Funding for Sound Science is Critical
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
Increased funding to make farming easier is a priority, an expert told California Ag Today recently. LaKisha Odom is the science program director for the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research based in Washington, DC. Funding sound science is a goal for the foundation.
“We are interested in increasing the amount of funding that is available to make farming and decision making easier,” Odom said.
This is all based on sound science. Their foundation base depends on the readily available funding.
“We match public-private dollars and increase that amount of funding available to fund sound science,” she explained.
The funding is for foundations and agencies that will assist farmers.
“The universities, industry partners, foundations and the research that’s funded by those entities can then inform those decision makers to assist those farmers who are making those decisions,” she said.
“We were provided $200 million dollars in the 2014 Farm Bill,” Odom added.
There are seven challenge areas that the foundation focuses on: water scarcity; urban agriculture; food waste; food loss; making my plate your plate, which focuses on nutrition; protein challenge, which focuses on animal sustainability; and innovation pathways.
Fresno State is one of the founding partners.
“I’m working with the irrigation innovation consortium, which is a consortium of university partners as well as industry partners, and Fresno State is one of our partners in that,” Odom said.
They are working with Dr. Davis at Fresno State for ways in which they can make innovations in irrigation and make water issues a little less challenging for farmers.