ASM and AFRI Request Support for USDA’s Agriculture & Food Research Initiative
On Nov. 20, 2020, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, of which ASM is a member, issued the following statement on the fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills:
Dear Chairman Hoeven, Ranking Member Merkley, Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Fortenberry:
The AFRI Coalition commends you for your support of USDA's Agriculture & Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and urges $435 million for AFRI in the final FY21 appropriations bill. The AFRI Coalition is comprised of organizations representing research institutions, scientific societies and other food and agricultural stakeholders. Together, we advocate for robust research investments in AFRI, USDA's flagship competitive grants program for fundamental and applied research, extension and education in support of our nation's food and agricultural systems.
We are grateful for the inclusion of $435 million for AFRI in both the House and Senate FY21 spending proposals, and we urge you to maintain this commitment to competitive agricultural research in conference negotiations. This increased level of investment will further AFRI's ability to support cutting-edge research on bioenergy, nutrition, climate adaptation and resiliency, agricultural technology, economic prosperity in rural communities and food safety and quality. Moreover, it will help address the COVID-19 challenges facing farmers, ranchers and our nation's food supply chains. Already, AFRI has awarded $13 million for COVID-19 rapid response grants aimed at addressing urgent needs and finding timely solutions to the pandemic's impact on the agricultural community and food supply chain.
Thank you for your continuing support of AFRI and efforts to strengthen the program in recent years. We believe now it is more important than ever to invest in agricultural research and education to help ensure a prosperous and healthy future for all Americans.
The AFRI Coalition