By Tom Philpott
On a slow Friday afternoon, a surprising bit of news came down the pike: Roger Beachy, head of National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the main research arm of the USDA, has officially resigned his post, effective May 20.
Who is Beachy? When Obama hired Beachy in 2009, I got a case of policy whiplash, because it seemed to me that the administration kept whipping back and forth between progressive food-system change and agribusiness as usual. Beachy, you see, came to the post from the Danforth Plant Science Center, where had he served as the organization’s president since its founding in 1998. Nestled in Monsanto’s St. Louis home town, Danforth has long and deep ties to Monsanto.