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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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USDA Stakeholder Workshop for Animal Agriculture
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1 - Introduction
2 - Agenda
3 - Stakeholder recommendations
4 - Goal 1: Strengthening Global Competiveness
5 - Goal 2: Improve Human Nutrition
6 - Goal 3: Protect Animal Health
7 - Goal 4: Improve Food Safety
8 - Goal 5: Ensure Environmental Quality
9 - Goal 6: Promote Animal Well-Being
Stakeholder recommendations
  • GOAL 1:  Strengthening Global Competitiveness
  • GOAL 2:  Improve Human Nutrition
  • GOAL 3:  Protecting Animal Health
  • GOAL 4:  Improve Food Safety
  • GOAL 5:  Ensure Environmental Quality
  • GOAL 6:  Promote Animal Well-Being
  • Overarching Themes and Potential Actions to Improve Implementation 

Examples of Effective Collaborative Programs/Activities

  • National Animal Germplasm Program and National genome database
  • Conducted research on phosphorous and nitrogen utilization by animal agriculture enhancing environmental stewardship
  • Jointly planned and coordinated USDA Aquaculture Research

Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness

  • Research to provide basis for issues related to international trade (WTO), food safety standards (Codex), and environmental standards (ISO)
  • Enhance development of innovative technologies, products, and production systems to meet international and national market demands and tracking systems
  • Coordinate research with protocols for assessing risks and establishing regulations
  • Recognize differences for geographic regions and producer size when establishing research priorities
  • Provide the science base needed to create criteria leading to the introduction of new products/technologies

Examples of Effective Collaborative Programs/Activities

  • Carried out a program to enhance consumption of calcium rich foods among adolescents
  • Conducted research to modify composition of milk fat
  • Converted the liability of producing foods high in selenium to marketable assets

Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness

  • Emphasize “Food Systems” approach; foods/meals/diets in addition to nutrient only programs; consider nutrition affects and/or consequences from animal inputs all the way through consumer purchase.
  • Conduct research directly focused on dietary patterns and biomarkers to define tangible benefits to support the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.
  •  Research/development on animal based functional food delivery systems to demonstrate benefits to populations in developing and industrialized countries.
  • Discovery and analysis of animal derived components related to “health” benefits of animal food products.
  • Use genomics and functional genomic techniques to maximize nutrition quality of animal foods to enhance nutrient status.
  • Consider nutritional content as part of quality definition.
  •  Provide nutritional information to meet the needs of specific subgroups in populations

 Examples of Effective Collaborative Program/Activities

  • Initiation of the first International  Agricultural Microbial Genetics Workshop.
  • Coordinated programs to prevent and control of respiratory diseases.
  • Conducted collaborative research with the Northeast Pasture Consortium

 Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness

  • Improve interactions and communications among national associations, agencies, and Congress. 
  • Investigate biological linkages among animal health, food safety/animal well-being.
  • Investigate husbandry and handling systems that promote wellness and reduce need for treatment, alternative treatments to control animal diseases. 
  • Consider wildlife epidemiology and diagnostics in farm animal health management. 
  • Develop a sound business case for enhancing ARS infrastructure to address disasters. 
  • Include monitoring, surveillance, control and prevention of diseases of wildlife. 
  • Use genomics to identify disease resistant phenotypes that are healthier under different management systems. 
  • Validate management practices as they relate to animal health. 
  • Develop real time diagnostic tools

Examples of Effective Collaborative Programs/Activities

  • Collaborated with FDA on education programs of fresh fruits and vegetables for food safety.
  • Participation on joint multi state research committees to control food borne diseases.
  • Supported FSIS with relevant data on Listeria labeling for retail meats

Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness

  • Improving communications between USDA partners and stakeholders.
  • Focus on new research areas such as:
         *  risk models from farm to table (risk cost trade-offs)
         *  validation of management systems (e.g. Trichina)
         *  real-time methods
         *  technologies for diverse scale of operations
         *  antibiotic resistance including:
                  -  quantification of the problem
                  -  measure public health impact
                  -  measure economic impact
                  -  development of alternative approaches/strategies
                  -  use multi-discipline scientific teams to increase collaborations among 
                      agriculture and biomedical scientists

Examples of Effective Collaborative Programs/Activities

  • Developed and refined the phosphorus index collaboratively with NRCS. 
  • Jointly participated on the USDA Air Quality Task Force. 
  • Developed a National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Curriculum

 Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness

  • Conduct research on mortality management for large mammals routine and large scale biodisasters. 
  • Develop tools to measurement air quality, pathogens, nutrients, toxins, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals etc. (real time, accurate, inexpensive, simple). 
  • Conduct market research on new and value added products.
  • Consider economic feasibility and realities for research outcomes. 
  • Determine the role of grazing systems in environmental stewardship. 
  • Establish databases for collecting and sharing of information at various stages of validation. 
  • Use interdisciplinary/systems approach within the framework of international, national agencies, academia, and industry.

