Nearly three dozen farm groups and university researchers are calling on House and Senate appropriators to fund the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA), authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill but which has yet to receive any money.
The farm bill “authorized AgARDA to foster research and development that would help to protect the U.S. agriculture and food supply from threats, such as those posed by highly pathogenic African Swine Fever” or the “severe labor shortages experienced by specialty crop growers that are straining their harvest capabilities,” the letter to the House and Senate ag appropriations subcommittees says.
AgARDA “will leverage successful public-private partnerships to improve efficiency and accelerate research and development in pursuit of overcoming long-term and high-risk agricultural and food related research and development challenges,” the signers said.
“With the specialized statutory hiring authorities and alternative contracting vehicles, combined with the strategic planning, and coordination and consultation, AgARDA allows significant achievements to occur more rapidly than in a conventional setting,” the letter says, seeking funding at the authorized level of $50 million.
Signers include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Society of Plant Biologists, American Veterinary Medical Association, National Farmers Union and Soil Science Society of America, among others.
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