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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 34 / 53





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    MR. RONALD BONICK:  The 1031 should leave here today completely beat up.


    MODERATOR:  Thank you, sir.  Let’s go to the next question and a reminder, you have two minutes, please.

   MR. ROB KING:  Mr. Secretary, thanks for being here.  I am Rob King, I’m a professor and head of the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota.  We’ve got world-class undergraduate and graduate programs and turn out a lot of good students.  We do research on issues that range from biodiversity to water quality, farm management, renewable energy, future of the livestock industry.  We are looking at school lunch programs and the effect of those on kids’ health and problems with obesity, food stamps, biosecurity of the food system, and trade policy.  So a wide range of issues that we look at.

    What I want to do is real quickly make a comment and express my support for the proposed National Food and Ag Sciences Act that was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate earlier this year.  It’s my understanding that this would supplement rather than replace existing formula funds and that it would focus attention and resources on the need to increase competitive research in the broad fields of food and agriculture and to encourage broader and interdisciplinary work.  That’s really critical when we look at issues like health and food and agriculture have an impact on prevention of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and obesity.  When we look at issues like this, they go far beyond the bounds of any particular discipline, but our existing funding programs don’t really encourage interdisciplinary research.

      The National Food and Agricultural Science Act would create a mechanism that would fund competitive, interdisciplinary research in critical areas of agriculture, health, sustainability, and other important fields.

      I just want to real quickly thank Minnesota representatives Gutknecht, Kennedy, and Peterson and Senator Norm Coleman for supporting this legislation.  Thank you.

       MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Let’s go to this microphone.

      MR. GERALD TUMBLESON:  (sp) Gerald Tumbleson from Martin County, if I talk on all six of them, do I get 12 minutes?


    MODERATOR:  No.  Two minutes.

     MR. GERALD TUMBLESON:  Two minutes.  Okay.  First off, I want to thank Gil Gutknecht and Collin Peterson for this Farm Bill.  This is probably the only one we’ve got so much bipartisan in, in the whole United States Congress.  This was a bipartisan bill and it’s working.  It is working fabulous.  We have rural development, we have farmers, we have not the complaints that we’ve had in the years past.  It is working.  Now, as we keep it working and we understand that if you drill a hole and Saudi Arabian oil comes out of the ground, it’s like a printing press for Saudi Arabia, brand-new money.  Solar

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