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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

National Corn Growers Association Chairwoman Pam Johnson is on the newly announced Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR). Johnson is the only farmer among the 15 directors on the foundation that will leverage resources for research to boost the country's agriculture economy.

Johnson tells Brownfield that for too long, funding for research dollars hasn't been robust and is decreasing.

"This new project is mandatory funding under the farm bill, that's $200 million," said Johnson, from her farm in Floyd County, Iowa. "It's to be a public/private partnership, so it will be a foundation that will help raise private funds to augment that $200 million."

The foundation was authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill and will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking private donations to fund agriculture research. The $200 million provided by Congress must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects.

"For me it's to, as a group, sit down and figure out how we can fund the best research and then take that research and make sure that whatever needs to be can be commercialized, or much like through extension, to get that research out into the hands of the people that really need it," said Johnson.

Among the academic and private sector science professionals who make up the foundation's board of directors, Johnson is the only farmer.

"I'm honored to be there and looking forward to the work that will be before us," said Johnson, "and I'm also humbled."

The 15 voting members are:

*Dr. Kathryn Boor - the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University

*Dr. Douglas Buhler - Director of AgBioResearch and Senior Associate Dean for Research for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University

*Dr. Nancy Creamer - Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems, North Carolina State University

*Dr. Deborah Delmer - Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of California-Davis

*The Honorable Dan Glickman - former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, current Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Congressional Program

*Dr. Robert Horsch - Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

*Pamela Johnson - Chairwoman, National Corn Growers Association

*Dr. Mark E. Keenum - President, Mississippi State University

*Dr. Michael Ladisch - Director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University

*Dr. Christopher Mallett - Vice President of Research & Development, Cargill, Inc.

*Dr. Pamela Matson - Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

*Dr. Terry McElwain - Associate Director and Professor, Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, and Executive Director, Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Washington State University

*Dr. Stanley Prusiner - Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology, University of California-San Francisco and 1997 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine

*Dr. Yehia "Mo" Saif - Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

*Dr. Barbara Schaal - Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

The five ex-officio board members, all of whom were designated by Congress, are Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA's Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist; Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service; Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Dr. France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation.

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