Washington, DC – Dr. Ian L. Maw, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Vice President for Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources, today released the following statement regarding the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation’s new report, “Retaking the Field: The Case for a Surge in Agricultural Research.” APLU is a partner organization of SoAR.
“From safer and more nutritious food to improved soil, air and water quality, the benefits of agricultural research are vast and felt by all Americans every day. But for as much as we have accomplished as a nation, many more great scientific and public health advances are waiting to be unlocked with new research investments and initiatives.
“The SoAR report, Retaking the Field: The Case for a Surge in Agricultural Research, is both a celebration of past achievements and a call to action. As the U.S. and world population continue to grow, the challenges of feeding more people healthy, safe food that is grown in sustainable ways increase as well. The U.S. has long been the global innovation leader with public and land-grant universities playing a front and center role. But after years of very little growth in agricultural research funding, this report makes clear that increased federal investments are needed if we’re going to be serious about meeting the challenges and opportunities confronting us.
“Beyond competitive federal funding, it’s also imperative that we maintain and grow capacity funding, which supports agricultural research and the dissemination of the resulting knowledge through the Cooperative Extension programs at all of our nation’s land-grant institutions. Agricultural research is at its best when it’s conducted in all 50 states and territories at institutions that have a diverse set of abilities, needs, and opportunities. Capacity funding enables our nation’s agricultural research portfolio to be diversified, to be ready for emerging crises, and it ensures that the food and natural resources needs of all Americans are addressed.”