Below is an example announcement of what many Americans do not realize is developing in the government contracting  field. Some label it as wasteful; while others view it as vital to American security and prosperity.  At the very least, it gives one something to think about.

SAS has won a five-year $12.3 million contract to help the Agriculture Department use data analytics to protect the U.S. food supply.

This contract will cover SAS Analytics software, services and training, and is the latest in the Agriculture’s partnership with SAS, which began in 1976 when the department used SAS software for agriculture research.

“With increasing threats to the food supply, and threats to animals, plants and humans, as well as droughts and natural disasters, USDA’s challenges are increasingly complex,” said Karen Terrell, SAS Federal vice president. “This agreement underscores the importance of SAS Analytics to help USDA address priorities such as agricultural production, energy, conservation and food safety.”

SAS is currently used in 15 of the department’s agencies, a number of its offices and across its areas of research, forestry and conservation, food safety and nutrition, farm services, marketing programs and rural development.

SAS also supports the Natural Resources Conservation Service workforce planning initiatives; Conservation Reserve Program, Average Crop Revenue Election; National Animal Health Monitoring System; and Public Health Information System.

It supports the department’s core economic functions, such as county loan and crop insurance rate setting, bank health analysis, agricultural census and crop reporting, SAS said.

About the Author: Mark Hoover is a contributing writer to Washington Technology.

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