On January 7, 2011 Drs. Catherine Woteki, Undersecretary, Research Education and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Roger Beachy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA presented before PCAST. Their presentations (available here) offered a wealth of insight and data on USDA research, education, and partnerships. Before they spoke, the stakeholder community was offered the chance to comment about items they felt relevant to PCAST’s mission. Director of Science Policy, Dr. Karl Glasener spoke on behalf of ASA, CSSA, and SSSA. Dr. Glasener's comments can be viewed here. Senior Science Policy Associate, Caron Gala Bijl spoke on behalf of the AFRI Coalition (view comments here).
The comment period was inspiring; there was a wide range of groups who spoke, each with a unique perspective. As a result, there was a chorus of support for investments in the food, agricultural, and natural resource sciences. Video of the presentations by Woteki and Beachy as well as public comments in support of food and agricultural research are archived on PCAST’s Webcast site.
“The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House and from cabinet departments and other Federal agencies. PCAST is consulted about and provides analyses and recommendations concerning a wide range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation may bear on the policy choices before the President. PCAST is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).” (From PCAST Website)