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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
×
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Operational Strategies for Science in U.S. Agriculture." National Research Council. 1975. World Food and Nutrition Study: Enhancement of Food Production for the United States : a Report of the Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, Commission on Natural Resources, National Research Council, Prepared for the NRC Study on World Food and. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18644.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

CHAPTER 3 OPERATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR SCIENCE IN U.S. AGRICULTURE INTRODUCTION The U.S. agricultural research system is a composite of many federal, state, and private institutions and organizations operating under a variety of institutional, social, political, and profit structures and incentives. The major thrust of food-concerned research is conducted by various federal agencies and SAES through programs associated with the USDA. However, food-related research is also conducted or sponsored by numerous colleges and universities, state agencies, a broad segment of private industry, and by at least 15 major divisions of the U.S. Government. (Divisions of the U.S. Government conducting or sponsoring food-related research are: Department of Agriculture; Department of the Interior; Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Department of Defense; Department of Commerce; Agency for International Development of the State Department; National Science Foundation; Energy Research and Development Administration; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Tennessee Valley Authority; Department of Transportation; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Environmental Protection Agency; National Bureau of Standards; and Federal Trade Commission. Also, see the Report on the Federal R&D Program FY 1976, Federal Council for Science and Technology, National Science Foundation, February 1975, for a discussion of the principal food research activities in the federal establishment.) The success of the agricultural industry in this country indicates the relative effectiveness with which the separate components of the agricultural research system have responded to the needs of the agricultural and food industry. These separate components operating collectively have arrived at approximately correct decisions through a complex of incentives that help the components determine what research should be done, when, and by whom. This interaction of the diverse components of the research system has developed over time as an adaptive response to the lack of any central means of support review and coordination. The nature of this interrelationship among agencies and their administrative structures is important because it is through this interaction that the research system selects -21-

the mix of research and at the same time minimizes costly duplication, overlap, or inefficiencies. Among the many factors contributing to an effective and efficient research system are the review and planning of research programs in relation to problems needing solutions and to the fulfillment of national and regional goals, the allocation of resources to insure attention of researchers to important goals and problems, and the support of these by an administrative structure that can relate and coordinate the diverse research system into units responsive to the agricultural and food needs of the country. Any overt action designed to affect the food production and delivery system through the research system requires the manipulation of this complex set of factors in such a way as to enhance and certainly not to interfere with the productivity of the system. To accomplish this without explicitly directing the individual institutions and organizations of the agriculture research system—to lend direction to but not direct research—is the function of the management of science and the agricultural research management system. In considering the issues associated with managing science in U. S. agriculture, there is a basic presumption that any consideration for making recommendations for improvement must be based on the existing agricultural research system. The recommendations in this section of the report reflect a view of the study committee. The agricultural research system is no longer considered to be supporting a particular "way of life" in this country. It is supporting a complex system of processes which provides the foundation for the very existence of future generations in this nation and the world. The changes the committee proposes in the U.S. agricultural research management system underscore the belief that it is time to recognize agriculture as a national resource and to treat it as such. A NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH POLICY COUNCIL A National Agricultural Research Policy Council should be established to provide representation from, communication with, and consideration of the total agricultural research system in devising national policies and strategies for strengthening agricultural research. A number of events have indicated both a need and a desire for the kind of central focusing of research efforts that could be provided by a national strategy for agricultural research. The federal-state research system has been developing a structure to bring about a degree of national focus on research planning. Both Houses of Congress have introduced bills aimed at encouraging some centralization in research planning. -22-

