USDA under secretary cites Auburn research in Senate testimony

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By Maggie Smith

Auburn College of Agriculture alumnus Scott Hutchins, deputy under secretary for USDA’s research, education and economics mission area, highlighted Auburn University research when he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry last week in Washington, D.C.

While speaking about grant programs of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, or AFRI, Hutchins cited College of Agriculture Associate Dean for Research Henry Fadamiro’s research project as one of the benefits of the competitive grant portion of AFRI.

“Fellow entomologists at my alma mater, Auburn University, have discovered a wasp that may help soybean producers and other farmers in the Southeast rid their fields of the invasive pest known as the kudzu bug, enabling them to produce more crops and see higher yields,” Hutchins said.

Fadamiro’s research team was the first to discover the parasitoid wasp’s presence in North America.

College of Agriculture Dean Paul Patterson said he is pleased to have this research highlighted on a national level.

“Discoveries like this can have major impacts on farms and farming practices, and these are the types of discoveries our scientists are making every day,” Patterson said. “We are proud to see Dr. Fadamiro and his team recognized by one of our distinguished alumni on a national level like this.”

Fadamiro considers the recognition an honor.

“We are very pleased that the under secretary mentioned our research in his testimony,” Fadamiro said. “It really speaks to the quality of work that we do in the College of Agriculture.”

Hutchins graduated from Auburn University in 1981 with a B.S. in entomology. He will speak at Auburn Sept. 26 as the fall 2019 E.T. York Distinguished Lecturer.

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