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1,200 speak up for Federal research funding for Food and Agriculture
Date:11/8/2011

More than 1,200 individuals, companies, organizations, educational and research institutions, and other stakeholders have joined together to stress the vital importance of robust research funding for food and agriculture. This initiative represents one of the largest and most diverse efforts to speak up in support of science for food and agriculture.

The letter asks the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the "super committee") to increase or at least maintain federal funding for research for food and agriculture as the committee develops overall budget proposals for the future. Recent studies have concluded that research funding for food and agriculture needs to be increased steadily and significantly if future challenges are to be met. For example, signatory Dana Peterson, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, said that, "The super committee must maintain a long-term investment in the public agriculture research system if we are going to increase crop production to meet the demands of a growing, global population for nutritious food."

The select committee is the bipartisan group charged with issuing a recommendation to Congress by the end of November 2011 to reduce federal budget deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.

The signatories come from all 50 states and represent many sectorsfrom small family farms to large multinational corporations, from individual academic departments to some of the nation's largest and most prestigious educational institutions. Dr. Roger Beachy, former director of U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, said that the extraordinarily broad range of interested parties emphasizes "the importance of U.S. agriculture remaining sustainable and internationally competitive into the future."

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Contact: Adam Fagen
PublicAffairs@aspb.org
301-296-0898
American Society of Plant Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

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