Senator Stabenow Agricultural Research Measure Advances in Senate

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded her colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee for advancing a measure to support agricultural research. The measure, previously known as the Charitable Agricultural Research Act, was introduced by Sens. Stabenow and John Thune (R-SD) last Congress and encourages the creation of public-private partnerships to boost funding and spur innovation for agricultural research. This will allow colleges like Michigan State University to continue their work to help make sure there is a safe and steady food supply for the world's growing population. Sen. Stabenow is a senior member on the Senate Finance Committee where the measure received bipartisan support.

"We need to invest in innovative research if we want a safe and abundant food supply and a strong agricultural industry in Michigan," said Senator Stabenow. "This measure is a ‘win-win' effort that builds on decades of success and momentum by continuing to pursue new research through creative partnerships."

Doug Buhler, Director, Michigan State University AgBioResearch: "This initiative will encourage more private investment into agriculture research and complement current funding programs. It will enhance our ability to support food security for our nation now and into the future. Michigan State University supports this effort and hopes that it will become a reality."

Over the last 60 years, agricultural research has expanded food production significantly. Michigan agriculture contributes over $100 billion to the state's economy and exports $3 billion in farm goods annually. However, agricultural scientists warn that failing to invest in agricultural research could spell disaster for the future of American food security and safety. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act seeks to address these challenges by creating agricultural research organizations (AROs) that would work in conjunction with agricultural and land-grant colleges and universities to conduct research in the field of agriculture.