Establishment. There is established within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the National Institute of _____________ (“Institute”), an independent agency reporting directly to the Secretary of Agriculture. Agencies, programs, and activities currently within the USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area and U.S. Forest Service R&D are consolidated in the Institute.
Purposes. The Institute is established to meet the purposes set forth in Section 1402 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (as amended), and these additional purposes:
To provide and cause to be provided the highest quality fundamental and applied research in the food and agricultural sciences; to maintain and enhance the health, social and economic welfare, and security of the people of the United States; and to preserve and enhance the environment.
To provide education and extension programs for the citizens of the United States in order to: enhance the vitality of youth, families, and communities; ensure an increasing quality of life; and provide a supply of highly educated and trained human capital to meet the workforce needs of the food, agriculture, and natural resource industries.
To sustain and enhance the capacity of the Institute and its land-grant and related university partners.
Capacity. The Institute shall sustain and expand the capability of the Department to carry out intramural research programs and the capability of the Department’s land-grant and related university partners to perform extramural research, extension, education, and international programs. The Institute’s effort to sustain and expand land-grant and related university infrastructure shall include increased funding through traditional base funding mechanisms (with appropriate matching requirements), with particular attention placed on building infrastructure at minority-serving institutions.
Programs. The Institute’s portfolio of programs will be collaboratively determined by the Director, the Deputy Directors, and the Institute’s land-grant and related university partners consistent with recommendations from the National Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The portfolio will include robust intramural and extramural research, extension, education, and international programs, to include a variety of peer-reviewed competitive grants programs. Open to all eligible institutions, these competitive grants programs may be single or multi-institutional, multistate, single or multidisciplinary, subject-matter-directed, and/or functionally integrated as well as those best suited for singular functions.
Director. The Institute shall be headed by a Director who is an eminent scientist/educator, nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate for a six-year term to ensure continuity of programs. The Director shall appoint a Deputy Director for each area of focus and each such Deputy Director will coordinate the integrated funding portfolio under their jurisdiction. The Director shall also assemble other personnel necessary to conduct the work, business, and administration of the Institute. The Director shall be advised by the National Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The Director shall also establish mechanisms for input from local, state, tribal, or regional stakeholder groups as to the immediate, emerging, and future needs for research, extension, education, and international programs. The Director shall ensure a positive, interactive, and collaborative relationship is established and enhanced among the Institute, its various units and personnel, and the Institute’s land-grant and related university partners.
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