I am pleased to present the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Strategic Plan 2003-2007. This plan documents how ARS will address and help achieve the Department of Agriculture (USDA) goals to serve the food and agriculture system and other public interests related the environment, food safety, human nutrition, and economic development.
ARS has successfully developed and used a series of strategic and implementation plans over the last 20 years to guide its research program. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 asks Federal agencies to focus on the long-term outcomes of their work. GPRA also reinforced ARS’ strong commitment to customer service. The new ARS plan meets the GPRA requirements as well as supports the goals contained in the new USDA, Research, Education and Economics mission area strategic plans. Additionally, the ARS plan identifies performance measures that will indicate progress toward the goals and objectives and outlines the specific research activities to be undertaken to address each performance measure. The plan also reinforces ARS’ important National Program structure and accommodates the Program Assessment Rating Tool, which was developed by the Office of Management and Budget to evaluate the effectiveness of Federal programs.
ARS has a long and distinguished history of service to American agriculture. As our world becomes more interdependent, the benefits of ARS research will directly affect producers and consumers in all corners of the globe. This new strategic plan will help us guide our scientific activities and the accompanying transfer of our research products to producers, consumers, action and regulatory agencies, the private sector, and all other customers and stakeholders.
With the continued support of the American people, USDA, the Congress, and our dedicated workforce committed to scientific excellence and public service, we will meet the challenges and opportunities outlined in this strategic plan.
I would like to thank the members of the ARS Budget Team who developed, revised, and finalized this plan. The members were Dwayne R. Buxton, Chair, A. Rick Bennett, Eleanor G. Frierson, Cyril G. Gay, Jeffrey R. Kurtz, Jean A. Larson, Ronald Rosenberg, Eric M. Rosenquist, Jill C. Stetka, Donice C. Stewart, Mark A. Weltz, Richard F. Wilson, and Robert J. Wright. The strategic planning activities were coordinated by David A. Rust, and Sharon P. Brann provided all of the support services required. This important planning process could not have been successfully completed without the conscientious efforts of the entire team.
The ARS Strategic Plan 2003-2007 is also available on the ARS web site http://www.ars.usda.gov; (click on “Research,” open National Programs and look for the heading entitled, “About the Programs.”) ARS will continue to make the annual performance plans and reports, which record progress towards meeting the goals and objectives of the strategic plan, available on the ARS web site.
EDWARD B. KNIPLING