Office of Science and Technology Policy of the Executive Office of the President

Overview of Federal R&D Budgets and the R&D Round Table
Patrick Clemins, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Karl Glasener, American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America and Crop Science Society of America
William Fisher, Institute of Food Technologists

Session I
Moderator: Wendy Wintersteen, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Science Agenda for the 21st Century, Cathie Woteki, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics

National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program, John Milner, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Md. and Dave Klurfeld, USDA ARS, Beltsville. Md.

Sequencing the Bovine Genome, Jerry Taylor, University of Missouri, and Steve Kappes, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, (ARS), Beltsville, Md.

Cooperative Partnerships to Improve Food Safety and Public Health, Mindy Brashears and Mark Miller, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Session II
Moderator: Molly Jahn, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

NSF Partnerships in Plant Genomics, Jane Silverthorne, National Science Foundation

Providing Needed Pest Control Tools Through a Crop Grouping System, Steven Bradbury, OPP, EPA, Alexandra, Va.

Sustaining Rural Economies Through Agricultural Production and Water Management: David Brauer, USDA ARS, Bushland, Texas, and Daniel Devin, Kansas State University

Benefits of Farm Bill Conservation Programs, Mark R. Walbridge, USDA ARS, Beltsville, Md., and Lisa Duriancik and Michelle Laur, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, (NRCS),Beltsville, Md.

Session III and Wrap Up
Moderator: Lowell Randel, Federation of Animal Science Societies

Making Informed Wildland Restoration Decisions in the Northwest and Southwest, Janine Salwasser, Institute for Natural Resources, Corvallis, Ore., Miles Hemstrom, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, Ore., and Lisa Gaines, Institute for Natural Resources, Corvallis, Ore.

Cellulosic Biofuel Production, Junyong Zhu, U.S. Forest Service, Madison, Wis.

Lessons Learned and Opportunities for the Future, Edward Hiler, Texas A&M University

Monica Bradford, Science magazine
Julie Staiano, American Association for the Advancement of Science