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For Release September 28, 2004
Karl Glasener, Chair, CoFARM
Nadine Lymn, Co-Chair, BESC

Two Washington-DC based science coalitions today honored Chairman Nick Smith (R-MI) who, as leader of the House Sciences Subcommittee on Research, has championed numerous efforts for which the agricultural and biological science communities are grateful. The Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) focuses on the vitality of research in the biological sciences across agencies including the National Science Foundation. The Coalition on Funding Agricultural Research Missions (CoFARM) works to raise awareness and support for the agricultural research community, especially through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"BESC and CoFARM would like to thank you, Chairman Smith, for your unwavering support of the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture," said Dr. Ann Bartuska, President of the Ecological Society of America, which is a member of BESC.

Among his many accomplishments, Chairman Smith spearheaded the recently passed reauthorization bill which proposes substantial funding boosts for the National Science Foundation. NSF is the only federal agency to support science and education across all disciplines. In addition, Smith is a passionate supporter of plant biotechnology, and has worked to further biotechnology research on crop challenges unique to the developing world. Smith has also worked to improve the nation's ability to combat accidental or deliberate introductions of plant diseases.

The BESC/CoFARM breakfast event honoring Chairman Smith also featured a short session presented by Adrienne Froelich, Director of Public Policy at the American Institute of Biological Sciences and Co-Chair of BESC. Many of the agricultural and biological scientists at the event were heading off to meet with their congressional offices and Froelich's presentation provided participants with context and areas of concern, such as the frequent misperception that the biological sciences have benefited from the well-deserved funding boosts to the medical sciences in recent years.

"BESC and CoFARM are working to ensure that the important contributions these fields make to our ability to better understand our environment and to equip us to sensibly manage our natural resources are heard by Members of Congress," said Froelich.

Added CoFARM Chair Karl Glasener, "Today's awards breakfast honoring Congressman Smith marks the coming together of the agricultural and biological sciences communities in recognition of the importance of a broader, single voice in support of the non-biomedical biological sciences."


Formed in 1990, the Coalition on Funding Agricultural Research Missions (CoFARM) is a broadly based coalition representing more than 130,000 individuals from scientific and professional organizations united by a commitment to advance and sustain investment in our nation's fundamental and applied agricultural research.

Formed in 2002, the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) is an alliance of 14 organizations united by a concern for every aspect of the biology of the natural world, from agricultural systems to zoology.

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