Obama to ask for more money for agriculture research
President Barack Obama will seek more money for agricultural research in his 2017 budget, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Jan. 3.
Vilsack said in a speech to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and in a call to reporters that the Obama budget will propose a total of $700 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the fully authorized funding level established by Congress in the 2008 farm bill.
“In the seven years since AFRI was established, the program has led to true innovations and ground-breaking discoveries in agriculture to combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate the impacts of climate variability and enhance resiliency of our food systems, and ensure food safety,” USDA said in a background paper.
In a call with John Holdren, Obama’s science and technology adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Vilsack announced that through existing AFRI funding, $30.1 million in grants will be awarded to fund 80 projects at universities, research institutes and laboratories.
These grants address crucial issues facing agricultural producers, consumers, and researchers such as food safety and quality, nutrients in plants, plant growth, and antimicrobial resistance strategies, USDA said.
–The Hagstrom Report
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