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Maura Bennett Colorado Scientist Signs Letter to Perdue
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: December 13, 2018

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A Colorado ag researcher is urging the Secretary of Agriculture to reconsider his plans to split up USDA research institutions.

Daniel Bush, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs,and a Biology professor at Colorado State University, is one of dozens of scientists expressing concern about the planned USDA reorganization.

“When panels are meeting on topics associated with plant biology and agriculture, there are professionals from the other agencies that come by and sit in on the panels discussions relative to the science that’s being discussed. There’s a great deal of cross fertilization and professional interaction with people dealing with similar biological questions at these very significantly different funding agencies. I think it’s essential that agencies that are involved with funding basic research are co-located so that people who are ultimately making funding decisions about grants that are attempting to solve fundamental and or applied biological questions are enriched by their colleagues that are at other agencies.”

Perdue’s plan will place the Economic Research Service under the Office of the Secretary, a political branch of the Ag Department. It would then move ERS and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, out of Washington by the end of 2019.

Some opponents say it’s way to slash funding to projects on climate change, nutrition and other concerns.

The American Statistical Association the plan undermines evidence-based policymaking. Perdue says it will streamline the agency and save tax payer dollars.

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