Published: July 24, 2014

MSU professor tapped for USDA board position

Contact(s): Layne Cameron Media Communications office: (517) 353-8819 cell: (765) 748-4827, Holly Whetstone MSU AgBioResearch

Douglas Buhler, director of Michigan State University’s AgBioResearch, has been appointed to a national board of directors of the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The announcement was made by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

FFAR will leverage public and private resources to increase scientific and technological research, innovation and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be appointed to this inaugural foundation board,” said Buhler, who also serves as the senior associate dean for research at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “As a representative of the pioneer land grant university and the second most-diverse agriculture state in the nation, I look forward to working to advance research in the areas of food and agriculture. These are extremely important as we strive to find solutions to feed an ever-growing global population.”

The foundation, created by the 2014 Farm Bill that was signed at MSU, is an independent nonprofit corporation that will leverage private and public funds to advance agricultural research. Its board of directors will establish policies, governance structures and priorities. Research funded by FFAR will benefit such areas as:

  • Plant and animal health, production and products
  • Food safety, nutrition and health
  • Renewable energy, natural resources and the environment
  • Agricultural and food security
  • Agriculture systems and technology
  • Agricultural economics and rural communities

FFAR also will foster collaboration amongst agricultural researchers to meet emerging research needs through grants, contracts and other agreements.

“Agricultural research today is a critical component in American – and global – health, security and prosperity,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Sen. Debbie Stabenow deserves great credit for her leadership in establishing the foundation in the Farm Bill, and the USDA’s choice of MSU’s Dr. Douglas Buhler adds a highly knowledgeable and experienced scientist and administrator on the foundation board.”

President Simon credited MSU agricultural stakeholders, in particular Cherry Marketing Institute President Philip Korson, for driving Buhler’s nomination to the foundation board.

The launch of the foundation represents another key success story for the current Farm Bill, Stabenow said.

“This new research foundation is one of the most important victories in the Farm Bill,” she said. “We designed this foundation to leverage public-private dollars to continue making America the most productive and efficient agricultural producer in the world.”

Doug Buhler, director of MSU AgBioResearch and CANR senior associate dean for research. Photo by Kurt Stepnitz

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