Food Marketing Professor Appointed to National Board

Friday, April 9, 2010

PHILADELPHIA (April 9, 2010) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed food marketing expert Nancy Childs, Ph.D., to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB) as the national representative for food retailing and marketing.

Childs, a professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph’s University, will help oversee the USDA's top priorities, policies and multi-billion dollar funding for the nation's research and education in food at land grant colleges and other educational and research institutions. She is serving a three-year term.

The USDA’s NAREEEAB reflects the broad interests of food, fiber and agricultural stakeholders nationwide, holds regional and national stakeholder listening sessions, and develops consolidated advice based on stakeholder input that is vital to the current and future success of food, forestry and agricultural programs. The board’s main objective is to contribute to effective federal agricultural research, education and education programs through broad stakeholder feedback and sound science in its ongoing role as advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture. The NAREEEAB also, by mandate, consults with appropriate agricultural committees of the U.S. Congress.

For the past century, the USDA has been an “awesome agriculture machine” churning out abundant quantities of food at very low cost according to Childs. “The agency is very successful with that model,” she credits. The Obama Administration, however, has reorganized the USDA to reflect a shift in focus from just a ‘more food at lowest cost’ model to one more focused on health and sustainability in agricultural production. It’s also made more resources available for research and focused its grant allocations closer to National Institute for Health and National Science Federation models.

“This administration is thinking about food in a more sophisticated way than ever before,” says Childs, who shared the five areas of priority for the USDA moving forward: global food security and hunger; climate change; sustainable energy; childhood obesity; and food safety. A marketer and consumer researcher, Childs is excited because she believes the board’s interests are closer in line with consumer behavior than they have been in the past.

Childs has a long career as a researcher with expertise is food marketing, labeling, obesity, safety and policy. She also currently serves on Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell’s Food Safety Advisory Board and has past committee appointments with the Food and Drug Administration and the National Academy of Sciences.


Media Contact

Carolyn Steigleman, Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-1355,


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