USDA Science and Research Strategy, 2023-2026: Cultivating Scientific Innovation

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Introduction: The USDA's commitment to advancing agricultural sectors and bolstering the U.S. economy through scientific research is underscored by the profound impact of public sector agricultural R&D investments. Between 1948 and 2019, a 175 percent growth in total agricultural output was attributed to innovations in breeding, nutrient use, and pest management. This research, generating $20 in benefits for every $1 spent, exemplifies the transformative power of scientific endeavors.

Key Objectives and Strategies:

  1. Inclusive and Innovative Research: The USDA Science and Research Strategy, 2023-2026, emphasizes inclusivity, accessibility, and competitiveness. The focus on rapid implementation ensures that research translates swiftly from concept to reality, fostering innovation and expanding inclusion in advancements across communities.
  2. Five Priority Areas:
  • Accelerating Innovative Technologies & Practices: Sets the stage for future-focused science.
  • Driving Climate-Smart Solutions: Tackles challenges in climate resilience.
  • Bolstering Nutrition Security & Health: Addresses societal needs in nutrition.
  • Cultivating Resilient Ecosystems: Focuses on sustaining ecosystems.
  • Translating Research Into Action: Prioritizes policy and foundational needs for real-world impact.
  1. Cross-Department Collaboration: The USDA's systems approach involves 29 agencies, 8 Mission Areas, and 16 Staff Offices, ensuring diverse perspectives. Scientists across departments contribute to each priority area, maximizing expertise and ideas.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Regular consultations with diverse stakeholders, including Congress, citizens, governments, producers, and academia, inform and validate objectives and strategies. This collaborative approach enhances the plan's responsiveness to societal needs.

Equitable and Just Science Enterprise: The strategy emphasizes supporting equity and justice in science, ensuring fair representation and real-world application. "Science in Action" snapshots showcase tangible outcomes.