Ag Conservation and Research Funding Being Pushed for Infrastructure Package; NBGA Joins Letter Supporting Research Funding
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is working to include $50 billion over 10 years for agriculture conservation funding in the potential infrastructure package. For context, the 2018 farm bill authorized $60 billion in total conservation funding over 10 years. President Biden’s proposal included $1 billion for ag conservation, but during a Farm Journal Foundation meeting Chairwoman Stabenow said, “I'm pushing for $50 billion more for USDA traditional conservation programs, because the White House's proposal isn’t anywhere near enough.” “We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to expand these programs and build farm bill baseline at the same time.” Stabenow has also indicated support for increasing funding for agricultural research. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for more than $110 billion for research across the federal government, but does not provide an amount specifically for agriculture. More than 450 food and environmental groups submitted a letter requesting at least $200 billion for a broad suite of conservation, research energy and regional food initiatives over the next decade. The NBGA signed on to a letter led by the Supporters of Ag Research (SoAR) Foundation requesting an investment of $40 billion for agricultural research infrastructure, research, and innovation.