The U. S. Department of Agriculture and NASA have signed an agreement to strengthen their joint efforts on space-based assets benefiting life on Earth.

This agreement will help both USDA and NASA investigate the research gaps that are of importance to the agriculture industry.

Both entities will bring important expertise to the table. NASA will bring its experience with technology development and space-born Earth science measurements. USDA will bring its knowledge of agricultural production, resource conservation, food security and safety, and forests and working lands. In addition, another point of interest will be to educate American youth and encourage them to pursue careers in agriculture or STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math.

“As we’ve seen over the past 100 years, increasing innovation in agriculture is limitless,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “This partnership between USDA and NASA will bring together the best research, science and technology we have to offer to help produce more food to feed the growing world. We are continuing an already great collaborative effort to utilize space-based technologies across sectors and into agriculture.”

The new agreement has also been recently applauded by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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“Today, technology plays an ever-larger role in growing the food we eat, and this partnership between USDA and NASA will no doubt help to advance the goal we all share of feeding the world. Many people don’t realize how applicable NASA’s technology is to agriculture, and I applaud this commitment to breaking down walls and advancing innovation in agriculture. We look forward to working with both the USDA and NASA to inspire the next generation of agriculturalists,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall in a statement.