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"Farm groups and other advocates need to persuade Congress on the importance of agriculture research to ensure that the nation does not fall behind others around the world, former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman said today. The U.S. is a leader in research and therefore “it ought to act like a global leader, and when it comes to agricultural research we are at a precipice of not acting like global leaders,” Glickman said during remarks at a panel organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Glickman pointed to China, which has spent more than the U.S. on agriculture research for more than a decade, and added that other nations were trying to do the same thing. Glickman argued that farm groups needed to be better at making the case that research is crucial to the future of the human race if they wanted funding in the next farm bill. As POLITICO reported this summer, years of federal belt-tightening have starved university laboratories of funding, hurting the country's ability to conduct cutting-edge science. The former secretary also pointed to the nomination of Sam Clovis as USDA’s chief scientist as a sign that the administration did not understand the importance of agriculture research. Clovis, who is a former business professor who holds a Ph.D. in public administration and chaired the Trump campaign, has withdrawn his nomination following his ties to officials being scrutinized by FBI special investigator Bob Mueller. “Can you imagine the government appointing the head of the National Science Foundation as somebody with no science background?” he asked."

Posted November 13th, 2017
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