These and other planning efforts do contribute to improving the effectiveness of research selection and management. However, the efforts devised to date generally fall short of supplying the total agricultural research system with the direction required to satisfy future demands for its products. Even the broader planning efforts such as the concurrent USDA-SAES planning efforts, address usually only one and at best only two of the three dimensions of planning: (1) what it is feasible to do, (2) what it is relevant to do, and (3) how it is to be done (what is the allocation of resources). If the individual elements of the agricultural research system are to manage and operate their programs effectively, attention must be given to all aspects of planning. There is need for an annually updated statement of research policy which in effect would constitute a national strategy for the U.S. agricultural research system. This statement—requiring input from biological, physical, and social scientists—should reflect the main thrusts of U.S. social and economic policies and indicate the impact of these on the agricultural research system as guidelines for designing research programs. These guidelines would reflect the realization of what can be accomplished with the resources available to the system, including reallocation of present resources, and provide guidance to those who are responsible for committing resources to it. Such guidelines should give attention to such areas as the extent, degree, and nature of the U.S. research commitment to the world food balance; the appropriate trade-offs between factors related to the more immediate problems of food safety and nutrition versus the longer term problem of maintaining a high rate of growth in food production; the relative commitment to high levels of food production with dependability of supply in the intermediate future (applied research) versus laying down a sound base for consistent growth in food production over the longer term (basic or fundamental research); the relative interaction among alternative long-term goals, such as a clean environment and eating; and other areas. The need for a national strategy for agricultural research has become particularly critical at this time for two principal reasons: (1) the mission of agriculture has been broadened in scope and expanded in importance, and (2) the importance of agricultural research interacting with nonagricultural decision criteria such as land use, environmental protection, trade balances, and so on, is increasing. Society perceives for the U.S. and U.S. agriculture a dominant position in resolving world food imbalances. This includes an expanded role in supplying foreign countries with the know-how to grow their own. At the same time, the American people, long accustomed to plentiful supplies of quality products, would like the food producing system to undertake activities to assure a return to the levels of -23-

expenditure for food as a part of total income that existed before the current inflation. Both of these charges to agricultural research require quick response. The principal implication of this is that the U.S. agricultural research management system must now produce more quickly even if costs are greater. The present agricultural research management system is slow to incorporate such factors as energy, environment, and social, political, economic, and military constraints into its planning activities. When such factors are in fact reflected in plans, only marginal change in direction is achieved rather than the substantial redirections called for. A recognized national strategy for the agricultural research system might make possible important compromises among conflicting social goals. For example, a strategic withdrawal of key agrichemicals might be achieved based on a coordinated program of research to provide substitutes, thus minimizing loss of food production capabilities while achieving environmental goals. A National Agricultural Research Policy Council (NARPC) is suggested as a means of communicating and deliberating among the diverse organizations and groups concerned with the many aspects of agricultural research. Reviews of programs, policies, and goals of agricultural research agencies and the agricultural portions of programs in other agencies having primary missions outside of agriculture would be an important assignment of the council. NARPC would devote itself to devising a general strategy for all agricultural research (social as well as biological and physical) to determine that a proper balance is reached between mission-oriented applied research and the long-range basic studies that must undergird future improved practices, institutions, and capabilities. It would also provide a forum for research sponsoring agencies in which information on plans and programs related to agriculture could be exchanged. It would be the agent for developing broad strategies to insure an efficient agricultural research system using the best capabilities of the nation. Several desirable features of a NARPC can be stated. Its membership must be broadly constituted to provide a meaningful representation of the food sciences and the major interest groups related to food availability. It should have a limited staff, but it must be adequately supported by staff specialists from federal agencies and the SAES to develop the policy and strategy guidelines for the national agricultural research management system. The NARPC must be authoritatively constituted by at least the major components of the national agricultural research system to insure adequate attention to its guidelines. It must operate at a high enough level to have an overview of the total system including its technical, institutional, and human components and of the relevant linkages with the general economy and society. It must also have at least the power of review -24-

over agency and institutional strategies, but not over budgets or plans. It might also control some ancillary funding to facilitate initiation of the national strategies it designs. The NARPC would not direct research but would lend direction to it. Its principal function would be to formulate consistent policy statements on agricultural research which, taken together, would constitute the national strategy discussed in the last section. With staff support, the NARPC would see that necessary information was collected and that studies were conducted on which to base guidelines. NARPC would also conduct reviews of agricultural research agency programs, missions, and goals, and it might have responsibility for promoting and providing guidelines for special grants programs in agriculturally related areas. The NARPC should be established in a manner analogous to the currently constituted Agricultural Research Policy Advisory Committee (ARPAC) in the USDA and the SAES. The NARPC would also have representatives from other federal agencies sponsoring agriculture-related research. The list of representatives contained in the Sieberling Bill (H. R. 6737) represents the appropriate type of membership for NARPC. However, agricultural interests should predominate. Further, NARPC would not replace ARPAC, because the latter would still have an important function within the USDA family. A RESEARCH MISSION FOR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE The U.S. Department of Agriculture should include responsibility for research as a_ distinct mission. The previous discussion was concerned broadly with the agricultural and agriculture-related research sponsored by some 15 or more federal agencies. Bringing these diverse programs into focus so that they can respond more readily and effectively to national and state needs is an important and challenging assignment. However, to most of these agencies food and agricultural production are secondary or peripheral responsibilities and of fluctuating interest. The major portion of the mission-oriented research directed toward the immediate and medium term needs of agriculture, that which will influence production over the next 10 to 20 years, is conducted by the affiliated SAES. Many agricultural research administrators are of the opinion that USDA has not been an effective proponent of agricultural research, that it does not now provide for an adequate consideration of the problems and needs of research in its top-level deliberations, and that it lacks administrative and budgeting arrangements that can effectively guide research in response to national and regional needs. -25-

