The HHRA is developing a novel, new model for funding and managing cutting-edge public-health science.
Public funding for long-term research on the effects of agrichemicals and farm production systems and technology has not kept up with need.
Across federal and state agencies, funding dedicated to public health science, agrichemical effects on pregnant women, fathers-to-be, and children’s development too often falls into the “too hot to handle” category.
Many stakeholders openly oppose such research and view it has a threat to their economic interests. It is far easier to discourage public investment in a given research project than to build and sustain scientific and social support for it.
The HHRA is striving to create a new model to bundle resources in support of public health research on critical food and farming system public health challenges. We are tackling this challenge by:
- seeking funding from a diversity of foundations, individuals, and private entities that share the HHRA’s goals;
- forging partnerships with university faculty members, analytical labs, and clinical centers to take advantage of the enormous, past investments in their capacity to conduct quality science;
- minimizing overhead costs so that the bulk of funding received supports new science;
- insisting that it’s our scientific teams who determine how best to find answers to significant public health quandaries, and not allowing the building of a department, advancing a career, or the interests of funders drive the focus of research; and
- allowing the scientific chips to fall where driven by credible data, inspiring confidence in both the results of farm- and food-focused public health research and the need for change to tilt the odds toward health and well-being for the next generation of children born in the heartland.