Skip Navigation

USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force

Created by the 1996 Farm Bill, the USDA Task Force on Agricultural Air Quality Research (Task Force) promotes USDA research efforts and identifies cost-effective ways the agriculture industry can improve air quality. The Task Force membership consists of leaders in farming, industry, health, and science for two-year terms.

The Task Force advises the Secretary of Agriculture on air quality and its relationship to agriculture based on sound scientific findings. In that advisory role, the Task Force:

  • Reviews research on agricultural air quality supported by federal agencies
  • Promotes intergovernmental (federal, state, local and tribal) coordination in establishing agricultural air quality policy to avoid duplication of efforts
  • Ensures that air quality conservation practices supported by USDA are based on peer reviewed research and are economically feasible for agricultural producers.

Who’s on the Task Force?

There are many aspects of agricultural air quality, so it is important that the Task Force be composed of individuals from all walks of life—including people with expertise in agricultural air quality, farmers and ranchers, rural and urban dwellers, multiple ethnicities, as well as those who simply have an appreciation and knowledge for the importance of clean air and its interplay with agriculture. The Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will serve as Chair of the Task Force. NRCS will provide coordination for the Task Force.

Newly appointed members, who will serve terms of up to two years beginning January 4, 2021, and ending in 2023, are:

  • Dr. Brent W. Auvermann – Amarillo, Texas
  • Mr. Robert V. Avant, Jr. – Taylor, Texas
  • Dr. Robert T. Burns – Maryville, Tenn.
  • Mr. Brian F. Cochrane – Kahlotus, Wash.
  • Dr. Jeffrey L. Collett, Jr. – Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Mr. Manuel Cunha, Jr. – Clovis, Calif.
  • Dr. Nichole Embertson – Bellingham, Wash.
  • Ms. Andrea L. Foglesong – Timnath, Colo.
  • Mr. J. Kelley Green – Austin, Texas
  • Dr. April Leytem – Hailey, Idaho
  • Dr. Hong Li – Hockessin, Del.
  • Mr. Gerald May – St. Louis
  • Mrs. Lara Moody – Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • Mr. Kevin G. Rogers – Laveen, Ariz.
  • Dr. Joseph Rudek – Wynnewood, Pa.
  • Ms. Annette H. Sharp – Baton Rouge, La.
  • Ms. Sally L. Shaver – Cary, N.C. 
  • Dr. Bryan W. Shaw – Lexington, Texas
  • Mr. Samir Sheikh – Fresno, Calif.
  • Dr. Philip J. Silva – Bowling Green, Ky.
  • Mr. Jon Slutsky – Wellington, Colo.
  • Ms. Marguerite Tan – Taylor, Ariz.
  • Mr. James A. Vaughn – Forsyth, Ga.
  • Dr. Rodney T. Venterea – Mounds View, Minn.
  • Dr. Lingjuan Wang-Li – Cary, N.C.
  • Mr. John Weir – Orlando, Okla.