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Published September 13, 2010, 05:34 PM

Ag. Sec. Vilsack in Grand Forks for Research Forum

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack met today with area farmers, agricultural scientists, and ag leaders at the University of North Dakota.

From the field to your table, scientists play a big role in food production. That's a main point U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made today.

Secretary Vilsack was in Grand Forks for an ag research forum at the University of North Dakota. He, along with Congressman Earl Pomeroy, heard from producers, scientists, and area ag leaders.

Vilsack says this is the second best agriculture export year in the nation's history.

Vilsack says, "Part of that is a result of exports. It's our second best export year on record. Part of it is also the investments that have been made because of the recovery act in rural America."

Still, Visack says more must be done to produce more food with less land, water and pesticides. Some of that research is going on at the Human Nutrition Center in Grand Forks.

Representative Earl Pomeroy says, "We have cutting-edge, 21st century obesity research taking place just down the street."

However, two years ago the Center was almost closed when funding was cut from President Bush's budget. This year officals in President Obama's cabinet, like Secretary Vilsack, are being told to trim their budgets, but Vilsack says he's not planning on cutting funding to the center.

Vilsack says, "I've been instructing my team to do everything we possibly can to preserve and increase resources generally in the research area."