A coalition of 66 trade associations, university Extension scientists and other organizations, including the Farm Journal Foundation, is asking Congress to take action that would improve the USDA’s research and development efforts and, thereby, the country’s competitiveness on an international scale.
The coalition sent a letter to agricultural leaders in the House and Senate earlier this week, asking them to consider 10 policy recommendations.
Among the recommendations, the groups wants Congress to establish an annual $6 billion goal for USDA food and agricultural research between 2019 and 2023.
“Though public funding for other forms of domestic research has risen dramatically, the U.S. agricultural research budget has declined in real dollars since 2003. This is an area of R&D where return on investment is estimated at 20 to 1,” the letter says.
“At stake is our national security, economy, health, and environment. The next Farm Bill represents a crucial opportunity to reverse these trends and reassert our nation’s leadership in agricultural research and extension.”
Go here to read the letter in its entirety.