Sending Office: Honorable Tulsi Gabbard
Current Cosponsors: Gabbard, Sanford Bishop, Pocan, Lujan Grisham, Espaillat.
Agriculture plays a vital role in our economy. In 2015, agriculture and related industries contributed $992 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (5.5 percent total GDP) and provided 21 million jobs (11 percent of total U.S. employment). However, when
it comes to schools of agriculture, recent reports have shed light on the critical infrastructure needs all across the nation. One study, supported by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and published by Sightlines, LLC in October
2015 estimated that the deferred maintenance backlog at schools of agriculture totaled $8.4 billion. Each year USDA provides over $1.5 billion in research funding to schools of agriculture. Despite investing in agricultural research and development, federal
funds have not recently been made available for infrastructure needs. According to the Sightlines study, 80 percent of schools of agriculture are making infrastructure investments below what is required to stabilize or reduce the maintenance backlog.
The AG RESEARCH Act deals with the problem of the deferred maintenance backlog in two ways. The bill establishes within the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) a 1- to-1 matching competitive grant to schools of agriculture for altering, modernizing,
renovating, or remodeling research facilities and equipment-with priority given to projects that are shovel-ready or incorporate renewable energy or energy/water-efficient technologies.
The bill also authorizes the use of Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds for maintenance of ARS research facilities-with priority given to the most critical projects as indicated in the ARS Capital Investment Strategy.
Join us in helping to improve the infrastructure of our schools of agriculture to insure that research done for one of the pivotal pillars of our economy remains viable, cutting-edge, and helpful. If you would like to join as a cosponsor or for more information,
please contact Dave Chun at Dave.Chun@mail.house.gov.
Member of Congress
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