10.21.2021

SoAR Among 141 Partners Calling for Agriculture Research to Build Climate Resilience

October 20, 2021


The Honorable Chuck Schumer                                               

Majority Leader, United States Senate                                    

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker, United States House of Representatives


Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi:

As you face many decisions in the coming week concerning the Build Back Better human and climate infrastructure package, we ask that you please prioritize and protect the vital investments in agricultural climate research, agricultural innovation, and agricultural research infrastructure. The $7.75 billion agricultural research investment, or just 0.2% of the proposed original total reconciliation package, underlies the tools necessary to build climate resilience and food security for all Americans. 

Our agriculture and food system is highly vulnerable to climate change. From multi-year droughts, heat and forest fires to hurricanes and flooding, our farmers, ranchers, and foresters need innovative and powerful tools to weather the storms that are now arriving with greater force and frequency. R&D investments also impact American’s access to a sustainable, equitable and healthy food supply.

A recent study found that U.S. public spending on food and agriculture R&D returns, on average, $17 in benefits for every $1 invested. Despite this incredible return, the United States’ share of global agricultural R&D investment has decreased significantly in the last half-century, going from 20 percent to 8.9 percent. 

These proposed investments are a generational down payment to fill critical R&D gaps and climate-proof our food system — realizing agriculture’s beneficial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting carbon sequestration. They provide funding for USDA research, the land grant colleges and universities, as well as tribal colleges and universities, historically Black colleges and universities, and Extension programs throughout the nation. Without these investments, we will face food supply shortages as well as an inability to mitigate climate change by storing carbon in our soils and forests.

Modern agricultural research and education facilities serve as the backbone of our nation’s cutting-edge innovations, but unfortunately this research infrastructure has been woefully neglected for many years due to lack of sufficient funds. A recent study showed that 69% of buildings at U.S. colleges of agriculture are at the end of their useful life. This lack of investment stymies potential innovation and must be reversed so that our nation’s top scientists can develop critical tools to enable our food system to weather climate change.  

We look forward to working with you to make these critical investments for the agriculture and food sector.

Sincerely,

American Association of Mycobacterial Diseases

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

American Dairy Science Association

American Feed Industry Association

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Malting Barley Association

American Mushroom Institute

American Phytopathological Society

American Pulse Association

American Samoa Community College, Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources Division

American Seed Trade Association

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Nutrition

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Plant Biologists

Amvac Chemical Corporation

Animal Health Institute

Aquatic Plant Management Society

ASCC-ACNR (Land Grant Program)

Associated Oregon Hazelnut Industries (AOHI)

Association of Northeast Extension Directors

Association of 1890 Research Directors

Association of Extension Administrators at 1890 Land-Grant Universities

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)

Association of Southern Region Extension Directors

Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Colorado State University

Cooperative Extension System, Extension Committee on Organization and Policy

Corn Refiners Association

Cornell University

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

Crop Science Society of America

CropLife America

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Entomological Society of America

Eversole Associates

Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy

Farm Journal Foundation

FASS

Ferguson College of Agriculture, Oklahoma State University

Food Producers of Idaho

Idaho Alfalfa/Clover Seed Commission

Idaho Alfalfa/Clover Seed Growers Association

Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts

Idaho Dairymen’s Association

Idaho Hay & Forage Association

Idaho Honey Industry Association

Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association

Idaho Noxious Weed Control Association

Idaho Oilseed Commission

Idaho Onion Growers’ Association

Idaho Wheat Commission

Idaho Wool Growers Association

Idaho-Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association

Illinois Green Industry Association

Institute of Food Technologists

International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC)

Iowa State University

Land For Good

Lincoln University of Missouri

Louisiana State University, AgCenter

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS)

Michigan State University, AgBioResearch

Michigan State University, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals – Multistate Initiative

National Association of Federal Veterinarians

National Barley Improvement Committee

National Bison Association

National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research

National Milk Producers Federation

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Beverly, MA

New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association

Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers Association

North American Millers’ Association

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

North Carolina State University

North Central Cooperative Extension Association

North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

North Central Weed Science Society

Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Northeastern Weed Science Society

Northern Marianas College

Oklahoma State University Agricultural Programs

Oregon Association of Nurseries

Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

Oregon State University, College of Agricultural Sciences

Oregon Women for Agriculture

Oregonians for Food and Shelter

Organic Farming Research Foundation

Penn State University

Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Assn.

Phytobiomes Alliance

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Soil Science Society of America

Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative

Southern Weed Science Society

Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation

Tennessee State University

Texas A&M AgriLife

The Breakthrough Institute

The Ohio State University

Tufts University

Union of Concerned Scientists

University of Arizona Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension

University of California System

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Davis

University of California, Riverside

University of Florida

University of Guam

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources,
Agriculture Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

University of Idaho

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

University of Maine

University of Maine System

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources – College Park

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, College of Agricultural Sciences

University of Tennessee

University of the Virgin Islands, School of Agriculture

University of Wisconsin, Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Division of Extension

University of Wyoming

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

US Canola Association

US Dairy Forage Research Center Stakeholder Committee

US Pea and Lentil Trade Association

Virginia Association for Biological Farming

Virginia Tech

Washington State University

Weed Science Society of America

West Virginia State University

West Virginia University

Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Western Extension Directors Association

Western Growers

Western Society of Weed Science

CC:      The Honorable Debbie Stabenow, Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
The Honorable David Scott, Chair, House Agriculture Committee 


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About the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation

The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation leads a non-partisan coalition working to educate stakeholders about the importance of agricultural research. For the past seven years, SoAR has supported increased investments to encourage top scientists to create agricultural solutions that improve public health and food security and enhance economic competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.supportagresearch.org.

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