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Feenstra, Panetta Introduce Legislation to Double Funding for Agriculture Research and Development

Today, U.S. Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced legislation – the Advancing Cutting Edge (ACE) Agriculture Act – to double funding from $50 million to $100 million for the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA) administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

“Continued investment in agricultural research and development is vital to the success of our family farmers and rural main streets in Iowa,” said Rep. Feenstra. “From foreign animal disease mitigation to increased crop yields, cutting-edge agricultural research and innovation will help make our farmers and producers more profitable, productive, and competitive in global markets. I am proud to help introduce the ACE Agriculture Act to provide our nation’s brightest minds with the resources they need to power American agriculture and support Iowa farmers.”

“Our farmers face an evolving set of challenges and need new, groundbreaking agricultural technologies, approaches, and data systems to continue to survive, provide, and thrive,” said Rep. Panetta. “This bipartisan legislation would double our investment in agricultural innovation and expand our efforts to provide for our nation’s food security and climate resiliency. For our farmers to continue to compete, they need to be equipped with cutting-edge tools that will push both American and global agriculture forward.”

“We are so pleased to have support for agricultural programs that benefit research at Iowa State University,” said Peter Dorhout, Vice President for Research at Iowa State University. “Building on the strength of competitive and capacity funding from USDA, innovative programs like AgARDA can help usher in a new approach to applied research to help us continue our work as a trusted partner for farmers and producers in Iowa and across the nation.”

AgARDA was authorized as a pilot program in the 2018 Farm Bill to support high-risk, high-reward advanced research and development projects in the agricultural sector. This legislation also expands the scope of AgARDA to address animal and plant pathogens and pests that can harm farm productivity and study efforts to help farmers conserve water, protect soil health, combat drought, and mitigate the devastating impacts of extreme weather events.

China has nearly doubled its funding on agricultural research and development, underscoring the need for the United States to remain competitive in this space and protect our national, economic, and food security.

You can find legislative text of the legislation HERE.


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