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Diverse Academic Leaders Support Harnessing Power of Agricultural Data
Minnesota Ag Connection - 11/16/2018

Over 60 scholars representing 30 leading U.S. universities have shown their solidarity for the proposed Agriculture Data Act of the next Farm Bill in a letter sent to Senate and House Agriculture Committee leaders this week. The proposed Agriculture Data Act of 2018 introduced by Senators Thune (R-SD) and Klobuchar (D-MN) was included in the Senate-passed Farm Bill. The Ag Data Act would establish the framework for a conservation and farm productivity national data warehouse; the first of its kind in the United States, that would unlock solutions to conserve natural resources and improve farmer success while protecting data privacy.

The signatories -- led by Dr. Joshua Woodard, Associate Professor at Cornell University and founder of Ag-Analytics.Org -- include the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University; two members of the National Academy of Sciences; several Department Heads and Center Directors; and several other leading scholars including distinguished Professors, Fellows, and Chair Holders. The signatories span multiple disciplines including agricultural economics, farm management, agronomy, horticulture, plant breeding, soil science, natural resources, environmental science, food science and related fields.

The statement echoes a Letter recently published in Science on the power of agricultural data led by Professor Woodard and Professor Bruce Sherrick, University of Illinois, with co-authors including the former Deputy Secretary of USDA, the former President of the National Corn Growers Association, several leading farmers, as well as representatives from the AGree Initiative, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Corn Growers Association, Walton Family Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, American Farmland Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the farmer-led North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance.

The final list of signatories and their letter can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/y76x86t3

The letter in Science can be viewed at science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6413/410/tab-article-info

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