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Organizations’ Letter Supporting Farm Bill Funding for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture

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February 2, 2024

The Honorable GT Thompson
House Committee on Agriculture
400 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable David Scott
Ranking Member
House Committee on Agriculture
468 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Senate Committee on Agriculture
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John Boozman
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Agriculture
555 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Thompson, Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Scott, and Ranking Member Boozman:

As you reauthorize the 2023 Farm Bill, we respectfully request that you include an investment of $750 million in mandatory funding for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) to permanently support the research efforts of the Foundation. FFAR was authorized in the Agriculture Act of 2014 to address the tremendous need for food and agriculture research by leveraging public and private investments to maximize impact.

While the 2018 Farm Bill provided a significant investment in FFAR, overall funding for agriculture research is still needed. Since 2002, U.S. public state and federal investments in agriculture research have significantly declined by 30% from $7.5 billion to $5.2 billion in 20191. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the U.S has fallen behind international competitors like China, Brazil and India, who have made substantial increases in public research investments for agriculture.

To date, FFAR has allocated a total of $605 million, leveraging more than $1.4 private sector dollars with every dollar of federal investment. At that rate, more than $1.8 billion could be spent on agriculture research through FFAR public and private partnerships over the next 10 years, a significant return on the $750 million federal investment.

In addition to leveraging private sector funds, FFAR has and is continuing efforts to generate additional revenue to support its mission. This includes exploring revenue opportunities from technology transfer and alternative grant delivery mechanisms. Not only is FFAR fulfilling its mission to leverage private sector funds from federal investments, but FFAR is also looking for additional ways to self-sustain their operational costs.

FFAR has partnered with over 550 funding partners to fill critical research gaps and invest in the future of the scientific agricultural workforce. FFAR supports promising new scientists through the New Innovator in Food and Ag Research award, building a bench of scientific expertise to address critical challenges and staffing shortages in agricultural research and development. FFAR is not only an invaluable resource for the public research community, spurring public and private collaboration to put more money into pre-competitive collaborative research. FFAR is also a valuable partner to the private sector, providing public incentives and bringing together partners from across the entire food and agriculture sector to invest in public research that addresses urgent supply chain challenges.

In less than 10 years after establishment, partnerships through FFAR have led to breakthroughs in agricultural sciences that are transforming efficiency in production and ensuring farmers can adapt to challenges from rising global temperatures and disease. To date, FFAR has awarded more than 300 research grants to address challenges across the entire food and agriculture industry.

FFAR also utilizes unique funding models to bring partners together and respond to emerging issues in a way that other federal funding mechanisms cannot. The Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program deploys urgent funding in response to unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems.

Failing to continue public funding for FFAR in the 2023 Farm Bill would result in less public research for agriculture and limit collaboration among researchers, creating more competition for a limited pool of agriculture research dollars. A lack of new public investments in FFAR would dramatically decrease private sector engagement in agricultural research and significantly reduce the number of solutions available to farmers. This would only add to the uncertainty from unpredictable weather, global supply chain challenges, and threats from pest and disease, all of which are major contributors of food inflation.

A $750 million government investment to FFAR will at minimum leverage a 1:1 match, resulting in $1.5 billion in new public and private agriculture research funding over the next decade, ensuring the entire food supply chain has the tools to be more sustainable and the solutions to provide a nutritional, safe, and abundant food supply for an ever-growing population.

We the undersigned organizations, companies, researchers, and institutions strongly support continued funding for FFAR to make critical investments in agricultural research that address new challenges, threats, and opportunities across the food system.

1 Kelly P. Nelson and Keith Fuglie, “Investment in U.S. Public Agricultural Research and Development Has Fallen by a Third in Recent Decades, Lags Major Trade Competitors,” Amber Waves, June 6, 2022,


Danone North America
General Mills
PepsiCo, Inc.
Yum Brands!
African Orphan Crops Consortium
Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
Agricultural Retailers Association
Albedo Space Corp
American Association of Mycobacterial Diseases
American Association of Swine Veterinarians
American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges
American Dairy Science Association
American Feed Industry Association
American Malting Barley Association
American Phytopathological Society
American Society for Nutrition
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Animal Science
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Veterinary Medical Association
Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative
Aquatic Plant Management Society
AudioT, INC
Beef Alliance
Bioceres Crop Solutions
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Bipartisan Policy Center Action
C16 Biosciences
Cereals & Grains Association
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)
CropLife America
Crop Science Society of America
Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, University of Nebraska
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Ecological Society of America
Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC/ESMRC)
Elanco Animal Health
Entomological Society of America
Eversole Associates
Farm Journal Foundation
FMI – the Food Industry Association
FoodShot Global
Gautier Semences
Genus Plc/ABS/PIC
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
Good Food Institute
GreenVenus, LLC
Hunter Industries
Illinois Soybean Association
International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium
Invasive Species Corporation
Irrigation Association
Kansas State University
Kodama Systems, Inc.
Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Inc.
Lithos Carbon
Local Bounti Corporation
Montana State University
Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals – Multistate Initiative
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Improvement Committee
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research
National Corn Growers Association
National Grape Research Alliance
National Grazing Lands Coalition
National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA)
National Milk Producers Federation
National Wheat Improvement Committee
Noble Research Institute, LLC
North American Meat Institute
North American Millers' Association
North Central Weed Science Society
Northeastern Weed Science Society
Nunhems Netherlands BV
Pacific Institute
Piikani Lodge Health Institute
Pinion, LLP
Purdue University
Revol Greens
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rodale Institute
Schaefer Global Managment LLC
Sensit Ventures, Inc.
Soil Carbon Solutions Center, Colorado State University
Soil Health Institute
Soil Science Society of America
Southern Weed Science Society
Spark Climate Solutions
Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation
Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
The Breakthrough Institute
The Kroger Co.
The Nature Conservancy
The Organic Center
UNGC CEO Water Mandate
University of California, Davis Campus
University of Connecticut
US Dairy Forage Research Center Stakeholder Committee
Utah State University
Weed Science Society of America
Western Society of Weed Science
Windfall Bio
World Coffee Research
Yard Stick PBC