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U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) welcomed University of Arkansas System Vice President for Agriculture Dr. Deacue Fields before the committee to hear his perspective on the significance of farm research programs as members craft the 2023 Farm Bill.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is examining research initiatives, commodity programs, safety nets, risk management, conservation programs, rural development and all policies encompassed in the farm bill as it begins the process of reauthorizing the five-year legislation.
“The farm bill is the most important and consistent opportunity to invest in agricultural research and extension. From programs that build capacity at our nation’s land-grant institutions to world renowned competitive grant programs such as the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative— this important title of the farm bill provides a broad array of authority and investment in agricultural research,” Boozman said in his opening statement.
“Land-grant research discoveries have resulted in the U.S. having the safest, most efficient food system in the world. It is critical that agricultural research funding increase to remain a global leader and produce the technological advances necessary to meet the challenges of feeding the growing global population. Supporting agricultural research and infrastructure development is not a donation, but an investment in the future national and international food security,” Fields told committee members.
The senator asked Dr. Fields about research infrastructure and the challenges that exist at land-grant universities.
In June, Arkansas agricultural producers, industry stakeholders and rural community supporters testified before Boozman and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) at a field hearing at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.