The U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA recently signed a memorandum of understanding to improve agricultural and Earth science research, technology, and agricultural management. The agencies have agreed to strengthen their long-standing partnership to inspire young Americans to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and agriculture. They will also work together to improve crop performance through data while exploring opportunities to support NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send the first woman and person of color to the Moon.

USDA and NASA’s history of collaboration began in 2015. This partnership has resulted in several successful projects, including the development of a free online tool that enables farmers and researchers to use soil data to track droughts and floods, plan crop planting, and forecast ag yields.

Commenting, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “From ensuring that future generations are able to reach new heights as they pursue careers in STEM and agriculture, to providing producers with critical data and improving global agricultural practices, USDA is honored to strengthen our partnership with NASA,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “We recognize the critical interface between planet-wide food security, climate change, and space, and together we are advancing cutting-edge innovation, research, and workforce development to tackle some of Earth’s greatest challenges.”