The major agencies within the USDA responsible for research include the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) , the Economic Research Service (ERS), the Forest Service (FS) and the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS). The ARS conducts primarily in-house research in the biological, engineering, and physical sciences. The ERS conducts in- house research in economics and social sciences and provides policy analysis and other support for the Secretary. The FS has a research arm that conducts research on the management and improvement of the nation's forests and associated grazing lands. The CSRS administers federal funds that are primarily allocated by formulas to the 52 SAES and the Colleges of 1890. The federally appropriated funds provide an average of about one-third of the funds supporting the SAES and individual states supply most of the remainder. Closely aligned with the SAES are the state extension services that convey the results of research to farmers and consumers. The total research conducted by these agencies in and associated with the USDA probably exceeds $700 million per year and involves over 10,000 scientists distributed in more than 100 separate locations. It is this complex group of research scientists that is devoting its efforts to the solution of the many problems of agricultural production, food processing, marketing, agricultural policy, and to the improvement of the quality of life for rural people. Recently the USDA identified 11 major missions for program planning and resource allocation, but they did not include research as a mission. Research was included only as a supporting goal or function for such missions as "Agricultural Production Efficiency" which also includes many non-research activities such as the control and inspection work of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Other stated missions involving research in the social sciences include farm income, agricultural marketing and distribution, rural development, and food and nutrition. Support for nonfederal governments and institutions includes research funds allocated to the 52 SAES. In the opinion of many concerned with representing research in administrative deliberations within and above the USDA level, the lack of a designated mission for research has been a significant impediment in bringing the role and contributions of research prominently before the principal councils of the USDA, the OMB in the Office of the President, and the Congress. Program and budget planning should consider research as a clearly identified responsibility to support the many missions of the USDA. The USDA should restudy its roles and missions and identify research as a primary departmental responsibility. The supporting role of research and its relationship to each major mission should be clearly identified. -26-

A PRINCIPAL ADMINISTRATOR FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH The Department of Agriculture should appoint a high- level administrator with staff to provide leadership of, coordinate, and be a spokesman for the research agencies and programs in the Department. The USDA needs a top-level administrator with an adequate staff to keep abreast of research in the department and in the SAES. This administrator should devote his major time and interest to agricultural research, representing research in the highest levels of deliberations of administrators in the USDA, seeking financial and public support for agricultural research, and providing information exchange and coordination among the diverse research programs. There have been suggestions that the staff support for such an administrator could be provided by CSRS, but a study of the present assignment and future program needs of CSRS provides convincing evidence that there is an important need and role for CSRS in helping to coordinate and strengthen research in the SAES. Also, the current staff and budget (3 percent of Hatch funds) is inadequate for the present assignment. If CSRS were to be the agency assigned the broad task of staff support for the principal administrator of research, the budget, staff, and organization of the agency would have to be greatly expanded. The question would also arise of conflict of interest for an agency working closely with one branch of research yet having a broad responsibility for all. In general, it seems most desirable that staff support for this office be independent of the several agencies reporting to the administrator. The Secretary of Agriculture should designate and fill a high-level principal administrative position for coordinating all research in and affiliated with the department. The administrator should also be provided a staff of specialists to help the office keep abreast of the diverse research activities and the nation's agricultural research needs. These specialists should include biological, physical, and social scientists. This position should be at an assistant secretary level or the level of a primary assistant to an assistant secretary, and the staff should be independent of any of the research divisions being administered by his office. ENHANCEMENT OF THE ROLE OF THE COOPERATIVE STATE RESEARCH SERVICE The Cooperative State Research Service should be strengthened, and its mission and role assessed and reoriented to better promote and serve improved management of agricultural research. -27-

