RNR AgCenter researcher appointed to USDA national advisory council

[11/08/21] BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU AgCenter researcher Terrence R. Tiersch, director of the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, has been reappointed as chair of the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council.

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the council “provides feedback to the Secretary of Agriculture and to land-grant colleges and universities on food and agricultural research, education, extension and economics priorities and policies. The Advisory Board also provides reports and recommendations to the appropriate agricultural committees of the U.S. Congress.”

Tiersch has been chair of the council since 2018. During the presidential transition earlier this year, a hold was placed on USDA advisory council activities. Since then, the national process was completed and approved by the secretary of agriculture, leading to Tiersch’s reappointment. Each member serves a one-to-three-year appointment.

The AgCenter Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center hosted the annual meeting of the advisory council in 2015 to provide guidance relevant to aquatic species. Following that, Tiersch was encouraged to apply for membership, resulting in appointment to the council in 2017.

As chair, Tiersch has prioritized addressing the needs for protection of genetic resources across the full diversity of crops and livestock in the U.S.

“Overall, serving on the council has been a rewarding experience,” Tiersch said. “This includes working with leading authorities in crops and livestock to find ways to advance individual commodities while simultaneously developing general approaches that address cross-cutting issues.”

The council was reestablished in 2012 to provide policy recommendations on the maintenance and utilization of genetic resources and to make recommendations to the secretary of agriculture and the National Genetic Resources Program — part of the USDA Agricultural Research Service — on new approaches to safeguard the nation’s agricultural breeding programs.

“Genetic resources such as disease-resistant plants or high-producing animal breeds provide the bedrock foundation for the future of American agriculture,” Tiersch said.

Writer: V. Todd Miller at vtmiller@agcenter.lsu.edu   | permalink