7 U.S. Code § 6971 - Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics

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(a) Authorization
The Secretary is authorized to establish in the Department the position of Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics (referred to in this section as the “Under Secretary”).
(b) Confirmation required
The Under Secretary shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from among distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.
(c) Chief Scientist
The Under Secretary shall—
(1) hold the title of Chief Scientist of the Department; and
(2) be responsible for the coordination of the research, education, and extension activities of the Department.
(d) Functions of Under Secretary
(1) Principal function
The Secretary shall delegate to the Under Secretary those functions and duties under the jurisdiction of the Department that relate to research, education, and economics.
(2) Specific functions and duties
The Under Secretary shall—
(A) identify, address, and prioritize current and emerging agricultural research, education, and extension needs (including funding);
(B) ensure that agricultural research, education, and extension programs are effectively coordinated and integrated—
(i) across disciplines, agencies, and institutions; and
(ii) among applicable participants, grantees, and beneficiaries;
(C) promote the collaborative use of all agricultural research, education, and extension resources from the local, State, tribal, regional, national, and international levels to address priority needs; and
(D) foster communication among agricultural research, education, and extension beneficiaries, including the public, to ensure the delivery of agricultural research, education, and extension knowledge.
(3) Additional functions
The Under Secretary shall perform such other functions and duties as may be required by law or prescribed by the Secretary.
(e) Research, Education, and Extension Office
(1) Establishment
The Under Secretary shall organize within the office of the Under Secretary 6 Divisions, to be known collectively as the “Research, Education, and Extension Office”, which shall coordinate the research programs and activities of the Department.
(2) Division designations
The Divisions within the Research, Education, and Extension Office shall be as follows:
(A) Renewable energy, natural resources, and environment.
(B) Food safety, nutrition, and health.
(C) Plant health and production and plant products.
(D) Animal health and production and animal products.
(E) Agricultural systems and technology.
(F) Agricultural economics and rural communities.
(3) Division Chiefs
(A) Selection
The Under Secretary shall select a Division Chief for each Division using available personnel authority under title 5, including—
(i) by term, temporary, or other appointment, without regard to—
(I) the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service;
(II) the provisions of subchapter I of chapter 35 of title 5 relating to retention preference; and
(III) the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5 relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates;
(ii) by detail, notwithstanding any Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture, whether enacted before, on, or after the date of enactment of this paragraph, requiring reimbursement for those details unless the appropriation Act specifically refers to this subsection and specifically includes these details;
(iii) by reassignment or transfer from any other civil service position; and
(iv) by an assignment under subchapter VI of chapter 33 of title 5.
(B) Selection guidelines
To the maximum extent practicable, the Under Secretary shall select Division Chiefs under subparagraph (A) in a manner that—
(i) promotes leadership and professional development;
(ii) enables personnel to interact with other agencies of the Department; and
(iii) maximizes the ability of the Under Secretary to allow for rotations of Department personnel into the position of Division Chief.
(C) Term of service
Notwithstanding title 5, the maximum length of service for an individual selected as a Division Chief under subparagraph (A) shall not exceed 4 years.
(D) Qualifications
To be eligible for selection as a Division Chief, an individual shall have—
(i) conducted exemplary research, education, or extension in the field of agriculture or forestry; and
(ii) earned an advanced degree at an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1001 of title 20).
(E) Duties of Division Chiefs
Except as otherwise provided in this Act, each Division Chief shall—
(i) assist the Under Secretary in identifying and addressing emerging agricultural research, education, and extension needs;
(ii) assist the Under Secretary in identifying and prioritizing Department-wide agricultural research, education, and extension needs, including funding;
(iii) assess the strategic workforce needs of the research, education, and extension functions of the Department, and develop strategic workforce plans to ensure that existing and future workforce needs are met;
(iv) communicate with research, education, and extension beneficiaries, including the public, and representatives of the research, education, and extension system, including the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, to promote the benefits of agricultural research, education, and extension;
(v) assist the Under Secretary in preparing and implementing the roadmap for agricultural research, education, and extension, as described in section 7614a of this title; and
(vi) perform such other duties as the Under Secretary may determine.
(4) General administration
(A) Funding
Notwithstanding any Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture, whether enacted before, on, or after the date of enactment of this paragraph unless the appropriation Act specifically refers to this subsection and specifically includes the administration of funds under this section, the Secretary may transfer funds made available to an agency in the research, education, and economics mission area to fund the costs of Division personnel.
(B) Limitation
To the maximum extent practicable—
(i) the Under Secretary shall minimize the number of full-time equivalent positions in the Divisions; and
(ii) at no time shall the aggregate number of staff for all Divisions exceed 30 full-time equivalent positions.
(C) Rotation of personnel
To the maximum extent practicable, and using the authority described in paragraph (3)(A), the Under Secretary shall rotate personnel among the Divisions, and between the Divisions and agencies of the Department, in a manner that—
(i) promotes leadership and professional development; and
(ii) enables personnel to interact with other agencies of the Department.
(5) Organization
The Under Secretary shall integrate leadership functions of the national program staff of the research agencies into the Research, Education and Extension Office in such form as is required to ensure that administrative duplication does not occur.
(f) National Institute of Food and Agriculture
(1) Definitions
In this subsection:
(A) Advisory Board
The term “Advisory Board” means the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board established under section 1408 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123).
(B) Applied research
The term “applied research” means research that includes expansion of the findings of fundamental research to uncover practical ways in which new knowledge can be advanced to benefit individuals and society.
(C) Capacity and infrastructure program
The term “capacity and infrastructure program” means each of the following agricultural research, extension, education, and related programs for which the Secretary has administrative or other authority as of the day before the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008:
(i) Each program providing funding to any of the 1994 Institutions under sections 533, 534(a), and 535 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note; Public Law 103–382).
(ii) The program established under section 536 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note; Public Law 103–382) providing research grants for 1994 Institutions.
(iii) Each program established under subsections (b) and (c) ofsection 343 of this title.
(iv) Each program established under the Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.).
(v) Each program established under section 1417(b) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152 (b)).
(vi) The animal health and disease research program established under subtitle E of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3191 et seq.)  [1] except for the competitive grant program under section 1433 (b) [7 U.S.C. 3195 (b)].
