As 2014 Farm Bill implementation continues, a new 15-member panel will work together to leverage public and private resources in an effort to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the appointment of a 15-member board of directors to look into connecting organizations and research institutions to benefit American agriculture.

Research funded by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research will address issues including plant and animal health; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agricultural and food security; and agriculture systems and technology.

Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress also provided $200 million for the foundation which must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects.

“Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research creates $20 in economic activity,” said Vilsack. “Investments in innovation made over the past several decades have developed new products and new procedures that have been critical to the continued growth of American agriculture. We must continue to make strategic investments in research and technology if we are to remain leaders in the global economy.”

The latest agricultural news each day to your Inbox. Click here for the free Western Farm Press Daily e-mail newsletter.

The foundation’s board of directors was chosen to represent the diverse sectors of agriculture. Seven of these board members were selected by the unanimous vote of the board’s five ex-officio members from lists of candidates provided by industry, while eight representatives were unanimously elected from a list of candidates provided by the National Academy of Sciences.