U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD,
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, D-MD, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, visited the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center (BARC) today to tour the BARC complex and receive briefings by researchers on projects underway at the world-class facility.
“BARC scientists are on the front-line in protecting American agriculture from imported pests, developing new products and environmental programs, and improving human nutrition
said Senator Cardin
. “This is world-class science leading the way in dozens of areas that are important to the American people, and I am proud that the work is taking place right here in Prince George’s County.”
“Over the decades, BARC has grown into the largest and most diversified agricultural research complex in the world. The work undertaken here provides critical information to develop solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority, from nutrition and food safety to sustaining a competitive farm economy,”
stated Rep. Hoyer. “I was pleased Secretary Johanns was able to join Senator Cardin and me on this highly informative tour, which underscored how vital BARC is to so many of our nation’s most critical interests.”
During the tour, Congressman Hoyer, Senator Cardin, and Secretary Johanns stopped at two laboratories to learn about critical BARC research aimed at confronting the growing problem of soybean rust and BARC’s pivotal role in securing our nation and its economy through the monitoring and identification of and protection against harmful invasive species.
The three also visited a dairy barn housing transgenic cows, which are serving to develop preventative therapies for bovine bacterial infections that result in the loss of milk production. The tour ended steps away from a bee hive, where a talk was given on BARC’s role in tackling Colony Collapse Disorder, which has led to a reduction in the number of feral (wild) honeybees in the U.S.