The state of Iowa made national headlines recently when news spread about a legislative earmark providing federal funding for the study of swine odor. The earmark provided the funding to USDA’s Agriculture Research Service in Ames. While defending the necessity of the odor research project, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says there are very good reasons why that funding item should remain. The Iowa Pork Industry Center provides additional details about an article on the Scientific American Web site in which Harkin outlines how the earmark came about. Harkin says former President Bush’s budget proposed to terminate a number of agricultural research projects in order to come in at a lower budget number, with the former president allegedly figuring that this needed research was likely to be restored by Congress. Jacek Koziel, Iowa State University agricultural and biosystems engineering associate professor, is quoted in the Scientific American article explaining why it’s a good idea to study pig odor. Information from Harkin and an edited transcript of Koziel’s interview are online at Scientific American.