Dr. Edward Knipling, the head of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) since 2004, has retired. Knipling worked for the agency for 46 years. During that time, he served as a research plant physiologist and director of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, among other positions.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the following statement about Knipling’s retirement: “Dr. Knipling has guided nearly 2,000 scientists with a focus on ARS as the working arm of USDA science and an organization of national responsibility… Under his leadership, ARS has developed a globally recognized program of breeding and genetics for plants and animals. Crops improved by ARS for disease resistance—against the devastating wheat disease, Ug99, for example—and genetic markers developed for animal selection have advanced U.S. agriculture and improved lives worldwide.”


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