12.22.2020

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

FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act increases 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 (December 22, 2020)—The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation applauds the $435 million in FY2021 funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) that was included in the FY2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act that passed the House and Senate.

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 the best research for funding. The program is authorized at $700 million, but is currently funded at $425 million annually, leaving much-needed research unfunded.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit our farmers hard,” said Thomas Grumbly, president of the SoAR Foundation. “Investments in agricultural research produce scientific breakthroughs and innovations that ultimately benefit our farmers, families, and nation. Working in collaboration with our partners, we have achieved a cumulative $450,000 million increase for AFRI compared to FY2015 baseline ($325 million to $435 million over six years).”

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.

 

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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. 

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