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New Crops News, Spring 1992, vol. 2 no. 1

New Alternative Agriculture Center

Subtitle G of Title XVI, Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization (AARC), is designed to help expedite industrial products from agricultural materials to the marketplace. It encompasses research, development, and other activities to advance new products or processes into the marketplace for non-feed, non-food, nontraditional forest or fiber products. Success would help diversify agricultural markets, foster rural economic development, provide environmentally friendly products, reduce imports, encourage private-public cooperation, and increase return on investment of taxpayer dollars.

A new entity is to be created within USDA to administer the AARC subtitle. Regional Centers (no bricks and mortar) at host institutions will assist in implementing the programs on a regional basis after $5 million are appropriated. (At present only $4.5 million have been appropriated). The USDA has been soliciting recommendations for nine nominees to the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Board. The Board will be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Edward Madigan) and is to be responsible for general supervision and policy control of AARC. For more information consult Mark Dungan, Office of the Secretary, room 200A, USDA, Washington DC 20250.