11.10.2020

The SoAR Foundation Applauds Proposed Funding Increase for USDA’s Flagship Competitive Science Program

Senate appropriations bill would increase the funding of USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to $435M for FY2021

For more information, please contact:
Josh Stull at +1-703-‪828-5219 or jstull@supportagresearch.org

WASHINGTON, DC (November 10, 2020)—The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation praises the proposed $435 million in FY2021 funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) that was included in draft legislation released by the Senate Appropriations Committee today. This is the same amount included in the U.S. House of Representatives FY2021 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations legislation.

As the USDA’s flagship competitive grants program for agricultural research within the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), AFRI uses a rigorous peer-reviewed process to recommend funding for the best research. The program is authorized at $700 million, but is currently funded at $425 million annually, leaving much-needed research unfunded.

“The COVID-19 economic downturn has hit farmers hard,” said Thomas Grumbly, president of the SoAR Foundation. “Our farmers depend on scientific breakthroughs and innovations to continue to feed the country—and the world. Thanks to Subcommittee Chairman Hoeven, Ranking Member Merkley, and all members for their commitment to finding long-term innovation solutions for our farmers, ranchers, and producers. Investments in agricultural research ultimately benefit our families and nation.”

According to USDA’s NIFA, AFRI investments have produced new diagnostic methods for animal diseases, genetic resources for row crops and livestock, and alternatives to antimicrobials used to prevent disease in livestock. AFRI-funded projects have helped U.S. farmers remain competitive in the global marketplace.


 # # #


 About the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation

The SoAR Foundation leads a non-partisan coalition working to educate stakeholders about the importance of agricultural research and focus more of our best minds on feeding America and the world. The SoAR Foundation advocates for full funding for the Agriculture Food and Research Initiative to encourage top scientists from multiple disciplines to address agriculture-related challenges in order to improve public health and strengthen our economic competitiveness.

More Stories from the community

Letter to the Senate on Proposed NIFA Relocation

On August 9, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the department’s intention to relocate the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) to outside of Washington, DC effective the end of 2019. In response, SoAR sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow encouraging leadership to ask for a more detailed justification for the change.

Read More