“It’s a day when a great university and great researchers come together to solve problems.“
What Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack referred to is the recent groundbreaking ceremony of a new plant science building on the campus of Washington State University. It is the latest collaboration between the Agriculture Department and the land grant university.
“It’s an incredible gift. So to the extent that we have a university and a government research entity in partnership, ensuring that that farmer and that rancher and that grower and that producer can continue to be productive. It is an enormous opportunity for this country and each one of us should be thankful at this groundbreaking for the science that will take place that will help those farmers, ranchers, and producers continue to be productive.“
The new plant science building will house scientists for both USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and Washington State University, as joint research is conducted on various aspects of wheat and legume crops. Dry lab and irrigated farming, plant germplasm and sustainable agro ecosystems within the Pacific Northwest region. Secretary Vilsack notes how various aspects have not just a regional and national impact, but globally as well.
“Imagine a farmer far, far away from here. Imagine that farmer receiving assistance and help because research was done here at WSU that allows them to be able to feed their village or their community. That’s what this facility is all about.“
The secretary adds the new facility serves as an example of efforts to transform our nation’s food system and support ag producers through science such as the plant research building will provide, and the scientific framework with USDA’s recently released three-year science and research strategy.