June 16, 2017

2 Min Read
Better than average yields allowed some Southwest cotton farmers to make a little profit last year.

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has issued a statement in support of collaborative agricultural research supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the Senate Agriculture Committee weighs provisions for a new farm bill.

On June 15, the committee conducted a hearing titled, “Agricultural Research: Perspectives on Past and Future Successes for the 2018 Farm Bill.”  The hearing is one in a series of hearings being conducted to prepare for a new farm bill.

“Agricultural research has a significant impact on our nation’s economy and the world.  American farmers and ranchers play the leading role in feeding and clothing the world.  The United States would be hard pressed to fulfill this mission without significant investment in agricultural research,” said Cochran, a former chairman of the committee.

The Cochran statement bolsters ongoing committee support for USDA scientific research agencies that advance knowledge through research, Extension, and education:  the Agricultural Research Service; the National Institute of Food and Agriculture; the Economic Research Service; and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Cochran also endorsed the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, which was established in the 2014 farm bill. The foundation leverages public and private resources to support USDA agricultural research. Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State University, was recently named chairman of the board for the foundation. 

The following is Cochran’s statement for the record:

“Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this hearing to review the research programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As this committee prepares to write the 2018 farm bill, it is important to identify the research programs that are working well and those that need improvement.

“Agricultural research has a significant impact on our nation’s economy and the world. American farmers and ranchers play the leading role in feeding and clothing the world. The United States would be hard pressed to fulfill this mission without significant investment in agricultural research.

“I am pleased that this Committee continues to support the expansion of academic knowledge about agriculture in order to help our farmers be more efficient and effective.

“The Land Grant System is an important resource for promoting research. Formula grants distributed by the Department of Agriculture provide a stable source of funding for universities to conduct innovative agricultural, forestry, and extension activities which encourage U.S. food and fiber production.

“I also commend the USDA Agricultural Research Service for working with universities to increase research productivity.  There is no better example of this than in my state. Agriculture production in Mississippi contributes roughly $8 billion annually to the state economy. Much of this success can be tied to recent and ongoing advances in agricultural research.

“Finally, I am pleased that the committee established the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research in the 2014 farm bill. This innovative model is enabling the best and brightest scientists to focus on research to enhance the economic and environmental resilience of our food supply.”

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like