The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently seeking nominations for the Task Force on Agricultural Air Quality Research. The notice request for nominations contains information about how to nominate an individual for a two-year term. The Task Force serves as an advisory body on issues related to air quality and its relationship to agricultural production. Those interested in serving may also nominate themselves.
“The Task Force is another example of USDA’s continued commitment to developing science-based solutions and conservation measures that not only reduce the agriculture industry’s environmental impact but, in many ways, enhance our natural resources through improved agricultural practices,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release. “Bringing together a variety of perspectives and scientific insights to this Task Force will help reach solutions to resolve air quality challenges.”
The Task Force on Agricultural Air Quality Research was established through the 1996 Farm Bill. It serves to support USDA research efforts to help the agricultural industry improve air quality conditions. Members of the Task Force have traditionally been growers, industry representatives, members of the scientific community, and members of health and regulatory committees. Identifying cost-effective ways that the agriculture sector can contribute to improving air quality is in line with the Agriculture Innovation Agenda that was announced earlier in the year. USDA will work to encourage the increase of agricultural production by 40 percent while reducing the environmental impact of agriculture by 50 percent by 2050.
The Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will serve as chair of the Task Force. Nominations will need to be emailed or postmarked by Monday, November 9. Nominations are required to include a typed summary detailing an applicant’s qualifications along with a resume explaining a nominee’s experience and educational qualifications. A completed background disclosure form signed by the nominee will also be required, while the inclusion of any letters of endorsement is optional.