Over a period of more than 80 years of administration of federal assistance to SAES, the CSRS has developed a restricted pattern of activities. While it was originally intended to coordinate the activities of the SAES with the activities of the federal agencies, the major current activities include the allocation of and accounting for federal funds appropriated for agricultural research in SAES and the Colleges of 1890, reviews of individual projects supported in part or in total by federal funds, the conduct of special departmental or comprehensive reviews within SAES, assistance in the administration of regional research, allocation and administration of competitive grant funds (primarily provided under P.L. 89-106), and representation of SAES programs within the USDA. There is a growing need for more positive leadership roles in the operations of the federal-state research system which the staff of the CSRS could in part fulfill. This includes the need for more interaction with other federal agencies, sponsoring agricultural research, and critically reviewing fields of research and identifying new needs or opportunities for improved research activities. The CSRS could also assist SAES in improving their internal research review programs. Fulfillment of a more vigorous role by CSRS is limited by the perception it and the SAES have of its role, by the funds available for administration, and by the size, training, and capabilities of the staff. The CSRS should critically evaluate its roles, missions, programs, and procedures. Representatives of other federal research agencies and SAES should be involved in evaluating present CSRS programs and possible future activities to encourage the evolution of a more effective and efficient agricultural research enterprise. Additional highly qualified scientists should be provided to support a revitalized role for CSRS. Some staff support could be provided from funds now appropriated for forestry research and for the Colleges of 1890 providing the same 3 percent for administration that is currently included in the Hatch Act funds. Additional time for the existing staff could be made available by reducing the project review and approval process and placing greater dependence on the SAES for monitoring the quality of their own proposals within broad guidelines established by NARPC. Finally, a more dynamic and specialized role for CSRS staff might be fostered by using a larger proportion of short-term, temporary staff obtained while on leave from SAES or other agricultural research organizations. STATE LEVEL COORDINATION OF FEDERAL-STATE RESEARCH Orderly and periodic means for jointly reviewing research plans, budget requests, and programs at the state -28-

level should be established by directors of SAES and area directors for the ARS and the ERS. In the SAES, stronger, larger, administrative units are needed to help design and operate the research programs executed by departments and individuals. The limited administrative ties of research agencies at the upper administrative levels of the USDA are paralleled in many states by inadequate communication and planning at the state level among administrators of the SAES, the ARS, and the ERS. An orderly and periodic system of communication on such items as budget requests and future plans would relieve many current stresses and lead to better coordination of activities. The director of each SAES should convene regular conferences with appropriate ARS and ERS administrators responsible for agency research in the state. In these sessions, research programs should be reviewed and evaluated and future plans, budget requests, and other matters of mutual interest should be discussed. The goal should be an integrated research program to meet the needs of agriculture and food consumers in the state. FUNDING THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SYSTEM An adequate base of support for expanding agricultural research should be provided by means of an integrated program consisting of increased Hatch type funding to strengthen the federal-state research base, dedicated funding for the support of mission-oriented basic research not funded under existing agency or grants programs, and a system of competitive grant programs available to a variety of researchers. Agricultural research within the USDA is budgeted through the Office of the Secretary and is assigned to the various agencies within the Department. Funds are provided through a number of different laws and regulations that often create rigidities that make efficient and effective program planning and implementation difficult. Appropriations for agriculture-related research to federal agencies outside of the USDA is independent of and often unknown to the agricultural mission-oriented agencies. Associated with the diversity of the agricultural research system in the U.S. is an equal diversity in the sources of funds that finance the agricultural research. These consist of federal and state funds, private endowments, grdrU^, and even self-generated funds. Within the federal funds, there are many individual sources sometimes financing the same or similar types of research. There is lack of coordination among this mixture of funds. Each has sprung up to fortify or protect a particular need and has then remained locked in place in the system. Many of the funding configurations are now obsolete and -29-

