POULAN, GA. (AUG. 24, 2023) – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott met recently with Georgia Farmer Ambassador Ricky Dollison and members of the Farm Journal Foundation team to discuss the impact of agricultural research and development.
The event took place on Aug. 24 at Dollison Farms, a crop and livestock operation in Poulan, Georgia. Participants discussed how public support for agricultural research and development benefits farmers both in the U.S. and abroad, helping increase crop yields, strengthen food supply chains, and improve national security. As Congress works to craft the next Farm Bill, discussions about support for agricultural innovation are particularly important, especially as the world faces a worsening food crisis.
“The agricultural research done in Georgia provides invaluable information to our farmers at home and around the globe,” Congressman Scott said. “Maintaining a strong domestic food supply is a priority in the upcoming Farm Bill, and supporting beginning, young, and small farmers right here in Georgia is the best way to promote innovation.”
Agricultural research is particularly important today, as global hunger and malnutrition have risen significantly due to challenges including the conflict in Ukraine, extreme weather events, and the COVID-19 pandemic. New innovations can enable farmers to become more resilient, increase production of crops including healthy foods, preserve natural resources, and adapt to volatile weather conditions.
Agricultural research has one of the highest returns of any public investment, returning on average $20 in benefits for every $1 invested, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Innovation is particularly important for Georgia. Agriculture contributes over $69 billion annually to the state’s economy and supports one in seven jobs, according to the Georgia Farm Bureau.
Agricultural research undertaken in the public sector has an important role to play in strengthening global food and nutrition security. While private sector research investments have a significant impact, the public sector can support early stage research to pave the way for important long-term discoveries. Public investment can also support comparatively under-explored areas such as animal health, environmental, and food safety research, and unlock innovations for smallholder farmers overseas, helping developing countries feed themselves and improving global stability.
“The agricultural industry is constantly evolving, and farmers need to be able to innovate to keep up with rising global demand for food, as well as pressure from high input costs and limited resources,” said Ricky Dollison, Farm Journal Foundation’s Georgia Farmer Ambassador. “Agricultural research and development is a win-win investment, because it benefits farmers here in the U.S. and helps smallholder farmers in developing countries fight global hunger and malnutrition.”
Photos by Kaylee Paulk
Whitney McFerron, 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.