BIO Applauds Appointment of Dr. Roger Beachy to New Agriculture Post

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, September 24, 2009) - President Barack Obama has announced that Dr. Roger N. Beachy will be the first Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Beachy will assume the position effective October 5, 2009.  

The mission of the new National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is to stimulate and fund the research and technological innovations that will enhance and make agriculture more productive and environmentally sustainable while ensuring the economic viability of agriculture and production. 

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Executive Vice President for Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) issued the following statement in support of the Administration’s decision:  

“On behalf of BIO and its members, we applaud the choice of Dr. Roger N. Beachy to lead the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“As founding President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Dr. Beachy has facilitated a greater understanding of the human benefits achievable through plant science.  

“Dr. Beachy is known throughout the world for his groundbreaking research on virus-resistant plants.  His scientific knowledge and experience will help guide our nation into a new and modern era of agriculture and food production that will rely on new technologies.  In this era, we can enhance the nutritional content of foods, improve human health through plant-and animal-produced therapies, better control pests and diseases of crops and livestock and help plants and animals adapt to environmental stress and climate change.  

“Through agricultural research, we know we can produce foods with many beneficial traits, while creating a more sustainable food and energy supply and decreasing the environmental footprint of production agriculture.  

“This work is especially meaningful at a time when our global population is growing and our demand for food and energy sources is increasing, especially in developing countries. In his role at the NIFA, we are confident that agricultural research will be strengthened, and societal benefits – both in the United States and around the world – will be realized.”

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BIO Investor Forum
October 28-29, 2009
San Francisco, CA

Advanced Business Development Course
October 30, 2009
Vienna, Austria

BIO Europe International Partnering Conference
November 2-4, 2009
Vienna, Austria

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
November 8-11, 2009
Honolulu, HI 

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.