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NEWS RELEASE

Veneman Announces First Air Quality Awards

Contact:
Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Marti Asner (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2004-Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced today that $5.1 million has been awarded to 11 institutions to conduct air quality research. This research investment is part of USDA's overall air quality program.

"These air quality awards represent a new direction for fundamental and applied research at USDA to provide sound science that protects the environment while maintaining a viable agricultural production system," said Veneman. "The Bush Administration is committed to enhancing our natural resources and these grants will help find solutions to meet today's challenges."

"The grants will target the impact of air quality resulting from farm animal operations, greenhouse gases, emissions from post-harvest practices, and improved methods for measuring gases in the atmosphere," said Rodney Brown, deputy undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at a meeting of USDA's Air Quality Task Force in Raleigh, N. C..

Funding for the awards was provided by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). In addition to CSREES, task force members from USDA include the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Forest Service (FS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which chairs the task force. Other members include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), constituent groups and experts in the fields of agriculture and air quality.

"Research on the relation between air quality and agriculture requires us to look even further at how one affects the other. The grants announced by Secretary Veneman today will help us to better understand and address agricultural air quality issues," said NRCS Chief Bruce Knight, Chair of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force.

The 11 institutions receiving awards are:

Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

$400,365

Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla

$100,000

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

$1, 399,971 (3 awards)

Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.

$477,775

Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont.

$421,184

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

$223,052

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

$479,818

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

$460,000

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.

$466,130

USDA's ARS, Lubbock, Texas

$196,646

USDA's FS, Seattle, Wash.

$475,059