Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Kansas Senator Roger Marshall introduced the Advancing Cutting Edge (ACE) Agriculture Act. The bill aims to support high-risk, high-reward agricultural research and development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If passed, the bill would increase funding for the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA) from $50 million to $100 million. This funding would invest in innovative agricultural technologies that promote soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The ACE Agriculture Act has received bipartisan support, with U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Randy Feenstra set to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives next week. In addition, the bill has been praised by various organizations in the agricultural sector, including the National Corn Growers Association and the Colorado Farm Bureau. These groups have expressed their belief that increased funding for research and development in agriculture is necessary to address the industry’s challenges in the 21st century.
Senator Bennet underscores the importance of investing in cutting-edge agricultural research to spur breakthroughs that can help address persistent drought, higher costs, extreme weather, and increased global competition. In his words, “As Colorado’s family farmers and ranchers face persistent drought, higher costs, extreme weather, and increased global competition, it is more important than ever to invest in cutting-edge research to spur agricultural breakthroughs, including practices to conserve water and cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
The ACE Agriculture Act is designed to support research that is too early-stage or technically risky for private-sector investment. By funding high-risk, high-reward research and development, the bill aims to secure America’s food supply and provide farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to meet future challenges. The bill’s proponents believe that bold investment is needed to improve sustainability across agricultural landscapes and promote innovation in the industry.
“This measure arrives at a crucial time since investments in innovation and quick research progress will be necessary to address the many intricate problems our agricultural business is currently confronting. Advanced research initiatives like AGARDA have proven productive in various fields, including energy, health, and the military. They are essential to maintaining American competitiveness on the world stage. With the forthcoming Farm Bill, we look forward to working with Congress to increase AGARDA’s financing capacity, said Dr. Alan S. Rudolph, Colorado State University’s vice president for research.
While the ACE Agriculture Act has received widespread support from agricultural organizations and lawmakers, it is essential to note that it is still in the early stages of the legislative process. As with any legislation, there may be differing opinions on the bill’s potential impact and appropriateness for addressing the agricultural industry’s challenges. Ultimately, the success of the ACE Agriculture Act will depend on its ability to secure sufficient support from lawmakers and advance through the legislative process.
Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash
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