impractical. The functional needs of these funds are now different than when they were originally devised, yet the existing mixture continues to distort research programs in a manner that cannot be justified on the basis of priorities. One can see examples of this in the imbalance of funding among types of research, in funds that are locked into fixed geographical patterns of expenditure, in the "earmarking" by Congress to assure the welfare of specific interests, and so on. Undoubtedly, some of the most productive support funds for any governmental program have been the Hatch funds. These funds permitted a buildup in research capabilities in SAES that contributed to the unprecedented food supplies in this country as well as other nations. Historically, much of the strength of the Hatch funds came from the formula base on which they have been allocated, essentially leaving to the SAES how these funds were to be used to best meet local research needs. Over a briefer history, similar developments have occurred in the federal agencies engaged in agricultural research through the allocation of general research support funds. Several considerations arise with respect to such general funding. First of all, the existing research capabilities and facilities in the SAES and the ARS are there largely because of the Hatch and other general support funds. Another expansion of research capabilities in this country would require an expansion of Hatch or Hatch-type funds to augment existing research facilities and capabilities. Growth in Hatch funds and other similar general support funds has not been as rapid as the increases in cost of doing research. One result has been a gradual deterioration of research facilities throughout the agricultural research system. There is now a broad need for an increase in funds of this kind simply to bring these facilities back up to their former productive levels. For many states, state funds have simply not been able to compensate for the decreases (in real terms) of federal funds. The structure of research funding in the national agricultural research system is designed largely to support research at either end of the applied-basic research spectrum but not in the middle. On the one hand, funding of mission-oriented agencies centers on the solution of problems. In developing it, they conduct a program of basic as well as applied research; but the basic research is directed along lines of inquiry that are judged to be most productive to the eventual achievement of the desired technology. From time to time, research reveals entirely new approaches which are alternatives to existing lines of inquiry in a mission-oriented problem. But however promising these insights may be, they must compete for funding with more applied research with more tangible -30-

potential and even with current lines of basic research for which it is considered an alternative. In an atmosphere of continuing pressures on budgets, funding generally comes only after the scientist has developed the concept on his own to a relatively advanced stage, however long it might have taken. On the other hand, the same type of mission- oriented basic research cannot effectively compete for funding with the type of research supported, for example, under an NSF program which tends to foster exploratory scientific endeavor and at the same time takes into consideration the availability of funding alternatives in its decisions. The area of research depicted here may be potentially the most productive to support because it already has direct ties to the applied end of the research spectrum. Although it lies just beyond the horizon of what is visualized as eminently useful, its parentage is most often the practicing scientist gaining an occasional peek at what lies in that marginal zone of the yet unknown. While these areas will eventually surface, as the horizons are pushed farther back and the establishment conditions itself for their arrival, a great deal of precious time could be saved by taking advantage of these occasional opportunities and preventing them from slipping away. The national agricultural research management system must lock in the motivation and support to foster more effective research endeavors in this area. A substantial program for competitive research grants for agriculturally related research could provide several advantages, tirst, it could provide a funding source for research talent from both inside and outside the SAES drawing into agricultural research many scientists who are currently excluded because of lack of finances. Second, it could provide a means of insuring that basic as well as applied research on agricultural questions is conducted, since it would enlarge the range of researchers into the more basic underlying sciences. Third, it could provide an incentive for maintaining excellence in agricultural research because grants are awarded in competition with other proposals under a peer-review panel system. Establishment of a grant system specifically for larger group efforts could stimulate needed interdisciplinary research efforts in agriculture. Such block grants have, in the past, provided bases for effective interactions of researchers in different fields of specialization who combine their skills to attack larger, more complex problems. One illustration is the Integrated Pest Management program currently supported by the NSF, EPA, USDA, and several SAES. Examples of much larger systems might include studies of drought strategies, tropical farming systems, and modeling of crop behavior. -31-

