Rock Talk Returns

Sally Rockey, Ph.D.

Executive Director Emeritus

I am blogging in my new position as Executive Director of the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research. I find it almost too good to be true that I am able to see this new organization through its inaugural years.

What an exciting opportunity for the research community and for agriculture! Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR plays a unique role in funding research that seizes on scientific opportunity and is advanced through mutual interest by both the private and public sectors. In other words,partnership is the name of the game at FFAR.

USDA is one close partner and the research we expect to fund here at FFAR will be complimentary to the important research going on at the Department. What is unique is that we are going to find knowledge gaps or other distinct research opportunities where an influx of FFAR support coupled with funds from partners will accelerate innovative science to have rapid benefit. So a critical component of FFAR’s role is to identify areas ripe for the picking (I had to get some agricultural puns in there somewhere!).

FFAR has seven research topic areas where we are exploring ways to engage the community in the broadest way to gather input on potential research questions and programs we want to launch.

Our areas are:

  • Improving plant efficiency
  • Optimizing agricultural water use
  • Transforming soil health
  • Enhancing sustainable farm animal productivity, resilience and health
  • Achieving a deeper understanding of nutrition and healthful food choices
  • Managing food production systems to enhance human nutritional outcomes
  • Spurring food system innovation

You will have an opportunity to be part of the conversation; it will happen in a number of ways and in a number of venues. As you see our website is quite basic right now but is being constructed quickly to be an interactive site where you can get the latest and greatest from FFAR and learn how we will engage you and you can engage us.

Please also take the time to meet our fabulous Board, chaired by Dan Glickman and composed of incredible thinkers from a broad spectrum of organizations across the food agriculture enterprise. In the past year, they have worked incredibly hard to shape FFAR and put us in a great place to take off quickly.

We expect to launch a number of programs in the coming months so, stay tuned for more from me.

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