(NAFB)--Today marks 151 years since the U.S. Department of Agriculture was created. Since then - agriculture has evolved in every aspect - yet fewer people have firsthand knowledge of agriculture. USDA Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki says agricultural research is extremely important as it provides multiple benefits for ag producers and consumers - especially when it comes to the U.S. economy. For every one-dollar invested in ag research - Woteki says 20-dollars is returned to the economy. USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse says people shouldn’t think about the time it takes to get research results - but rather the years to come and how research today will have an impact for this country’s future.
To produce enough for a growing population - expected to reach nine-billion by 2050 - Scuse says ag production will have to increase 70-percent - and he says technology is a major part of that. In the past 30-years - Scuse says 40-million acres have been lost from agricultural production - yet production has increased because farmers are embracing technology. However - he says challenges arise because agriculture’s greatest success - through the use of technology - has led to the greatest criticism by those not living in Rural America. Woteki says people just need to look at the good track record of agriculture’s technology usage - as farmers and ranchers are producing safe food, fiber and fuel for the U.S. and the world. She says producers need to use all the tools in the toolbox to meet the growing demand of those products for the growing population.