Do you know how much science went into that bacon strip on your breakfast plate? More importantly, do you know how much more is needed so you can have bacon and eggs for breakfast in a few years?
This month saw the launch of FedByScience, a coalition of 16 universities that are telling the stories of their success in solving problems in farming and food production. The effort is organized by our client, the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation, to strengthen their push for more federal investment in this field.
The launch coincided with continued debate in Congress around the Farm Bill, which sets the agenda for the US Department of Agriculture every five years. SoAR wants the next Farm Bill—which should be passed this year—to double down on its research commitments.
Burness worked with SoAR to create an interactive website highlighting the coalition members’ success stories—told through illustrations of breakfast (bacon and eggs), lunch (burger and fries), and dinner (chicken, broccoli, rice and beans). Clicking on each food item in the images leads the reader to stories of scientific success pertaining to the item’s food group.
At two briefings for Hill staff and SoAR’s coalition partners, three speakers—University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Greene, Iowa State researcher Lisa Schulte-Moore, and former AAAS CEO Alan Leshner—talked about the importance of solving the many problems that farmers face.
Dr. Schulte-Moore, for example, has conducted several experiments showing how interspersing rows of native Iowa prairies among row crops like corn and soybeans can keep soil and fertilizer in the fields during rainstorms. Without these “prairie strips,” soil and nutrients can wash off of fields, into streams and rivers and end up feeding the dead zone at the outlet of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico.
Have a look for yourself, if you’re curious about this research or that bacon strip: www.fedbyscience.org.