Earlier this week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Penn State University, touting the school’s agricultural research program and promoting the 2012 Farm Bill.
With the farm bill still awaiting debate on the Senate floor, Vilsack is touring the country, hoping to mobilize public support and increase the pressure on Senators and Representatives to pass the bill quickly.
Penn State University’s agricultural science programs currently lead more than 65 U.S. Department of Agriculture research grants totaling $30 million. The local agricultural science research facilities have been on the frontlines of major farm science breakthroughs, including the development of more resistant seeds and local efforts to combat a resurging stinkbug population.
In a news conference held on the PSU campus, Vilsack stated, “Research in the discussion [of the farm bill] is extremely important, perhaps more important today than ever. It’s important that Congress get it right, and that it provides adequate resources because there is a significant return on investment to research, particularly in agriculture.”
Vilsack’s appearance was billed as a purely USDA event, with the secretary making no mention of President Obama, the 2012 election, or presidential or congressional policy.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer