ASA, Others Urge Congress & USDA to Ramp Up Support for Ag Research & DevelopmentMon, 08 Mar 2021 08:15:53 CST
ASA and other groups are asking House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to provide full funding in FY22 for the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA), authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.
AgARDA’s authorizing legislation aims to quickly and definitively tackle some of the biggest challenges in food and agriculture from climate change, to production mechanization, to diseases that can be passed from animals to humans.
“Now more than ever, funding for agricultural research is of vital importance. Over the last year, the food and agriculture sector has faced unprecedented disruption that has had rippling effects across our entire supply chain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the groups state in the letter. “Funding AgARDA will be instrumental to overcome gaps in the stability of the U.S. food system, and it will help the United States maintain a position of global leadership when new challenges, or science and engineering opportunities, emerge.”
The groups also emphasize that fostering research and development will strengthen the U.S. food and agriculture value chain to better prepare for future pandemics and respond more efficiently to the ongoing threat of extreme weather events and climate change. Read the full letter here
ASA and other groups are also asking USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to substantially increase public investment in food and agricultural research and scientific innovation.
In a letter this week, the groups thanked Vilsack for his past commitment to ag research and innovation and urged the secretary to ramp up public investments in agricultural research and development programs.
“Increased investment in research, education, extension, and economics programs is a crucial step for the United States to reclaim our global lead in food and agricultural science while meeting the country's nutritional needs and rising to its climate challenges,” groups state in the letter. “We strongly support a balanced portfolio that includes both extramural and intramural research, competitive and capacity funding, extension and outreach, and statistics and economics.” Read the full letter here
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