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APLU, 350 Agricultural Organizations Call on Congress to Invest $11.5 Billion to Address Ag Research Infrastructure Needs

May 3, 2021

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and 350 agricultural organizations today called on Congress to invest $11.5 billion in the federal agricultural research infrastructure at colleges of agriculture.

In the letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the groups write, “Modern agricultural research and education facilities serve as the backbone of the nation's cutting-edge research and applied science solutions. A report recently assessed the state of facilities at U.S. colleges and schools of agriculture, reporting that 69 percent of these buildings are at the end of their useful life. The report estimated the cost to upgrade deferred maintenance for these buildings now as $11.5 billion, and the cost to replace the dilapidated facilities as $38.1 billion. It further stated that strategic federal investment in these facilities at 1862, 1890, 1994, and insular land-grant and non-land-grant schools of agriculture would create 200,000 new jobs nationwide. Finally, this investment would contribute to solving the need for the U.S. to recruit and graduate 60,000 new U.S. graduates with agricultural expertise every year.”

Read the full letter below:

May 3, 2021

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairwoman
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable John Boozman
Ranking Member
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable David Scott
Chairman
House Committee on Agriculture
Washington, DC 20515
 
The Honorable Glenn Thompson
Ranking Member
House Committee on Agriculture
Washington, DC 20515
 

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Scott, and Ranking Members Boozman and Thompson,

Thank you for your support for agricultural research, education, Extension, and innovation. As you consider new initiatives to support rural America and investments in the agricultural economy, we strongly urge you to include a federal agricultural research infrastructure investment of $11.5 billion over a period of five years at U.S. colleges of agriculture. Such an investment is necessary to advance the critical work being done at institutions across the country to support American jobs, recruit a diversity of talent for the agricultural science pipeline, address our climate challenges, and ensure ongoing U.S. leadership in food and agricultural innovation.

Modern agricultural research and education facilities serve as the backbone of the nation's cutting-edge research and applied science solutions. A report recently assessed the state of facilities at U.S. colleges and schools of agriculture, reporting that 69 percent of these buildings are at the end of their useful life. The report estimated the cost to upgrade deferred maintenance for these buildings now as $11.5 billion, and the cost to replace the dilapidated facilities as $38.1 billion. It further stated that strategic federal investment in these facilities at 1862, 1890, 1994, and insular land-grant and non-land-grant schools of agriculture would create 200,000 new jobs nationwide. Finally, this investment would contribute to solving the need for the U.S. to recruit and graduate 60,000 new U.S. graduates with agricultural expertise every year.

The pandemic has laid bare gaps and challenges in the American economy, but also demonstrates that the research, education, and Cooperative Extension outreach performed by the nation’s colleges of agriculture have never been more relevant. The U.S. cannot rebuild our agricultural research prominence or keep up with international competitors when our research is done in facilities from the 1950s and 1960s. A transformative investment of $11.5 billion in agricultural research infrastructure at colleges of agriculture would be a significant first step in an overall strategy to ensure that the U.S. remains globally competitive. Our request reflects plans to invest in research and development by providing land grant universities with funding to upgrade their research infrastructure, including brick-and-mortar facilities and computing capabilities and networks. With this type of once-in-a-generation investment, we can position the U.S. agricultural sector to take the lead in developing climate innovations that provide new economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and producers.

This investment would reposition the United States for long-term success in food and agricultural research, education, and Extension, accelerate rural and urban economic recovery, achieve more diversity and equity in agriculture, and create the next-generation infrastructure needed to address the food and production challenges of feeding a growing world population.

