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