Writer: Lowell Randel, 202-406-0212, firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 28th, 92 national and state agriculture organizations, led by the National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science (NAAAS), wrote to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees in support of $10 million in fiscal year 2015 for Section 1433 Continuing Animal Health and Disease, Food Security, and Stewardship Research, Education and Extension Programs. The Section 1433 program was expanded in the recently passed farm bill to include a new competitive grants program focused on the high priority research areas of food security, one health and stewardship. The new program was established to help reverse the trend of decreasing federal investments in animal science.
The success of animal agriculture has a major impact on the rural economy. Livestock and poultry sales account for 40 percent of all farm income. When feed crops consumed by livestock are included, the contribution to farm income is 60 percent. Unfortunately, current funding by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the animal sciences is not proportionate with the economic contributions of animal agriculture. This imbalance in support for animal science puts U.S. animal agriculture at a major disadvantage at a critical time when livestock and poultry producers are striving for global competitiveness, improving sustainability and working to feed a growing global population.
The United States must step up its investments in agriculture research to maintain its status as a leading producer of safe, affordable and abundant food and meet increasing demands. Funding for the newly created competitive grants program focused on animal science will help us meet these goals.
Dr. Russell Cross, President of NAAAS applauded the support demonstrated by the broad range of state and national groups supporting the initiative. “I am very encouraged that over 90 organizations joined NAAAS in urging funds for the new competitive grants program. This letter sends a strong message to Congress that animal agriculture understands the value of research and that increased federal investments are important for our future success.”
The National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science (NAAAS) is comprised of animal, dairy, poultry and veterinary science departments from colleges and universities across the United States as well as national and state organizations involved in animal agriculture and animal science. NAAAS is dedicated to improving overall federal funding for animal agricultural research to help maintain the nation’s status as a world leader in safe, abundant and efficiently produced animal products. For more information on NAAAS contact Lowell Randel (email@example.com).