Thursday, May 01, 2008

Foods, Fuels, Fibers, Flowers & Forests

The work of the National Agricultural Library was featured in today’s Washington Post. For almost two years I have tried to get public attention focused on the impending loss of a national treasure. I am grateful and delighted to have Barbara Damrosch write so well about the resources and plight of this great library.

The library holds the work of agricultural research much of which was and is done on the same campus in Maryland at the Henry A. Wallace “National” Agricultural Research Center (BARC). The work of BARC which the library keeps and distributes includes everything from human nutrition to the environment; from rice yields falling because of climate change to happy cows which produce the milk you want and can afford to buy; remote sensing which may have applications for nutrient run-off and more to the turkey you may eat; from pigs used in human infant inoculation research to creating the next generation of insect repellents (BARC having discovered DEET).

Like the library, BARC is suffering, and without the science performed at BARC in horticulture though the National Arboretum, a part of BARC, to alternative bio fuel research investigating non food crops as a source of energy, as well as the hundreds of programs which directly effect your food safety and your quality of life, we will all be worse off. BARC struggles to stay viable. Unfunded mandated payroll considerations slowly and steadily eat away at the scientific research capabilities of our world-class programs. Presidential initiatives to make research a priority in food sources is lacking, mostly, as far as I can tell, because we the people are not demanding that our government continue to be the world leader in agricultural research.

Call or write your Congressional representatives and Senators. Teklk them to start funding research in food, fuel, fibers, flowers, and forests; tell them that they need to fund BARC (and the National Arboretum) and NAL.

BARC & NAL: Funding challenges continue

Congressional call for a plan for the Beltsville "National" Agricultural Research Center & the National Agricultural Library

Invasive Species Complexities: A Wicked Inconvenience

Invasive Species (Kudzu) Meets Fox News

National Agricultural Research Center; Invasive Species, Climate Change & Poison Ivy

BARC: Funding for Research Continues to Fall

BARC-National Agricultural Research Center Alliance NARAB

Homeland security; E. coli, and diminished funding & BARC

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