ensure high-quality research delivers benefits for farmers and consumers and
sustains the environment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must listen
to diverse viewpoints and expertise from all parts of the food and agriculture
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently held a virtual
listening session. Stakeholders, customers, and
partners were “invited to contribute your expert opinion on how Federal
investments can best address current needs and challenges facing U.S.
agriculture.” What a great opportunity! There were comments from all over the United
States from across the stakeholder spectrum, including farmers, academia, and
agricultural research associations.
Stull, Vice President for Policy and Analysis at the Supporters of Agricultural
Research (SoAR) Foundation provided this statement:
appreciate this opportunity to provide input to NIFA on how Federal investments
can best address current needs and challenges facing U.S. agriculture.
those who are not familiar with the Supporters of Agricultural Research
Foundation, also known as SoAR, we lead a non-partisan coalition working to
educate stakeholders about the importance of food and agricultural research and
we strongly support increased investments in these areas.
founder, Dr. William Danforth, said: “Food is too important to the human race
to be a research afterthought.” We continue Dr. Danforth’s legacy by
collaborating with others to seek larger investments in food and agricultural
found that U.S. public agriculture research and development spending from 1910
to 2007 returned, on average, $17 in benefits for every $1 invested. Research
is the lynchpin that makes our food and agriculture sectors a powerhouse of the
to a 2021 study,
these sectors account for roughly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity,
directly supporting nearly 20 million jobs. That is more than 13% of U.S.
employment. Total jobs indirectly supported reach almost 41 million, with a
total output of $7 trillion.
way Federal investments can best address current needs and challenges facing
U.S. agriculture is to achieve the long-term goals and strategy of the National
Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Science
Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030. Science
Breakthroughs 2030 emphasized that transdisciplinary research and
systems approach to the agriculture and food system is needed, and the report
highlighted the importance of protecting the global food supply chain.
way is to review SoAR’s submitted comments
to USDA’s 2020 broad request for stakeholders’ input on agriculture
innovations. Those comments provide detailed feedback from SoAR and our Science
Advisory Committee for NIFA’s consideration on how
Federal investments can best address current needs and challenges facing U.S.
you for this opportunity and we look forward to continued collaboration.”