In mid-September, while the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization was under-way, ASPB, together with 130 organizations from industry, academia, and agriculture, signed a community support letter for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) in the Farm Bill.
Refreshed every five years, the last Farm Bill passed in 2018. The 2023 Farm Bill includes critical updates needed to address issues like inflation and subsidies and programs for farmers and families. “Since 2002, U.S. public state and federal investments in agriculture research have significantly declined by 30% from $7.5 billion to $5.2 billion in 2019,” the letter reads. The letter highlights agricultural research as a vital area in need of investment, and requests an additional investment of $750 million in funding for FFAR.
FFAR’s notable private sector support allows federal funding to go further and support more projects. “A $750 million government investment to FFAR will at minimum leverage a 1:1 match, resulting in $1.5 billion in new public and private agriculture research funding over the next decade, ensuring the entire food supply chain has the tools to be more sustainable and the solutions to provide a nutritional, safe, and abundant food supply for an ever-growing population,” the letter reads.
The 2023 Farm Bill wasn’t re-authorized by the September 30 deadline, though a delay isn’t uncommon when it comes to passing Farm Bills. Congress has until the end of 2023 to come to an agreement or pass a short-term continuing resolution while the debate continues.