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Bullet policy, statements · Apr 04, 2024

AIBS Endorses Community Letters Supporting Boosts for Agricultural Research

The American Institute of Biological Sciences has signed on to letters supporting increased funding for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), as well as Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The ARS letter, endorsed by 58 organizations, requests a total of $1.95 billion in funding for USDA’s chief intramural research agency in FY 2025.

“A robust federal investment in ARS research provides the foundation for a strong, resilient domestic agricultural and food supply chain,” the ARS letter argues. “Supporting food and agricultural research at ARS is an investment in the nation’s food security, economic prosperity, environmental resilience, and overall well-being. ARS research ensures that the food and agriculture sector can adapt, innovate, and thrive in the face of evolving challenges and threats.”

The second letter, signed by 71 organizations, requests an appropriation of no less than $500 million for the AFRI program, USDA’s flagship competitive grants program for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education in support of all topics across the food and agricultural enterprise.

“This funding level for the program is needed to invest in crucial areas aimed at addressing our nation’s most urgent and pressing food, agriculture, and public health challenge. AFRI-funded research plays a pivotal role in advancing food and agriculture knowledge, innovation, and technology, which are critical for the economic well-being of our farmers, supporting rural communities, protecting limited natural resources, maintaining the overall health and safety of our food supply, and preserving global competitiveness.”

The AgARDA support letter was signed by 64 organizations. It calls for an investment of $50 million in FY 2025 for AgARDA, which was established in the 2018 Farm Bill and modeled after successful advanced research agencies like DARPA and ARPA-E to foster research, development, and technology transfer resulting in significant benefits across the U.S. food and agriculture value chain.

“By providing AGARDA with sufficient funding, Congress can demonstrate its commitment to supporting agriculture as a cornerstone of our economy and a fundamental component of global food security.”

Read the letters.

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