(vii) Each extension program available to 1890 Institutions established under section 1444 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3221).
(viii) The program established under section 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3222).
(ix) The program providing grants to upgrade agricultural and food sciences facilities at 1890 Institutions established under section 1447 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3222b).
(x) The program providing distance education grants for insular areas established under section 1490 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3362).
(xi) The program providing resident instruction grants for insular areas established under section 1491 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3363).
(xii) Each research and development and related program established under Public Law 87–788 (commonly known as the “McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act”) (16 U.S.C. 582a et seq.).
(xiii) Each program established under the Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1671 et seq.).
(xiv) Each program providing funding to Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities under section 1456 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 [7 U.S.C. 3243].
(xv) The program providing capacity grants to NLGCA Institutions under section 1473F of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 [7 U.S.C. 3319i].
(xvi) Other programs that are capacity and infrastructure programs, as determined by the Secretary.
(D) Competitive program
The term “competitive program” means each of the following agricultural research, extension, education, and related programs for which the Secretary has administrative or other authority as of the day before the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008:
(i) The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative established under section 450i (b) of this title.
(ii) The program providing competitive grants for risk management education established under section 1524 (a)(3) of this title.
(iii) The program providing community food project competitive grants established under section 2034 of this title.
(iv) The program providing grants for beginning farmer and rancher development established under section 3319f of this title.
(v) The program providing grants under section 1417(j) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152 (j)).
(vi) The program providing grants for Hispanic-serving institutions established under section 1455 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3241).
(vii) The program providing competitive grants for international agricultural science and education programs under section 1459A of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3292b).
(viii) The research and extension projects carried out under section 5811 of this title.
(ix) The organic agriculture research and extension initiative established under section 5925b of this title.
(x) The specialty crop research initiative under section 7632 of this title.
(xi) The research, extension, and education programs authorized by section 7627 of this title relating to the competitiveness, viability and sustainability of small- and medium-sized dairy, livestock, and poultry operations.
(xii) Other programs that are competitive programs, as determined by the Secretary.
(E) Director
The term “Director” means the Director of the Institute.
(F) Fundamental research
The term “fundamental research” means research that—
(i) increases knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and has the potential for broad application; and
(ii) has an effect on agriculture, food, nutrition, or the environment.
(G) Institute
The term “Institute” means the National Institute of Food and Agriculture established by paragraph (2)(A).
(2) Establishment of National Institute of Food and Agriculture
(A) Establishment
The Secretary shall establish within the Department an agency to be known as the “National Institute of Food and Agriculture”.
(B) Transfer of authorities
The Secretary shall transfer to the Institute, effective not later than October 1, 2009, the authorities (including all budget authorities, available appropriations, and personnel), duties, obligations, and related legal and administrative functions prescribed by law or otherwise granted to the Secretary, the Department, or any other agency or official of the Department under—
(i) the capacity and infrastructure programs;
(ii) the competitive programs;
(iii) the research, education, economic, cooperative State research programs, cooperative extension and education programs, international programs, and other functions and authorities delegated by the Under Secretary to the Administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service pursuant to section 2.66 of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations); and
(iv) any and all other authorities administered by the Administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.
(3) Director
(A) In general
The Institute shall be headed by a Director, who shall be an individual who is—
(i) a distinguished scientist; and
(ii) appointed by the President.
(B) Supervision
The Director shall report directly to the Secretary, or the designee of the Secretary.
(C) Functions of the Director
The Director shall—
(i) serve for a 6-year term, subject to reappointment for an additional 6-year term;
(ii) periodically report to the Secretary, or the designee of the Secretary, with respect to activities carried out by the Institute; and
(iii) consult regularly with the Secretary, or the designee of the Secretary, to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that—
(I) research of the Institute is relevant to agriculture in the United States and otherwise serves the national interest; and
(II) the research of the Institute supplements and enhances, and does not supplant, research conducted or funded by other Federal agencies.
(D) Compensation
The Director shall receive basic pay at a rate not to exceed the maximum amount of compensation payable to a member of the Senior Executive Service under subsection (b) ofsection 5382 of title 5, except that the certification requirement in that subsection shall not apply to the compensation of the Director.
(E) Authority and responsibilities of Director
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this subsection, the Director shall—
(i) exercise all of the authority provided to the Institute by this subsection;
(ii) formulate and administer programs in accordance with policies adopted by the Institute, in coordination with the Under Secretary;
(iii) establish offices within the Institute;
(iv) establish procedures for the provision and administration of grants by the Institute; and
(v) consult regularly with the Advisory Board.
(4) Regulations
The Institute shall have such authority as is necessary to carry out this subsection, including the authority to promulgate such regulations as the Institute considers to be necessary for governance of operations, organization, and personnel.
(5) Administration
(A) In general
The Director shall organize offices and functions within the Institute to administer fundamental and applied research and extension and education programs.
(B) Research priorities
The Director shall ensure the research priorities established by the Under Secretary through the Research, Education and Extension Office are carried out by the offices and functions of the Institute, where applicable.
(C) Fundamental and applied research
The Director shall—
(i) determine an appropriate balance between fundamental and applied research programs and functions to ensure future research needs are met; and
(ii) designate staff, as appropriate, to assist in carrying out this subparagraph.
(D) Competitively funded awards
The Director shall—
(i) promote the use and growth of grants awarded through a competitive process; and
(ii) designate staff, as appropriate, to assist in carrying out this subparagraph.
(E) Coordination
The Director shall ensure that the offices and functions established under subparagraph (A) are effectively coordinated for maximum efficiency.
(6) Funding
(A) In general
In addition to funds otherwise appropriated to carry out each program administered by the Institute, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection for each fiscal year.
(B) Allocation
Funding made available under subparagraph (A) shall be allocated according to recommendations contained in the roadmap described in section 7614a of this title.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

