Why Support Agricultural Research?

Agricultural is a success story. 

Over the last 70 years, the U.S. has seen unparalleled growth in agricultural production. Through innovative farming and technology, we have been able to increase crop yields, reduce labor and farmland usage, and develop weather and disease tolerant crops. 

We now have the capacity to feed every mouth–and more–in our rapidly growing population. But we owe today’s success to yesterday’s investments in agricultural science and research. 

As the climate changes, weather becomes more volatile, and the global population continues to grow, we are putting new and greater strain on our agricultural systems. 

We have no doubt that our brightest minds can find innovative solutions to agriculture’s greatest challenges. Unfortunately, agricultural research is not keeping pace with our needs as a nation. Without making investments now, we are putting ourselves at great risk down the line. 

At SoAR, we envision a future where agriculture is part of the solution, ensuring productivity, sustainability, and food security. But we can’t do this without funding the very research that makes these solutions possible. Without sustained, increased investment in agricultural research, we are at risk of losing our hard-won agricultural progress–leading to an uncertain future where food and nutrition security is no longer guaranteed.

Despite the urgent issues facing our agricultural community, public investments in agricultural research have plummeted over the past decades:

  • The U.S. only invests 2% of its research budget into agriculture.
  • Funding peaked in 2002 and has declined by one-third since, hitting the lowest levels since 1970.
  • As of 2015, China was spending more than double the U.S. on agricultural research and continues to increase investments while America’s continue to decline
  • Agricultural research makes up less than 1% of the current Farm Bill budget–the most important piece of legislation for agriculture.

It is critical that we take action now to address climate change and avoid a global food crisis. American farmers have successfully produced unparalleled quantities of food, and it can be those same farmers who ensure our long term productivity, sustainability, and food security. 

Investments in cutting edge research will give our farmers and scientists the data they need to improve our food, farms, and land for generations to come.