New bill will support agricultural research
By: Sydney Sheffield
The Advancing Cutting Edge (ACE) Agriculture Act has recently been introduced by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS). The ACE Act would support high-risk, high-reward agricultural research and development at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Randy Feenstra (R-IA) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives as well.
“Now more than ever, Americans have seen how vulnerable our nation’s food system can be. Whether it is facing challenges within the supply chain, unforeseen biological disasters, or the threat of foreign adversaries, targeting these risks through research will ensure that the United States continues to provide a safe, secure food supply for a growing world population,” said Marshall. “Reauthorization of [Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority] AgARDA will allow the Department of Agriculture to partner with public research institutions on rewarding advanced research initiatives that preserves the United States’ role as a global agriculture leader amid a changing economic landscape.”
AgARDA spurs innovation through the development of breakthrough technologies and practices to address water conservation, soil health, disease and pest management, and extreme weather variability. The research and solutions advanced by AgARDA will help American farmers and ranchers meet the challenges of a changing agricultural landscape, increase production to address a growing global population and help U.S. agricultural products compete in global markets.
“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 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.”
The ACE Act would:
Double the authorization of the existing program from $50 million to $100 million to ensure access to more transformative agricultural innovation projects across multiple states.
Expand the existing program’s scope to:
Address animal and plant pathogens and pests which could help farmers increase production capacity and competitiveness.
Include opportunities for projects that could help farmers and ranchers use less water; enhance soil health; and mitigate, reduce, and/or sequester greenhouse gas emissions from farms and ranches.
Read the ACE Act here.