The American Sheep Industry Association joined 92 other organizations in supporting legislation introduced this week by Sens. Pat Roberts (Kan.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) to establish the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).
With an ever expanding global population and increasing demands for food and other agricultural products, increased investments in food and agricultural research are essential to maintaining our nation's food, economic and national security. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-sponsored research is vital to achieving the agricultural production levels necessary to feed the expected worldwide population by 2050 of 9 billion people and to remain competitive in a global economy. Despite the importance of such research, current funding for food and agricultural research is less than 2.5 percent of USDA's budget.
With the current budgetary constraints, the groups recognize the need for innovative solutions to increase funding and to leverage current and future investments in research. Establishing the FFAR will generate new sources of funding for food and agricultural research, provide a structure for new public/private partnerships to help provide funding for new concepts and ideas, research to address knowledge gaps, translational research and emerging research needs.