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The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recognizes the hard work of its partners, stakeholders, professional staff, and others. A sampling of the impacts, people, and events have been showcased throughout the 2018 Annual Report to highlight some of this work. Here are just a few more items of note. 

Special Recognition: Immunity, Serendipity, and a Golden Goose

Photo of 3 white geese looking at the camera by YesPhotographers, courtesy Adobe Stock.
Photo of 3 white geese courtesy Adobe Stock.

In 2018, researcher Dr. Bruce Glick was posthumously recognized for his work and its impacts leading to improvements in immunology and cancer treatment. Glick received the Golden Goose Award, which recognizes Federally-funded scientific research that “seems odd or obscure,” but that is fundamental to advancing science.

His work focused on fundamental and applied research on the bursa of Fabricius, a gland located in the posterior of a goose. This work generated 225 scientific papers, review articles, and book chapters. Glick focused on understanding how the immune system works and how defender cells protect against certain diseases. His work provided critical insight on human immunodeficiency disease, and is the foundation for understanding vertebrate and human immune system functioning.

Glick's work helped improve cancer treatments, through knowledge of using B cells or T cells to develop targeted disease treatments for specific diseases. His work opened the door to further discovery in this area. Glick’s research was made possible through research support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

In Memoriam: Dr. Meryl C. Broussard, May 25, 1950 - May 18, 2019

Photo of Dr. Meryl Broussard, courtesy USDA/NIFA.
Photo of Dr. Meryl Broussard, courtesy USDA/NIFA.

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Dr. Meryl Broussard, Associate Director of Programs for USDA’s National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Broussard was responsible for leading NIFA’s $1.7 billion science portfolio. Throughout his 33+ years of Federal service, he demonstrated a sustained commitment to excellence and integrity.

Dr. Broussard began his career as USDA’s first national program leader for aquaculture, where he provided effective leadership in developing and implementing new university-based aquaculture research and extension outreach programs. He went on to serve as Director of the Animal Systems Division within the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and, later, as the Deputy Administrator for Plant and Animal Systems.

Dr. Broussard led the planning, development, and establishment of NIFA as mandated in the 2008 Farm Bill. He helped build NIFA’s strong foundation from the ground up. He became NIFA's first Deputy Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 2014, he became the Associate Director for Programs, leading and elevating Federal science efforts that ultimately benefit American farmers and consumers.

His strong commitment to diversity and equal employment opportunities enhanced program delivery and fostered a workplace environment that ensured dignity and respect to co-workers, customers, partners, and stakeholders.

Dr. Broussard will be remembered as a key figure in developing NIFA’s modern organization, influencing the long-term growth in resources, raising the profile of agricultural science within the Federal science enterprise, and most importantly for making a difference in people’s lives.

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