Feenstra Introduces Legislation to Support Iowa Farmers by Investing in Agricultural Research at Iowa State University

Today, U.S. Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Zach Nunn (R-IA), and Deborah Ross (D-NC) introduced the Genome to Phenome Initiative Reauthorization Act of 2023, which would support continued research at Iowa State University to increase crop yields – particularly corn – while keeping costs low for Iowa farmers and producers.

More specifically, this legislation reauthorizes the Genome to Phenome Initiative – which was included in the 2018 Farm Bill as a competitive grant program – at $40 million to fund research concerning genomes and phenomes of both crops and animals critical to American agriculture. Investing in this research will ensure our producers can reach their full potential.

“Continued investment in agricultural research at land-grant universities like Iowa State is vital to the success of our farmers, producers, and rural communities. We’ve seen China surpass our agricultural research funding by a two-to-one margin, and we cannot afford to fall behind. Scientific advancements in cutting-edge research – especially corn genetics – has helped our producers feed and fuel our country and the world at lower costs and with fewer inputs,” said Rep. Feenstra. “By reauthorizing the Genome to Phenome Initiative, we will continue to make strides in corn genetics, lower costs for our producers, and increase corn yields. Serving on both the House Agriculture Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, I am committed to advancing Iowa’s agricultural priorities in Congress.”

“As our agricultural sector faces unprecedented challenges from severe weather events and a changing environment, advanced genetic research can revolutionize our farms and ranches and bolster climate resilience in communities across the country,” said Rep. Ross. “By leveraging the potential of this innovative research, universities and colleges like NC State and other institutions across North Carolina can enhance sustainability, increase productivity on farms, and ensure North Carolina maintains its status as a leader in the agriculture industry. I thank Congressmen Feenstra and Nunn for their partnership on the Genome to Phenome Initiative Reauthorization Act of 2023 and look forward to working together on this critical issue.”

“Improving our understanding of crop and livestock genetics will improve resiliency and productivity for Iowa’s farmers, ranchers and producers,” said Rep. Nunn. “By reauthorizing this program, we will ensure Iowa State University and other land-grant universities can continue their vital research to improve the way we grow and raise America’s food supply.”

“The Genomes to Phenomes funding is vital in providing trustworthy research that improves corn’s ability to react to environmental effects, increase its yield potential and develop overall nutrient sustainability for long-term corn success,” said Denny Friest, President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

“NCGA proudly supports the Genome to Phenome Initiative Reauthorization Act, the research from the Genomes to Phenomes Initiative has provided valuable genomic insights that corn farmers across the country utilize in their operations,” said the National Corn Growers Association. “We appreciate Congressman Feenstra’s leadership on this important issue.”

You can read more about the Genome to Phenome Initiative HERE.

You can find legislative text HERE.


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