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Michigan Agriculture Gains Strong Backing for 2023 Farm Bill Facilities Investment
Michigan Ag Connection - 05/25/2023

Michigan's agricultural sector has garnered significant support from over 340 state, regional, and national organizations in advocating for a substantial federal reinvestment in the country's agricultural research infrastructure. These stakeholders have joined forces to urge Congress to allocate a minimum of $5 billion in funding through the Research Facilities Act (RFA) as part of the upcoming farm bill.

In a letter addressed to key lawmakers including U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson, Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, the signatories expressed their unwavering support for the inclusion of this critical funding.

Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the first institution in the United States to offer scientific agriculture education, commended the collaborative effort and expressed gratitude to the diverse range of Michigan stakeholders who endorsed the letter.

The proposed funding through the Research Facilities Act aims to address the pressing need for modern facilities within agricultural colleges. Decades of deferred maintenance, coupled with the challenges posed by a changing climate, necessitate this investment to enable effective research.

A comprehensive report by Gordian highlights the risks associated with approximately $11.5 billion in deferred maintenance across 97 U.S. institutions, including increased building failures, rising operational costs, compromised employee experiences, and reduced capacity for innovation and industry impact.

The support from Michigan's agricultural community reinforces the critical role of research facilities in driving the state's diverse agricultural sector. These facilities, including MSU's AgBioResearch centers, play a pivotal role in generating timely insights and conducting research on various crops, equipping growers, commodity groups, and natural resource managers with the knowledge needed to compete globally.

With a united front, Michigan's agricultural organizations are amplifying their voice in advocating for a robust investment in agricultural research infrastructure through the 2023 Farm Bill. This concerted effort underscores the importance of ensuring the sector's resilience, sustainability, and continued growth in the face of evolving challenges.


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