Specific Recommendations for Funding An effort should be made to bring together the diversity of funds that support the federal-state research system—in effect if not in fact. A comprehensive study should be conducted of the extent of multiple sources of funds, the effect of these multiple sources, and the practical possibilities for unifying them. As an intermediate step, the administrators and coordinators of the principal fund sources should reach some agreement with respect to the most effective pattern of funding for each source within the context of the overall fund sources and needs. Serious study should also be given to a reassessment of the total structure, method of allocation, and general adequacy of the Hatch funds and similar general support funds for both the federal agencies and SAES. This should include a reexamination of the formula funding as a base for allocating resources and the examination of alternative bases for support. As we noted earlier, this report cannot attempt to reassess those parts of the agricultural research structure relevant to the sociological, political, and economic aspects of food production. A mechanism should be set up immediately to provide a program of funding for deserving mission-oriented basic research that is not funded from existing sources. These funds should be open to all research agencies, organizations, and institutions and granted to the organization for specific research proposals as determined by peer and administrative review. However, the initial criteria should be that the proposed basic research is mission oriented. The program could be administered by the proposed NARPC or a Food Research Advisory Committee as recommended in H. R. 6737 (Sieberling Bill). In conjunction with or separate from support for mission-oriented basic research, the USDA should establish a competitive grants program for food related research open to individuals, institutions, or consortiums on an equal merit basis. Likewise, funds should be open to research proposals over the full range of research from exploratory to developmental, but none to exceed three years. The principal criteria for selection should be the research contribution to increasing the availability and quality of food within the guidelines of an established national agri- cultural research strategy. The council or the advisory body administering the mission-oriented basic research funds could also administer these funds. Initially, funds might be generated by setting aside a percentage of total research funds. Eventually, such funds should be earmarked by Congress for this purpose as dedicated funds not subject to year-to-year exigencies. Representatives of the federal-state agricultural research system should endeavor to reach some agreement with -32-

the NSF to permit greater representation by the agricultural sciences in the selection of projects to assure that exploratory research is conducted that will best serve the needs of food research in the long term. RESEARCH REVIEW AND EVALUATION Each agricultural research unit should assure adeguate systems and criteria for the critical review and evaluation of research. Some government research agencies, many SAES, and other agricultural research organizations have well designed systems for the planning, review, and critical evaluation of research. However, in too many instances these functions are carried out ineffectively. Strong encouragement should be given for strengthening these aspects of research operations. Peer reviews of research have proven effective for exploratory basic or long-range research. Review of applied research oriented to the immediate solution of practical problems should include the opinions of those benefitted by the research—farmers, industry, and consumers—as well as the scientific peers of the researchers. Various procedures have been used for research reviews. The CSRS has developed special or comprehensive types of review for programs within SAES. These reviews involve the selection of a panel of well-qualified peers, primarily from outside of the state and representing the major disciplines or specialities to be reviewed. Reviews have been devoted to evaluating programs and staff within a selected department, or they have covered the broad programs, disciplines, and scientists devoted to a commodity, such as corn or forage crops, or to a problem area such as reproductive failures of livestock. Such outside panel reviews have been well accepted and have been an effective means for improving research programs. Critical review of individual research projects is commonly accepted as the primary basis for assuring a quality research effort and a wise investment of resources. Different review systems are used within SAES. Some SAES have a pool of well qualified scientists from which a panel of reviewers (frequently three) is selected for each research proposal. In other instances peer reviews are conducted primarily within concerned departments with further administrative reviews at the director's office level. These reviews emphasize, first, improvement of quality of research plans and, second, the rejection of poorly conceived and nonsignificant projects. Research conducted to provide direct help to the public on a specific problem usually has an interested clientele. Representatives of these prospective user groups can be -33-