Sincerely,

National
AGCO Corporation
AgCountry Farm Credit Services
Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
American Association of Bovine Practitioners
American Association of Mycobacterial Diseases
American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners
American Association of Swine Veterinarians
American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges
American Dairy Science Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Frozen Food Institute
American Malting Barley Association
American Mushroom Institute
American Olive Oil Producers Association
American Phytopathological Society
American Seed Trade Association
American Society for Horticultural Science
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Nutrition
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Animal Science
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Veterinary Medical Association
Aquatic Plant Management Society
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
BASF Agricultural Solutions
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Brewers Association
Cherry Marketing Institute, Inc.
ConAgra Brands
Consumer Federation of America
Corteva
Council for Agriculture Research Extension & Teaching
Crop Science Society of America
CropLife America
Dairy Farmers of America
Davis Family HLDGS
Entomological Society of America
Farm Credit Council
Farm Journal Foundation
FASS
Hormel Foods
Minority Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee
Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals – Multistate Initiative
National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization
National Aquaculture Association
National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Growers Association
National Barley Improvement Committee
National Bison Association
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research
National Cotton Council
National Grange
National Milk Producers Federation
National Onion Association
National Peach Council
National Pork Producers Council
National Sunflower Association
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Noble Research Institute, LLC
Non-Land Grant Agriculture and Renewable Resources Universities
North American Craft Maltsters Guild
North American Invasive Species Management Association
NQV8, LLC.
Produce Marketing Associations
Roberts Associates
Rock Family Foundation
Schwan's Company
Society for Range Management
Soil Science Society of America
Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation
The Breakthrough Institute
The Fertilizer Institute
The Scoular Company
U.S. Canola Association
U.S. Wheat Associates, Inc.
Union of Concerned Scientists
United States Cattlemen's Association
US Bank
US Dairy Forage Research Center Stakeholder Committee
US Rice Producers Association
US Sweet Potato Council
USA Rice
Weed Science Society of America
Wine Institute
Yara North America

Regional
Association of 1890 Research Directors
Association of Southern Region Extension Directors
Cape Fear Farm Credit
Christensen Farms
Cobb-Vantress, Inc.
Cotton Growers Cooperative
Delmarva Chicken Association
Diamond Bar Capital LLC
ISG
Legacy Land and Financial Consulting, LLC
North Central Cooperative Extension Association
North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
North Central Weed Science Society
Northarvest Bean Growers Association
Northeast Equipment Dealers Assoc., Inc.
Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
Northeastern Weed Science Society
Northern Pulse Growers Association
Northwest Aquaculture Alliance
Northwest Farm Credit Services
Pacific Northwest Canola Association
Plains Grains, Inc.
Prime Dirt Midwest Inc
Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
Southern Weed Science Society
Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
Western Growers
Western Society of Weed Science

States
California
Association of California Egg Farmers
California Agriculture Irrigation Association
California Alfalfa and Forage Association
California Association of Wheat Growers
California Association of Winegrape Growers
California Bean Shippers Association
California Cattlemen's Association
California Cherry Growers and Industry Association
California Citrus Mutual
California Citrus Research Foundation
California Cotton Alliance
California Farm Bureau Federation
California Fresh Fruit Association
California Grain and Feed Association
California Pear Growers Association
California Pork Producers Association
California Seed Association
California State Beekeepers Association
California State Floral Association
California Sweetpotato Council
California Warehouse Association
California Women for Agriculture
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)
Olive Oil Commission of California
Pacific Coast Renderers Association
Pacific Egg and Poultry Association
Pacific Seed Association
Pesticide Applicators Professional Association
Plant California Alliance

Florida
Florida Cattlemen's Association
Florida Citrus Mutual
Florida Farm Bureau Federation
Florida Forestry Association
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association
Florida Strawberry Growers Association
Glades Crop Care, Inc.
R.C. Hatton Inc.

Guam
Farmers Cooperative Association of Guam
Southern Guam Soil and Water Conservation District

Hawaii
Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association
Hawaii Papaya Industry Association
Hawaii Tropical Flower Council
Hawaii Tropical Flowers and Foliage Association
Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council

Iowa
America's Cultivation Corridor
Ames Chamber of Commerce
Iowa Corn Growers Association
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
Iowa Institute for Cooperatives
Iowa Pork
Iowa Poultry Association
Iowa Soybean Association
Iowa State Dairy Association
Iowa Turkey Federation
Iowa Veterinary Medical Association
Owl Lake Production Co.

Idaho
Idaho Barley Commission
Idaho Grain Producers Association
Idaho Wheat Commission
Illinois
Illinois Beef Association
Illinois Farm Bureau
Illinois Pork Producers Association
Illinois Soybean Association

Indiana
4M Dorsets/Indiana Lamb and Wool Check Off
Belstra Milling Co.

