FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics and the chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited Fort Riley Aug. 11 during her two-day trip to Kansas.

While at Fort Riley, Catherine Woteki attended a class sponsored by Kansas State University Research and Extension and walked through the Community Victory Garden.

Woteki oversees the four agencies that comprise REE -- the Agriculture Research Service, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Economic and Research Service and National Agriculture Statistics Service.

"As the chief scientist, my job is to make sure the decisions the department makes are informed by science, so that might be policy decisions -- that might be program decisions that are made," she said. "What I do is assemble the scientific evidence, bring it in to the decision-making process and make sure that there's a transparency in the presentation of that scientific evidence to decision makers."

While Woteki said her visit to Fort Riley didn't really factor in to that, she did say she was impressed with the partnership between Fort Riley and the extension office.

"The garden that's behind me is one example of the kind of programs that this partnership is able to provide to military Families here at Fort Riley," she said.

Woteki said she wished she had a plot as large as the community garden.

"I can see that you've got some really good gardeners, and I can see that you've got some people that haven't been paying attention," she said.

The class Woteki attended, Cutting the Clutter, discussed de-cluttering life, and Woteki said she learned a few tips.

"It was a good illustration of some real practical information that can be provided to people through this extension partnership," she said.

During the rest of her two-day trip, the Kansas native visited the future site of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, the Biosecurity Research Institute and the Agricultural Research Service research facility, Manhattan, Kan., and participated in a roundtable discussion with Kansas businesses about stimulation innovation and creating jobs.