News of the WeekAgricultural Research

Report Tells USDA to Narrow Its Focus

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Science  09 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5425, pp. 181
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5425.181a

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The research program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs a major overhaul, building stronger ties to the outside research community and focusing more sharply on fewer research priorities, according to a federally appointed task force that laid out a blueprint for such reforms. In a draft report obtained by Science, the panel urges that USDA build fewer new labs, shut down many existing research stations, and increase partnerships with academic and corporate labs. USDA's in-house labs, the report says, should concentrate on work that can best--or only--be done by the federal government.