The agricultural research we invest in today will determine who benefits from the outcomes of that research and what agriculture will look like in the future. The Research Title of the Farm Bill offers an opportunity to help shape the agriculture of the future and to instill principles of fairness and balance into our research agenda. The needs of small and mid-sized family farms and ranches, new generation co-ops, small non-farm businesses are unique and underserved under today’s research agenda.
We propose to change that trend to establish a reinvestment in rural areas with the passing of the Research
Title of the 2007 Farm Bill. We propose more research focus on increasing the profitability of small and mid-sized farms and ranches, and more research investment in non-farm entrepreneurship and economic development strategies that work for rural areas. We also propose increased investment in public plant and animal breeding—especially for sustainable and organic systems, an underserved area.
The National Research Initiative (NRI) and a program now integrated within NRI (formerly named the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems—IFAFS) should target an increased share of funding to these areas.
Of most concern to our interests are the NRI program areas relating to development of non-farm microenterprise and other rural development strategies, public plant and animal breeding, farm/ranch
profitability, agricultural systems, natural resources, and environmental quality. These areas are now receiving little or no funding under NRI.
Download the entire proposal below.