Source

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, § 251,Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3226; Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, § 7511(a),May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1259; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VII, § 7511(a),June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2021; Pub. L. 113–79, title VII, §§ 7111(b)(2), 7212 (b),Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 874, 886.)
References in Text

The date of enactment of this paragraph and the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, referred to in subsecs. (e)(3)(A)(ii), (4)(A), and (f)(1)(C), (D), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–246, which was approved June 18, 2008.
This Act, referred to in subsec. (e)(3)(E), is Pub. L. 103–354, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3178, known as the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6901 of this title and Tables.
The Hatch Act of 1887, referred to in subsec. (f)(1)(C)(iv), is act Mar. 2, 1887, ch. 314, 24 Stat. 440, which is classified generally to sections 361a to 361i of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 361a of this title and Tables.
The National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (f)(1)(C)(vi), is title XIV of Pub. L. 95–113, Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 913. Subtitle E of the Act is classified generally to subchapter V (§ 3191 et seq.) of chapter 64 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3101 of this title and Tables.
Public Law 87–788, referred to in subsec. (f)(1)(C)(xii), is Pub. L. 87–788, Oct. 10, 1962, 76 Stat. 806, popularly known as the “McIntire-Stennis Act of 1962” and also as the “McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act”, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§ 582a et seq.) of chapter 3 of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 582a of Title 16 and Tables.
The Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (f)(1)(C)(xiii), is Pub. L. 95–306, June 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 349, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§ 1671 et seq.) of chapter 36 of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1978 Amendments note set out under section 1600 of Title 16 and Tables.
Codification

Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Section is comprised of section 251 ofPub. L. 103–354. Subsec. (g), formerly (e), of section 251 ofPub. L. 103–354, as redesignated by Pub. L. 110–246, § 7511(a)(3), amended section 5314 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Amendments

2014—Subsec. (f)(1)(C)(vi). Pub. L. 113–79, § 7111(b)(2), inserted “except for the competitive grant program under section 1433 (b)” before period at end.
Subsec. (f)(1)(D)(xi) to (xiii). Pub. L. 113–79, § 7212(b), redesignated cls. (xii) and (xiii) as (xi) and (xii), respectively, and struck out former cl. (xi) which read as follows: “The administration and management of the Agricultural Bioenergy Feedstock and Energy Efficiency Research and Extension Initiative carried out under section 5925e of this title.”
2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–246, § 7511(a)(1), inserted “(referred to in this section as the ‘Under Secretary’)” before period at end.
Subsecs. (b) to (f). Pub. L. 110–246, § 7511(a)(2), (4), added subsecs. (b) to (f) and struck out former subsecs. (b) to (d) which related to Senate confirmation, functions of the Under Secretary, and establishment and functions of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234by Pub. L. 110–246effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

 

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