People who don't plan for the future are less likely to be successful long-term than are those who do. With that in mind, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has long had an ambitious array of programs to stimulate scientific research. The goal is to make sure that American agriculture continues to be not only state-of-the-art but is the leader in setting the trends for tomorrow.
On Nov. 22, the USDA released a report that documents some of the successes that have come out of those initiatives - the USDA Annual Report on Technology Transfer.
"The work of USDA scientists and the private research we fund improves the lives of all Americans," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in his announcement of the report's issuance. "From permanent press cotton clothing, mass production of penicillin, frozen orange juice to the most effective and widely-used mosquito repellents, our scientists and research partners have changed the world and every year their work leads to new advances. Studies show that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to our economy. Given that track record, we're aggressively working to speed the development and transfer of new technologies to the marketplace."
According to the USDA, its investments in scientific research helped generate in 2015:
A. 222 new inventions,
B). 94 patents awarded and
C). 125 new patent applications filed.
Since 2009, the USDA has invested $19 billion in research. Some has been conducted inside the department. Some has been conducted by outside entities. The results have been impressive:
D). Research conducted by USDA scientists has generated 883 patent applications,
E). 405 patents were issued during this time period and
F). There have been 1,151 new inventions disclosures.
The research the USDA conducts and supports helps make American agriculture the envy of the world. These important initiatives deserve continued support and warrant the hearty applause of all Americans.