United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
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ARS Administrator Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young presents Certificates of Appreciation for contributions to the ARS - USAID Feed the Future Grain Legumes Project at the Common Bean Disease Workshop on Angular Leaf Spot and Root Rots July 2015 in Skukuza South Africa. Pictured L - R, Dr. Jacobs-Young, Dr. Deidre Fourie, Plant Pathologist ARC South Africa, Dr. Susan Nchimbi-Msolla, Plant Breeder and Geneticist Sokoine University of Agriculture Tanzania, and Dr. Consuelo Esteves de Jensen, Plant Pathologist, University of Puerto Rico.
In 2000, United Nations (UN) members unanimously embarked on a bold experiment with the initiation of 8 Millennium Challenge Goals (MCG) to tackle global poverty. Fifteen years on, that effort is touted as "the most successful global movement ever against poverty". The UN members have come together once again to outperform the previous effort, and chart a course for the next fifteen years with seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Hunger, nutrition, agricultural production, and threats to agriculture from disease, climate change, and drought formed international agricultural research collaborations that were critical to MCG success; and will continue to have a major role in the SDG.
ARS is a breeding ground for new science and scientists. Massaro Ueti, Research Medical Veterinary Officer and Don Knowles, Research Leader at the USDA-Animal Disease Research Unit in Pullman, Washington, mentored two high school students, Hannah Guillien and Isabella Vacca, on a novel tick biology experiment that landed among the top 15 Animal Science projects in a national competition. The girls used a new tick in vitro feeding system developed by Ueti and Knowles to test if the natural herb, lavender repelled ticks. The artificial tick feeder provides a more controlled environment for research than animal models. The girl's lavender tests showed the herb was an effective tick repellent, and safer than chemicals. Along the way, the students inspired Ueti to improve the tick feeding system by using and perfecting more natural membranes.