President Obama announced recently his intent to appoint Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy as director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA works with minority serving colleges and universities and other public and private organizations, to advance research and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences.  Dr. Ramaswamy is currently Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.

"I welcome the President's intent to appoint Dr. Ramaswamy, a man with a distinguished career as a scientist, professor and leader within higher education, and someone who will surely help to position NIFA as a modern and efficient service organization that is closely in tune with the long-term vitality of the food and agricultural sciences," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "NIFA's work to coordinate federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs in the service of U.S. agriculture is critical to sustaining the important gains made by U.S. agriculture."

NIFA is part of USDA's Research, Education and Economics Mission Area, which includes the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, as well as the National Agriculture Library and National Arboretum.