Alfred State College recently hosted Joseph A. Dunn, PhD, special adviser to the under secretary for Research, Education and Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture, who visited campus to learn about the college's programs, to discuss possible liaisons between ASC and the USDA, and to discuss opportunities for additional funding for Alfred State Agriculture Projects. Following a brief overview of the college by ASC President Dr. John M. Anderson, and by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ronald R. Rosati, Dunn toured the campus farm and dairy facilities, learning about the college's plans for organic and sustainable agriculture, as well as its plans for alternative energy sources, including the student-built biodiesel reactor. A tour of the college's hydroponics project was also scheduled.
Dunn is a special adviser to the USDA's Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics (REE). The REE mission area is comprised of the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), the Cooperative State Research, Education and Economics Service (CSREES), the Economics Research Service (ERS), the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and the National Agricultural Library (NAL).
As special adviser to the Under Secretary, Dunn is charged with acting as the mission area's principal liaison for bioenergy, bioproducts, and nanotechnology research and education and extension. In the area of bioenergy and bioproducts, Dunn serves as the chair of REE's Agricultural Bioenergy, Bioproducts Research, Education and Economics (ABBREE) Council which is responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Under Secretary on current and future USDA research and outreach initiatives in these areas. In the nanotechnology arena, Dunn liaisons between the USDA and other federal agencies via the Office of Science, Technology and Policy's (OSTP) Nanotechnology Policy Coordination Group.
Dunn also serves as the executive director of the National Agricultural Research, Education, Economics and Extension (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its affiliated Specialty Crop Committee, both mandated by Congress. Recommendations to the Secretary from the Board and the Committee were strongly considered in crafting the Department's requests for the 2007 farm bill, which strongly supports significant investments in bioenergy and specialty crop research and outreach.
Pictured here, Dunn, second from right, listens as Victoria Bolton, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair, Agriculture and Horticulture Department, (left), shows off a member of the college's dairy herd. Also pictured: Rosati, foreground, and Dorothea Fitzsimmons, DVM, assistant professor, Agriculture and Horticulture Department.