Vol. 1 No. 5 July 20, 2007

HOUSE COMMITTEE REPORTS BILL

To the NASULGC System:
- Board on Agriculture Assembly
- Budget and Advocacy Committee
- Council on Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching
- Council on Governmental Affairs

After marathon sessions spread over three days, the House Committee on Agriculture has reported its 2007 Farm Bill. As reported to you on July 9 (create-21.org/CGA_FBR/2007-07-09.htm) the land-grant university system was extremely successful in our pursuit to influence the final version of the Research Title (VII) and other sections of the bill.

As reported late last night, the House Farm Bill would:
 

Provide an expanded program staff for the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics to be called the "National Agricultural Research Program Office."
 
Consolidate all competitive grant programs at CSREES within an office to be known as the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
 
Combine existing statutory authorities for the NRI and IFAFS and provide funding from both appropriations (up to $500 million per year for Fiscal Years 2008 to 2012) and mandatory sources ($200 million per year for Fiscal Years 2010 to 2012).
 
Require that the Presidentís annual budget submission to Congress contain "a single budget line item" for all competitive programs and "a single budget line item" for all capacity programs at CSREES.
 
Renew all of the key research, extension, and education authorities which expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2007; and make many of the miscellaneous changes to prior Farm Bill authorities requested by NASULGC.
 
Establish major new research programs (within the new NIFA structure at CSREES) in bioenergy/biobased products, specialty crops, organics, and fresh-cut vegetables. In addition to major new authorizations "for appropriations" the bill would provide $265 million in mandatory spending (not subject to annual appropriations) for the last three of these programs.

The bill itself and the committee's report (explanatory language) is still being finalized by the House Agriculture Committee's professional staff. We will provide links to those completed products once they are available to us. In the meantime, we have provided some links that provide additional details:

LINKS