Land-grant ag research and education highlighted during visit by USDA Secretary

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue paid a visit to Penn State's University Park campus today (Jan. 24) as part of a tour through Pennsylvania to unveil the Department of Agriculture's legislative principles as Congress prepares to enact a new five-year farm bill.

At a breakfast meeting at the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Perdue and College of Agricultural Sciences faculty, students and administrators discussed the importance of USDA support — in the form of capacity funding and competitive grants — for research, extension programs, undergraduate education and graduate training.

The parties agreed that interdisciplinary research, innovation, dissemination of practical science-based information through extension, and preparing the next generation of scientists and leaders all are critical to solving food and environmental challenges and creating jobs and economic vitality.

Following breakfast, Perdue toured a lab at the Center for Pollinator Research and learned how the Huck Institutes promote collaboration and interdisciplinary research among Penn State colleges.

Accompanied during his stop at Penn State by U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, Perdue then visited portions of the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building, where he saw the Berkey Creamery manufacturing plant, the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory and the wet processing pilot plant. He ended the tour by enjoying Creamery ice cream with members of the student Ag Advocates group and meeting with news media.

Before leaving campus, he met with the staff of the USDA Agricultural Research Service's Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, which is housed on Curtin Road and operates a research farm at Penn State's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs.

For more images from Perdue's visit, see the photo gallery.

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Last Updated January 25, 2018