ARS Facts: 21 National Programs 1,100+ projects 2,000+ Ph.D. researchers 100+ laboratories (national/international) Presentation Time: 6 – 8 hours 1.5 hours 30 minutes Topic choices must be made
Making a Difference You are very likely buying a product of ARS research Without it Wheat yields would not have doubled Milk production per cow would not have tripled You’d be paying much more for food than you do today Your choices would be far more limited Federally funded agricultural research is so successful that $1.35 is returned to the taxpayer for every dollar spent on it.
Making a Difference Use ethanol for gas Need an IV solution Pour salad dressing from a bottle
Making a Difference Buy a loaf of bread Drink a glass of orange juice or lactose-free milk Use biodegradable packing or utensils
Making a Difference Eat, read or drive a soybean Say WHAT? Biodiesel Printing inks Foods Lipstick Flooring Cleaners
Making a Difference Four Regional Research Centers, strategically located to make a difference by finding new uses for crops. SRRC ERRC NCAUR WRRC
Making a Difference Flame-retardant finishes Treatments for cotton textiles Stretch cotton Wash-and-wear cotton / wrinkle-free Freedom from the tedium of the ironing board!! Graphic credits: Woman ironing – blogs.ktk985.com / Pajamas – oldpatterns.com / Foot soldiers - news.bbc.co.uk
Making a Difference Other kinds of freedom from the tedium. Graphic credits: Board surfing woman - flatrock.org.nz / other – extremeironing.com
Making a Difference Early TV dinners were praised more for the convenience than the taste. Graphic credits: TV dinner ad - adclassix.com / Frozen foods – ars.usda.gov Cause of off-flavors and curdling Sensitivity to storage temperature fluctuations Quick blanching for improved texture and taste of fruits/vegetables Improved nutritional value
Making a Difference “The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA has been one of our greatest sources of assistance and has unfailingly and generously answered all sorts of technical questions from food to plastic bowls.” Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child, et.al. first published 1961 Graphic credits: Julia & Julia - fyraften.nu / Julia Childs kitchen - therealestatebloggers.com / Cookbook cover - coverbrowser.com
Making a Difference (Peeling their spuds, not so much.) New dehydration methods: Development of potato flakes New types of potato chips and other potato products Graphic credits: Peeling potatoes – Life.com / Potato dishes – ars.usda.gov
Making a Difference Graphic credits: ars.usda.gov / Merck ad - msd.com.ph / He will come home poster - clemson.edu Collaborating between scientific disciplines, institutions and countries Finding the right microbe and the right method Working 24/7: Enough penicillin to treat wounded Allied soldiers by June 6, 1944 – D Day
Making a Difference “Clearly represent seminal achievements in the history of chemistry.” – American Chemistry Society National Chemical Historic Landmarks Durable Press/Flame Resistant Cotton – New Orleans, LA Frozen Foods – Albany CA Dehydration Techniques – Wyndmoor, PA International Chemical Historic Landmark Development of Penicillin – Peoria IL Four Regional Research Centers that continue to find new uses for crops and new ways to live sustainably
Making a Difference Absorbs 2000x its weight in water Electrical conductor in batteries Fuel filters Baby powders Wound dressings Disposable diapers
Making a Difference Targeted toward the turf, nursery, and home and garden markets, the technology is also found in Scotts “Water Smart” products
Making a Difference Low glycemic carbohydrate syrup Xylitol sweetener Wrinkle cream / sun screen Sun butter from sunflowers
Making a Difference Biodegradable hydraulic fluids and engine lubricants Bug resistent burmuda grass - ideal for putting greens Irradiation of red meat to kill bacteria that cause life - threatening illness
Making a Difference Mycotoxin detection test kits for in- field use ensures safety of human food and animal feed Injections of “good” bacteria into incubating eggs to combat Salmonella Scientific Dairying: Higher yields from fewer cows
Making a Difference ARS Microbial Culture Collection Nature’s “construction crew” Nearly 90,000 strains of microbes maintained at NCAUR Largest of its kind accessible to the public Widely considered to be the most useful in the world
Making a Difference High throughput robotic screening tests for the best microbe to do a job Microbes and enzymes are bioengineered to do the customized work of breaking down and fermenting a particular feedstock, i.e. switchgrass Scientists collaborate nationwide to identify the traits that make a feedstock usable
Making a Difference Graphic credits: Jetson Cartoon - occasionalsuperheroine.blogspot.com / info – Wikipedia.com Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle? The original Jetson’s cartoon was produced from 1962- 1963 and its 24 episodes re-run for decades It supposedly took place in 2062
Making a Difference How can we ensure a safe food supply? How can we produce enough crops for both food and fuel needs? Increase the nutritional value of our food and fight childhood obesity? Adapt to a changing climate?
Making a Difference Some Listeria bacteria cause no problem – other Listeria has a high rate of hospitalization or fatality DNA sequence-based assay identifies whether a Listeria strain is low risk or high risk This assay has been adopted by Food Safety Inspection Service to make rapid determination Graphic credits: packing plant - johnsondiversey.com
Making a Difference Wheat head scab A beneficial yeast offers a “one-two punch” against the fungus that attacks the grain Large scale production using liquid fermentation Dried, shipped, reconstituted at the field to spray on crops
Making a Difference Pennycress Higher percentage of oil than soybeans No food/fuel conflict Grown in the off season = extra revenue for farmers
Making a Difference Natural fat replacers Oatrim can lower cholesterol and mitigate blood-sugar levels Nutrim contains adds beneficial insulin and glucagon response for diabetics and contributes antioxidant benefits Z-Trim is used in school throughout the United States to meet nutritional requirements
Making a Difference Fresh apple slices are now available at McDonalds, grocery stores like Traders Joe’s and the school lunch program
Making a Difference GRACEnet (Greenhouse Gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement Network): A project coordinated across 32 ARS locations to ◦ evaluate soil carbon status and change in conventional and alternative agricultural systems ◦ determine the net greenhouse gas emissions from those systems
Making a Difference Classroom Presentations Science Fair Mentoring/Judging Adopt – A – School Program Student Researcher Program Partners with CAT, Inc and Bradley University Programs
Making a Difference http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ kids/Index.htm http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ AR/ http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ np/shopcart/shopcartintro. html http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ graphics/photos/ ARS Image Gallery
Making a Difference Requires a challenge. 1. Become familiar with the ARS excellence from your area that has contributed to the “shopping cart of our life”. 2. Find your excellence and make a contribution to success.
Making a Difference from ARS Hall of Fame Scientists 1. Be grateful. 2. Stay focused and true to your core interest. 3. When you have no role model, become the role model. 4. Don’t wait to be given what you need. If necessary, make it yourself. 5. Embrace hard work. 6. Network, network, network! From conferences to the break room; stimulate your thinking, your creativity by interacting with those who are more. They will attract you to the top. 7. Catch the spirit of excellence. 8. Maintain diverse interests. You may be surprised how and when they converge. 9. Never stop learning. Learn from everything. Apply what you learn. 10. Follow the Future.