The budget picture has darkened since then. This year's pot for competitive grants is down about 1%, a far cry from the 64% increase that the Obama
Administration had requested for FY 2011. And reflecting larger fiscal realities, the department's request for FY 2012, submitted in February and still
pending before Congress, was scaled back substantially, although still a
robust 25% increase.
Beachy says his decision to leave on 20 May has nothing to do with the budget, but rather represents a desire to be with his family, which has remained
in St. Louis. "It's strictly for personal reasons," he says. He will return to WUSTL as a professor in the
biology department and hopes to continue to advocate for agricultural research.
"He gave us a face for agricultural science that I've never seen before—modern [and someone] talking about change," says Glasener. "It was really
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 11:23 AM
Subject: Message from REE Under Secretary Woteki
United States Research Office Room 216W
Department of Education of the Under Jamie L. Whitten Building
Agriculture Economics Secretary Washington, DC 20250-0110
To NIFA staff:
Dr. Roger Beachy has been an outstanding advocate for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and its research mission, so it is with
regret that Secretary Vilsack and I have accepted his resignation as Director, effective May 20, 2011. We understand that Dr. Beachy's first priority
must be to the needs of his family, and he will be returning to St. Louis, Missouri, to spend more time with his wife, his children and his
Dr. Beachy worked with many of you when he took the helm of USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) in October
2009 and led the reorganization which transformed the agency into NIFA in 2010. That monumental effort from staff and Dr. Beachy forged NIFA's
reputation as a leader in promoting research and education into some of the most important issues facing the nation today. His leadership contributed
to increasing the visibility of science and innovation at USDA so that American agriculture can continue to be the economic engine our nation needs,
and help our country keep providing a safe and healthy food supply to the world. NIFA grants have recently been given to support such urgent national
priorities as helping find solutions to the crisis of childhood obesity and developing the advanced biofuels that the United States will need for a
clean energy future.
Dr. Beachy has held those who receive NIFA-funded research grants to the highest standards, which has led to cutting edge research being done
throughout the Land-Grant university system and other partner organizations. The agency's support of cooperative extension and the 4-H program has
changed lives, and helped train the next generation of agricultural scientists and researchers. Dr. Beachy leaves a legacy that will endure for years
All of us who have worked with Dr. Beachy will miss his leadership, his enthusiasm and his expertise, and I know he will miss working with all of you.
Please join me in wishing him well on this next step in his personal and professional life.
Secretary Vilsack and I both appreciate the dedication of the NIFA staff who will keep up the good work Dr. Beachy has set in motion. We are
initiating an aggressive search to identify and bring on board a distinguished scientist as NIFA's next director. We will keep you apprised as that
process moves forward.
In the interim period I am naming Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young as Acting Director of NIFA.
Thank you for all you do every day for NIFA, the Department and our country.
Dr. Cathie Woteki
Catherine E. Woteki, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, USDA