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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404479

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Mitigate the Food Safety Risks Associated with the Fresh Produce Supply Chain

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Cross-cutting concepts to transform agricultural research

item BOYD, ABIGAIL - Orise Fellow
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny
item Lunney, Joan
item KUSTAS, BILL - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Fukagawa, Naomi
item Mattoo, Autar
item Crow, Wade
item Pachepsky, Yakov
item Kim, Moon
item Lillehoj, Hyun
item Van Tassell, Curtis - Curt
item Zhang, Howard
item Blomberg, Le Ann
item Dubey, Jitender

Submitted to: Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2023
Publication Date: 8/10/2023
Citation: Boyd, A., Luo, Y., Lunney, J.K., Kustas, B., Fukagawa, N.K., Mattoo, A.K., Crow, W.T., Pachepsky, Y.A., Kim, M.S., Lillehoj, H.S., Van Tassell, C.P., Zhang, H.Q., Blomberg, L., Dubey, J.P. 2023. Cross-cutting concepts to transform agricultural research. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 7. Article e1242665.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural research has the potential to impact a range of societal challenges, including climate change, food security, and health of humans, animals, and the planet. Across U.S. government agencies and international organizations, shared priorities related to agriculture, climate, and health have emerged. Nevertheless, initiatives to transform agriculture to address these priorities have been isolated and lack coordination. A multidisciplinary team of USDA-ARS senior scientists propose a framework to promote transformation in agricultural research via a four-pronged approach including 1) innovation of novel agricultural practices that favorably impact people and the environment, 2) integration of research disciplines to solve complex agricultural and environmental problems, 3) implementation of novel practices within a wide range of agricultural systems, and 4) evaluation and systematic analysis embedded throughout the research process. Adoption of this research framework will promote coordination and collaboration in agricultural research, supporting a sustainable, resilient, and equitable food system.

Technical Abstract: Agriculture is an important link to many issues that challenge society today, including adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, food security, and communicable and non-communicable diseases in animals and humans. Transformation of agriculture and food systems has become a priority for a range of federal agencies and global organizations. It is imperative that food and agricultural researchers effectively harness the global convergence of priorities to overcome research “silos” through deep and sustained systemic change. Herein, we identify intersections in federal and global initiatives encompassing climate adaptation and mitigation; human health and nutrition; animal health and welfare; food safety and security; and equity and inclusion. Many agencies and organizations share these priorities, but efforts to address them remain uncoordinated and opportunities for collaboration untapped. Based on the interconnectedness of the identified priority areas, we present a research framework to catalyze agricultural transformation, beginning with the research enterprise. We propose that transformation in agricultural research encompass 1) innovation, 2) integration, 3) implementation, and 4) evaluation. This framework provides approaches for food and agricultural research to contribute to sustainable, flexible, and coordinated transformation in the agricultural sector.