Today agricultural research has a direct impact on nearly all aspects of modern life. Our scientists not only study crops and livestock to improve both quality and quantity but they devise new ways of using those crops to add value, increase exports, improve human health, and protect the environment. We in ARS, like all Americans, are very concerned about safe and nutritious food. We study the "bugs" that cause food-borne illness and find ways to reduce or eliminate the unwanted pests from the food supply. If agricultural problems arise such as a new disease of crops or livestock, we have the capacity to respond rapidly to find safe and appropriate solutions. We care deeply about the environment. There are extensive programs in our area focused on preserving and improving soil, air, and water quality. We are finding new and innovative ways to address animal waste management issues, prevent soil erosion and eliminate pesticides from surface and ground water. We are just as concerned about animals. We are finding new ways to measure health and well-being in livestock to ensure that all farm animals are treated in a humane and caring way. These examples represent only a few of the research programs in the Midwest Area and ARS that are dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the economic strength of American agriculture while improving the quality of life for each and every citizen.