09.20.2019

Senate Budget Provides Welcome Boost for Agricultural Research

WASHINGTON, DC (September 20, 2019)—The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation applauded the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for advancing a Fiscal Year 2020 budget that included a $10 million increase for the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) flagship competitive research program.

“Only cold hard science can generate the innovation needed to smooth out the continued turbulence that the agricultural sector faces,” said Thomas Grumbly, President of the SoAR Foundation. “Between freak storms and fierce floods, along with unstable commodity markets and food safety outbreaks, farmers need new and more effective ways of handling intensifying problems. We welcome the bipartisan embrace of food and farm science.”

The Senate FY2020 budget for the USDA would boost the budget for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to $425 million, joining the House and Executive budgets in expanding the program’s scope. AFRI, which provides funding through a rigorously peer-reviewed process, is currently authorized at $700 million but has never received this full amount during the annual appropriations process. With a limited annual budget, the program typically provides funding to less than a quarter of the science that the program’s expert panels deem worthy.

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