Farm Bill Creates Optimism Among University Researchers
February 21, 2014
The passage of a new farm bill has agricultural researchers optimistic about consistent federal funding for their projects.
"Having that consistency in our ability to know where our funding is coming from and that there will be a stream of funding for us to compete for these research programs is very important," said Glynda Becker, director of federal relations at Washington State University.
Two-thirds of WSU's research budget comes from outside grants and contracts. The largest single source is competitive grants from USDA, said Jim Moyer, associate dean of research and director of the Agriculture Research Center in WSU's College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
USDA funds total about $20 million to $30 million annually, roughly 50 percent of the college's outside research funding, Moyer said, not including WSU Extension.
Many research programs that depended on federal funding were interrupted or on hiatus pending passage of a new farm bill, Moyer said. The farm bill provides assurance that those programs will now continue, he said.