Roger Beachy, long-time head of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, has agreed to join the Obama Administration as director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the new research funding arm of the US Department of Agriculture. As the head of this organization, Beachy aims to fund studies that answer agriculture’s most pressing challenges, including “sustainable food production and nutrition, readiness for climate aberrations that will impact productivity and developing renewable options like biofuels.”
Under Roger Beachy’s leadership NIFA will prioritize education in its grant-making in order to “ensure that the knowledge we gain from research reaches farmers and consumers; from the lab to the field to the fork.” He also hopes to fund innovative and exploratory projects, including looking into additional areas of ag biotech development.
Roger Beachy will be speaking at the 2010 Biotechnology Industry Organization Annual Convention at a summit organized by the Food & Ag and Industrial & Environmental sections of BIO.
You can read a full interview with Mr. Beachy in Nature and Biotechnology here.