From: "Al Ekkebus" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: USDA MOU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 2, 1995
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:
Matthew Donoghue(DOE), 202/586-5806
Christina Kielich(DOE), 202/586-5806
Tom Amontree(USDA), 202/720-4623
Maria Bynum(USDA), 202/720-4623
Clinton Administration Works with U.S.
Farmers to Increase Competitive Edge
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 1995 The Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture
(USDA) today formally united their top scientific and technological talent
in a unique research and development collaboration. Its aim: preparing
America's agricultural industry for competition in the global marketplace
and reducing agriculture's reliance on fossil fuels and the use of
pesticides. In a dramatic example of reinvention, the new pact a real
swords-to-ploughshares story will deliver on the Clinton Administration's
promise of government working smarter, better and at less cost as it serves
the national interest.
Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary
today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will provide a framework
for the two agencies' renowned scientists and engineers to create solutions
to complex problems associated with maximizing crop yield and produce new
products. The agreement will focus on ways to improve food quality and
safety, and also investigate agricultural applications using skills and
technologies developed at DOE's national laboratories originally for Cold
The secretaries said the five-year agreement will "open the doors" of
laboratories in both agencies to joint projects of mutual national
interest. As a result, the two departments' research endeavors will make
the most efficient use of available scientific expertise during a time of
limited budget resources. Industry will also be invited to participate in
three-way collaborations. The partnerships could lead to new jobs, reduced
air, water and soil pollution, decreased reliance on imported oil, and
improved quality and safety of food.
"This initiative is a second harvest," Secretary O'Leary said. "When the
public invests in state-of-the-art skills and technology, the investment
can continue to reap benefits. The best in class resources of our national
laboratories including technologies and processes developed for other
purposes will be applied to create more environmentally friendly solutions
to the problems of our most basic industry."
The partnership couples DOE's expertise in physics, engineering and
computer science with USDA's expertise in plant breeding, biological pest
control, soil and water conservation and other areas. In an effort to bring
together the finest scientific talents America has produced, private
companies will be encouraged to participate so new technology can be
commercialized to create jobs and rural development.
"This is another example of the Clinton Administration's commitment to
interagency cooperation," said Secretary Glickman. "This agreement will
help accelerate improvements in the performance of American agriculture and
help maintain the nation's competitive edge in the global marketplace for
the 21st Century."
DOE will contribute high-technology solutions such as advanced computation
and remote sensors to help meet the challenge of augmenting agriculture's
use of fossil fuels and chemicals to a more sustainable future. DOE
foresees improvements in the energy efficiency of agriculture as one result
of this collaboration.
This memorandum expands on previous cooperative research conducted by the
two departments. USDA and DOE scientists have worked together to develop
biofuels, introduce electronic means to detect plant materials during
airport baggage inspection, mass produce beneficial insects to control crop
pests, and develop technology to more precisely apply agrichemicals to
minimize environmental impacts.
Future projects envisioned by the partnership include improved technology
for previously untilled soil, developing precision farming systems, and
sensor detection of pathogens. The two departments expect this work will
accrue benefits to more sectors of the food, forestry and fiber industries.
DOE Press Releases