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Boor joins board of food, agriculture research foundation

Kathryn Boor

Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a professor of food science, has been appointed to a five-year term on the inaugural board of directors of the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), an independent nonprofit corporation created under the 2014 Farm Bill to oversee national research into food, agriculture and some other sciences.

It will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy.

“I am pleased to serve in this exciting new initiative,” said Boor. “Our charge encompasses some of our world’s most pressing challenges, and that knowledge makes our work, and its part in fostering real progress, unquestioningly crucial.”

Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the foundation will seek and accept private donations to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress also provided $200 million for the foundation that must be matched by nonfederal funds as the foundation identifies and approves projects.

The research funded by FFAR will foster collaboration among agricultural researchers to meet research needs through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements and memoranda of understanding. FFAR will complement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research, education, extension and economics activities that are conducted by various agencies, such as the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service.

FFAR’s board is composed of 15 directors, selected from a variety of universities and private companies nationwide, with the top five government agriculture and science leaders – such as the U.S. secretary and undersecretary of agriculture and the director of the National Science Foundation – serving as ex-officio members.

“I am thrilled that Kathryn Boor, of New York, was appointed to the foundation,” said U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. “This new foundation will provide much needed resources to our nation’s farmers and industry leaders in the areas of food safety, nutrition, energy, agriculture systems, technology, economics and rural communities. I supported her nomination and commend her leadership at Cornell University, providing resourceful tools, technology and information to New York farmers.”

Boor, who has been dean since 2010, oversees Cornell’s second-largest college and shares responsibility for leadership and advancement of Cornell Cooperative Extension throughout New York state with the dean of Cornell's College of Human Ecology. Prior to her appointment as dean, she served as professor and chair of the Department of Food Science at Cornell (2007-10).

She serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Food Protection, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, and Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. She is past president of the New York State Association for Food Protection; she served as scientific adviser for the New York State Cheese Manufacturers’ Association (2001-03) and completed a term on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods in 2006. The recipient of numerous awards, Boor is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, and the Institute of Food Technologists.

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Melissa Osgood