effectively used in evaluating the importance and possible applications of applied research. Experience in administration of agricultural research indicates that critical research review is an essential aspect of effective research administration. Such experience indicates that a number of different types of reviews are needed to provide the flexibility necessary to adequate screening of the many diverse types and levels of research occurring in the broad spectrum of agriculture. PROBLEMS OF AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS IN STATE SYSTEMS OF HIGHER EDUCATION A national study should be made of the changing place and role of agricultural research in land grant universities and in state systems of higher education. The Hatch Act of 1887 provided for the establishment of an agricultural experiment station in each state in association with an agricultural college. For most states this marked the beginning of the land grant college system. Agricultural colleges were established or expanded to accommodate the agricultural experiment station that would receive limited federal support under the Hatch Act. During the following several decades, the SAES were usually the most prominent part of the agricultural college. General support continued to be provided by both the state and the federal government. Following World War I, the number of students grew, agricultural colleges became universities, and in each university numerous other colleges were organized among which agriculture became only one. In 1914 the Smith-Lever Bill provided for agriculture and rural people an extension service related to colleges of agriculture and associated with the SAES. Following World War II, substantial funds became available for research in nearly all parts of each land grant university. The SAES that had hitherto been the major or even sole research arm of most land grant universities were now outstripped by research programs in engineering and in basic physical, biological, and social sciences. The number of students seemed to explode. States created numerous additional universities and colleges, and research institutes and centers were set up to manage and promote burgeoning research in nearly all parts of the major universities. Soon the complexity and costs of higher education demanded statewide administrative organizations which dealt, to varying degrees, with such questions as definition of the mission and program of the individual institutions, and general budgetary allocations. The role of the SAES and the colleges of agriculture seemed to shrink. The agricultural experiment station became only one of a number of major research programs in -3U-

the university system, and the understanding and appreciation of agriculture often seemed relegated to secondary importance in the system. As of the 1970s the changes and organizational policies of higher education seem to have reached a crucial point. State systems of higher education are by purpose and policy primarily concerned with students and with rationalizing educational programs. Academic research, supported largely by grant funds but still demanding a substantial portion of faculty time, has lost its luster. Mission-oriented research often has even greater difficulty fitting into these systems, particularly when it seems to compete with educational programs for space and financial support. Following the post World War II expansion, agriculture—which had become a combination of the college, the agricultural experiment station, and the extension service—frequently retreated from its dominant role in the university to what the Mayers characterized as "Island Empires." But today this retreat and isolation is no longer defensible: programs of agricultural research can only be maintained if they receive an equitable share of state and federal funds and if agricultural scientists receive equitable treatment and recognition in institutional merit systems. To further augment agriculture's problems, an increasing number of state legislatures are now under urban rather than rural domination, and a different set of interests and backgrounds must be appealed to. In addition the agricultural experiment station director in an increasing proportion of cases must work his requests for budgets and program authorization through an administrative maze consisting of the college dean, the university administration, and boards and chancellors of statewide systems of higher education before those requests can even go to the state legislature. Within these systems, dominating concerns for the student and for education often result in criteria for new faculty, space in buildings, and program support based almost entirely on numbers of students. Increased attention by the SAES research system to pressing social problems would justify increased investments in research on the socio-politico-economic aspects of food production. Such research is now being done by federal, state, and private agencies and social scientists who are often not fully conversant with agriculture and food problems. Some of the funds now used in this way and additional funds could be advantageously used and managed in the university land grant system whose administrators and scientists are well acquainted with problems involving food. Agricultural research in changing state systems of higher education calls for careful analysis and new alternatives in administrative arrangements. Also, consideration must be given to whether or not the point has -35-

been reached where mission-oriented research and educational systems are incompatible. If they are, what are the alternatives? This is a question that has received little national attention and has seldom been openly explored. Some states have established ways in which agricultural research administrators can make direct contact with members of the state legislature. Others work around the educational system through representatives of agricultural industry or commodity organizations. Various alternatives for strengthening the voice of agricultural research and for improving the effectiveness of research management are needed, and an independent study should be conducted to evaluate those alternatives fairly in relation to the best interests of society. ENCOURAGING EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH Agricultural research organizations should establish reward systems that adequately recognize and encourage excellence jn all aspects of agricultural research. In agricultural research there are many types of endeavor not adequately measured by traditional, restrictive research reward systems. Often the product is a new crop variety or a new production or processing practice more suitable for immediate use by farmers or other clients than for publication in referenced scientific journals. Even though such types of productivity often do not receive high marks in typical peer review systems, they are the foundation that primarily justifies public support of all research. Attraction and retention of the most able scientists in applied research require that the system of merit recognition be as good for applied accomplishments as for the more often acclaimed basic research. If the previously described flexible systems of research review and evaluation are implemented, the remaining limitations on an equitable reward system involving advancement in rank and salary are in the internal criteria and advancement system of each organization. In many organizations, discrimination against applied research does not exist. Strenuous efforts must be made in all cases to have an equitable, unbiased evaluation and merit reward system. -36-

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