Examples of Effective Collaborative Programs/Activities

  • Conducted collaborative animal care and behavior research through multi-state  committee.
  • Conducted collaborative research on stress factors of farm animals through multi-state committee. 
  • Animal well-being research jointly conducted by ARS and University scientists at three locations.

Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness

  • Develop better scientific measures to assess animal well-being, including pain, stress, and behavioral needs. 
  • Assemble a multi-disciplinary team to develop and validate an Index of Animal Well-Being including production, physiology, ethology, immune systems along with a scientific base for measuring pain, stress and distress and a baseline of care. 
  • Develop and evaluate production systems on farms of various sizes and management practices that enhance animal well-being.
         -  Certification
         -  Evaluate economic incentives
         -  Discover integrated synergies (food safety, environment)
         -  Train additional scientific personnel with applied animal behavior expertise.
         -  Expand research to include all components of the production system.
         -  Provide greater focus on ethics and systems approach.
         -  Assess the impact of “gate keeping industries reflecting consumer 
             wants” on farm production practices. 

Overarching Themes and Potential Actions to Improve Implementation

1.  Better Communications

  • Technology transfer/education
  • Involve customer/stakeholder in developing research agenda
  • Communication with customer/stakeholder beyond leaders and organizations (to end users)
  • Make information databases more user friendly
  • Improve awareness and access to information via websites and internet

2.  Whole Systems Approach

  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Alternative production system evaluation
  • Systems link – animal well-being/animal health/food safety
  • Research needs to link inter-relationships
  • Multiple locations
  • Include/require in request for proposals (Action)
  • Explore ways to allow better coordination/cooperation between intramural and extramural research (Action)
  • Explore issues of scale in all appropriate research (Action)
  • Involve all “partners” customers/stakeholders in process of setting research agenda/implementation/outreach
  • Agencies may need to fund some participants (Action)
  • Define extension role in outreach delivery mechanisms and translating research to small producers (AMS is the lead agency for USDA working with small and disadvantaged producers.) 
  • Build stronger and mutually supportive relationships with sustainable agriculture stakeholders.

3.  Rapid Tests/Measures

  • Prompt technology transfer and identify resources (Action)
  • Inventory of expertise/capabilities locations, laboratories, scientists, and hazards

4.  Economic Evaluation, Economics/Value of Intervention

  • Include economic component in planning and conducting research
  • Link to systems approach
  • Require in request for proposals (Action)
         -  Identify need for economists to be involved
         -  Identify ways to get economic input in intramural research activities

5. Genomics

  • ARS/CSREES develop a plan to expand work in genomics
         -  Build support for work
         -  Broad approach for agriculture genomics
         -  Define potential benefits and outcomes in genomics
         -  Publicize advances and benefits from genomics research
         -  Develop bioinformatics capabilities
         -  Expand partnerships

6.  Multidisciplinary Approach

  • Explore ways to train and reward interdisciplinary research
  • Explore ways to expose students to working in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Encourage interdisciplinary collaboration

7. Global Trade/Competitiveness

  • Develop a science base for international environmental standards and food safety standards

8. Infrastructure Capacity

  • Increase training of scientists in needed areas of expertise
  • Need for “re-tooling” training (Action)
  • Expand/update expertise of scientists
  • Compensate higher skill levels/specific specialties
  • Interdisciplinary research requires more support (more expensive/longer term). (Action: build understanding and support for it)
  • Develop capacity to meet future research needs such as BL 4 facilities

9. Expand Partnerships

  • Add industry partnerships
  • Engage consumers in research planning
         -  Strengthen partnerships between ARS/CSREES through joint planning,
             budget, and program reviews

Insights on Ways to Enhance Implementation

  • May need to better define our customers and stakeholders
  • Need to communicate “beyond” the “Leaders” of organizations.
         -  Message often does not get down to “problems”
         -  Publicize “Victories” of Agriculture Research
         -  Need to build support from related agencies
         -  CDC/NIH


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Last Modified: 3/25/2002
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