A group of lawmakers recently sent a letter to Congressional leadership detailing support for ag research funding in the budget reconciliation package. The letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was signed by 30 members of Congress. As the Build Back Better Agenda takes shape, the lawmakers highlight the need to support agricultural research and development.
“We write to respectfully request your assistance in protecting the $7.75 billion investment in agricultural climate research, agriculture innovation, and agricultural research infrastructure included in the House Agriculture Committee’s portion of the budget reconciliation legislation,” the letter states. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to significantly fund food and agriculture research, innovation, and agricultural research infrastructure. These investments are crucial for the United States to achieve net zero emissions and address long-standing barriers to entry for socially disadvantaged producers.”
The lawmakers point to a recent report which demonstrates the significant impact that increasing ag research can have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally. Of the total investment of $7.75 billion in ag research funding included in the package, $3.65 billion is intended to support the development of new and refurbishing of existing research facilities.
Industry members have also championed the message conveyed by the members of Congress. A similar letter was recently sent to Congressional leadership from a coalition of more than 100 agricultural organizations and academic institutions. Groups including Western Growers, the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), and the American Society of Agronomy have all expressed support for the ag research funding included in the budget package.
“Investing in research is the down payment on agriculture’s ability to advance meaningful climate solutions,” OFRF Executive Director, Brise Tencer said in a press release. “OFRF encourages Leadership and other Members to protect and prioritize ag research investments that will sustain our communities equitably.”