|Greetings from the Director|
The Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC), is one of four government-funded Regional Research Centers in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, established by Act of Congress in 1938. The other three centers are located in Peoria, Illinois (National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research; formerly Northern Regional Research Center); Albany, California (Western Regional Research Center); and New Orleans, Louisiana (Southern Regional Research Center). The research programs of the four Regional Centers complement each other and meet current needs, and have been responsive to changes in conditions that require answers to urgent and important problems. The scientific investigations of ERRC and its sister Centers have had a favorable impact on the welfare of American farmers and industries, as well as the consuming public. In times of excess supplies of agricultural commodities, surplus to our need for export and domestic consumption, utilization research has pointed toward new ways to use portions of that surplus. When crops were in short supply, research demonstrated how to use those existing supplies more efficiently. When national priorities were focused on areas such as food safety, energy production and conservation and avoidance of pollution, commendable research progress in each of those fields made meaningful contributions to the resolution of significant problem areas. When the U.S. was at war, research answers were sought and found for new ways to derive critically needed materials. Today, scientific investigations by multi-disciplinary teams of scientists sharing techniques, insights and advanced scientific instruments and facilities, continue to provide new and stable markets, as well as low cost, shelf-stable, nutritious and safe food, fiber, biofuels, and non-food or industrial products.