Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics

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The Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics is a high-ranking official within the United States Department of Agriculture that provides leadership and oversight for the Agricultural Research Service, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Economic Research Service, National Agricultural Library, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area of the U. S. Department of Agriculture has Federal leadership responsibility for Advancing scientific knowledge related to agriculture through research, extension, and education.

REE delivers the scientific discovery mission of USDA through:

  • The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the largest intramural research agency of USDA. ARS has a workforce of around 8,000 employees, including 2,500 life and physical scientists who represent a wide range of disciplines and who work at more than 100 locations across the country and at five overseas laboratories. The ARS research agenda is broad, with about 1,200 research projects organized under 4 major program areas: Nutrition, Food Safety and Food Quality; Animal Production and Protection; Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems; and Crop Production and Protection.
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is USDA’s primary extramural research funding agency. Its mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, and human health and wellbeing by funding targeted research, education, and extension projects and programs, some of which are specific to the Land-Grant University System, others open to participation by other partner organizations.
  • The Economic Research Service (ERS) is USDA’s primary source of economic information and economic and social science research. ERS’ mission is to anticipate economic and policy issues related to food, agriculture, the environment, and rural development, and conduct research that guides public program and policy decisions.
  • The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is committed to providing timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. Its reports cover virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture, including production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers.

Dr. Catherine Woteki is the incumbent Under Secretary, as well as the Department's Chief Scientist. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 16, 2010.

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