WASHINGTON, D.C. (JUNE 14, 2023) – Farm Journal Foundation applauds the introduction of the America Grows Act of 2023, a bipartisan bill that would significantly increase U.S. public investment in agricultural research and development.
The bill, recently introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), would increase funding for agricultural research by 5 percent annually on an inflation-adjusted basis at the four main agricultural research and statistical agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the next 10 years. More support for agricultural innovation is critical, especially as shocks including the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine, emerging pest and disease threats, and extreme weather events have exposed vulnerabilities in our global food systems.
“Farmers and food producers continue to face unprecedented challenges, amid the need to produce more food, fuel, and fiber with fewer and fewer resources,” said Katie Lee, Vice President of Government Affairs at Farm Journal Foundation. “We are grateful to Senator Durbin and Senator Moran for recognizing the vital need to support research and innovation to address these challenges, and for introducing the America Grows Act to help build a stronger and more sustainable food system in this country and around the world.”
Although the public return on investment for agricultural research is significant, estimated at $20 for every dollar spent, U.S. funding in this area has declined by 30 percent in real dollars since 2003, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. The U.S. has fallen behind major competitors China and Brazil in public agricultural research funding, but the America Grows Act would help reverse this trend and reassert American leadership on the global stage. Food and agriculture account for nearly $3 trillion of U.S. GDP, 1 in 6 jobs, and contribute more than $155 trillion in export value to the nation’s trade balance.
The America Grows Act is modeled after the successful 21st Century Cures Act, which passed in 2016 and spurred additional funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It would increase funding for four USDA agencies: the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Economic Research Service (ERS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
To read the bill, visit:
To read a letter of support from stakeholder organizations, click the link below.
Whitney McFerron, Communications Director
Farm Journal Foundation
About Farm Journal Foundation
Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food and nutrition security, agricultural research and innovation, rural development, and conservation and sustainability. To learn more, visit www.farmjournalfoundation.org.