Farm Progress

USDA releases new science and research strategy

Vilsack touts sustainable agriculture investments

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

May 8, 2023

2 Min Read
USDA building in Washington D.C.
Getty Images

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA released its science and research strategy for the next three years. The strategy, titled “Cultivating Scientific Innovation,” will prioritize five arease including agricultural innovation, climate-smart solutions, nutrition security, cultivating resilient ecosystems and translating research into action.

“We know that scientific innovation can enable new, cost-effective solutions for addressing some of our most daunting challenges,” Vilsack says. “This is a forward-looking strategy that aligns with USDA’s strategic priorities and allows us to make significant advances in food, agriculture and natural resource sectors.”

The secretary’s announcement came during Agriculture Innovation Mission from Climate Summit in Washington. The event, which was created during the 2021 United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, is being co-hosted by Vilsack and United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri. Agriculture ministers from more than 30 nations, as well as a large contingent of government leaders and partners, met to discuss sustainable agriculture and food systems innovations. It is part of the lead up to this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, which will be held in Dubai later this year.

During his opening remarks, Vilsack noted that global investment in climate-smart agriculture and food system innovation is growing. Partners have increase increased their climate-smart agriculture investments to more than $13 billion, exceeding the $10 billion goal set by Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry during COP27.

Over the past year, an additional $1.8 billion has been invested in 21 new “innovation sprints.” These are self-financed investments from non-government partners intended to spur climate-smart agricultural innovation in a relatively short time.

The governments of Argentina, Fiji, Guatemala, India, Panama, Paraguay and Sri Lanka have also joined the AIM for Climate Progress program, bringing the total number of partners to more than 500.

“Climate change continues to impact longstanding agricultural practices in every country and a strong global commitment is necessary to face the challenges of climate change head-on and build more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems,” Vilsack says. “We need all of us working together to address the challenges of climate change and food security through innovative technology and approaches, and the AIM for Climate Summit gives me hope that we will rise to the occasion, as future generations depend on us to do.”

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About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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