June 9, 2010
Today USDA announced that it is seeking nominations for its research advisory board, the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB). The 25-member Advisory Board provides recommendations to the Secretary on food and agriculture research, extension, education, and economics. The Board also consults directly with congressional agriculture committees and agricultural appropriations subcommittees.
Members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Terms are for 3 years. Individuals from organizations, associations, societies, universities, councils, federations, groups, and companies from a range of agricultural and food interests can be nominated.
This year, nine slots are open, including the Rural Economic Development, the National Consumer Group, the National Conservation or Natural Resource Group, and the National Forestry Group slots. Those four slots are currently filled by Walt Armbruster (Farm Foundation), Robin Douthitt (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Edward Runge (Texas A&M), and Steven Quarles (Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP).
Current members whose terms are not expiring include Ralph Paige (Federation of Southern Coops), Jean-Mari Peltier (National Grape and Wine Initiative), Marianne Smith Edge (Former President, American Dietetic Association), Mary Wagner (Senior Vice President, Starbucks), and Steve Hamburg (Environmental Defense Fund).
In 2008, NAREEEAB made recommendations on organic agriculture research at USDA (pdf), in recognition of the growing role that organic agriculture plays in U.S. agriculture and the need for facilitating research into organic systems. To date, USDA has fulfilled one of the recommendations to hire a national program leader for organic agriculture at USDA’s extramural research agency, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Other recommendations, including creating an REE-wide roadmap on organic agriculture and support for higher education activities in organic agriculture, have not yet been fulfilled.
Nominations to NAREEEAB are due July 9, 2010. For more information, click here (pdf).