Kansas
Diamond Bar Cattle LLC
Kansas Bankers Association
Kansas Cooperative Council
Kansas Corn Growers Association
Kansas Dairy
Kansas Farm Bureau
Kansas Livestock Association
Kansas State University Foundation
Kansas Wheat
Tanner Red Angus

Kentucky
Capstone Farms

Louisiana
Black Farmers Hemp
Circle of Faith CDC
Clark Farm
J. B. Guillory Group
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
M. Guillory Farms
SUNO

Massachusetts
Massachusetts Association of Lawn Care Professionals
Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association

Maryland
MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Maine
Maine Farm Bureau Association
Maine Potato Board
Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine

Michigan
Great Lakes Floral Association
Michigan Agriculture Advancement
Michigan Agritourism Association
Michigan Apple
Michigan Asparagus Research, Inc.
Michigan Association of Timbermen
Michigan Bean Commission
Michigan Beekeepers Association
Michigan Blueberry Commission
Michigan Cattlemen's Association
Michigan Cherry Committee
Michigan Christmas Tree Association
Michigan Corn
Michigan Farm Bureau
Michigan Food Processors Association
Michigan Forest Products Council
Michigan Horse Council
Michigan Milk Producers Association
Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association
Michigan Pork Producers Association
Michigan Processing Apple and Asparagus Growers
Michigan Sheep Producers Association
Michigan Soybean Association
Michigan State Horticultural Society
Michigan Tree Fruit Commission
Michigan Wine Collaborative
Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc.
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
The Michigan Vegetable Council, INC.
West Michigan Food Processing Association

Minnesota
MBOLD / Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Economic Development Partnership
Minnesota AgriGrowth Council
Minnesota Milk Producers Association
Minnesota Pork Producers Association
Orsten Turkeys of Willmar, Inc

Missouri
Missouri Farm Bureau
Missouri Soybean Association

Mississippi
Blair Legacy Tree Farm, LLC

Montana
Hansen Grain Company
Miner Ranch
Montana Ag Experiment Station Advisory Council
Montana Agricultural Business Association
Montana Farm Bureau
Montana FFA Foundation
Montana Independent Bankers
Montana Livestock Ag Credit
Montana Organic Association
Montana Wheat & Barley Committee
Montana Wool Growers Association

North Carolina
AgCarolina Farm Credit
Corn Growers Association of North Carolina
North Carolina Christmas Tree Association
North Carolina Cotton Producers Association
North Carolina Egg Association
North Carolina Foundation Seed Producers Inc.
North Carolina Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association
North Carolina Peanut Association
North Carolina Poultry Federation, Inc.
North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association
North Carolina Soybean Producers Assoc.
North Carolina State Grange
North Carolina Strawberry Association
North Carolina SweetPotato Commission
North Carolina Tomato Growers Association
North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association
North Carolina Watermelon Association

North Dakota
North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station
North Dakota Crop Improvement & Seed Association
North Dakota Farmers Union
North Dakota Oilseed Council
North Dakota Weed Control Association
North Dakota Wheat Commission
North West Land Owners Association

New Jersey
New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Board of Managers
New Jersey Farm Bureau

Nevada
Nevada Cattlemen's Association

Ohio
Ohio AgriBusiness Association
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association
Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association
Ohio Dairy Producers Association
Ohio Environmental Council
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
Ohio Pork Council
Ohio Poultry Association
Ohio Soybean Association
The J. M. Smucker Co.

Oklahoma
AFR/OFU Cooperative
AgChoice Farm Credit
American Plant Products and Services, Inc.
Krehbiel Farms LLC
Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association
Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives
Oklahoma Farm Bureau
Oklahoma Genetics, Inc.
Oklahoma Grain & Feed Association
Oklahoma Pork Council
Oklahoma Wheat Commission
Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association

Pennsylvania
Eichenlaub, Inc.
ERG Partners/PA Energy Resources Group
Keystone Section of the Institute of Food Technologists
PA Coop Potato Growers, Inc.
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Pennsylvania Equine Council
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Pennsylvania Forestry Association
Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association
Pennsylvania State Grange
Pennsylvania Winery Association

South Carolina
Palmetto Agribusiness Council
South Carolina Beef Council
South Carolina Cotton Board
South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation
South Carolina Peach Council
South Carolina Peanut Board
South Carolina Pork Board
South Carolina Soybean Board
South Carolina Tobacco Board
South Carolina Watermelon Association

South Dakota
South Dakota Association of Cooperatives

Tennessee
Tennessee Cattlemens Association
Tennessee Corn Growers Association
Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation
Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance
Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc.
Tennessee Poultry Association
Tennessee Soybean Promotion Council

Texas
Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council
Texas Citrus Mutual
Texas Cotton Ginners' Association
Texas Farm Bureau
Texas Hemp Growers Association
Texas Independent Ginners Association
Texas International Produce Association
Texas Poultry Federation
Texas Seed Trade Association
Texas Vegetable Association
Texas Wheat Producers Association
Washington
Washington Farm Bureau
Washington Grain Commission
Washington Red Raspberry Commission
Washington Seed Potato Commission
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Washington State Potato Commission
Washington State Wine Commission
Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association


CC: House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

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