Vol. 1 · No. 6 · July 27, 2007


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

After a week of fiscal and political wrangling at the highest levels of the House of Representatives, the House passed the 2007 Farm Bill today by a vote of 231-191.

Officially dubbed the "Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007," the bill ran the gauntlet of more than 30 amendments made in order on the House Floor before gaining passage. To see a tally of how members voted on final passage:


House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) said: "This Farm Bill is about much more than farms. It is about the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and increasingly the fuel we will use. It assures that we will have a safe, strong food supply now and for years to come... I am proud of the balanced and forward-looking Farm Bill that we have passed."

In praising the bill on the House Floor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that: "Chairman Peterson and our colleagues on the Agriculture Committee have done a masterful job. The result of their work is a bipartisan farm bill that enjoys the support of the American Farm Bureau, the National Farmers Union, and a wide array of conservation and nutrition groups."

As you know, the bill was also supported by NASULGC president Peter McPherson:


The following amendments of interest to the land-grant system were adopted during floor debate:

Hastings (FL): Adds a new section for "Pollinator Protection" that authorizes research funding to reduce North American pollinator decline and understand Colony Collapse Disorder. This amendment also adjusts USDA conservation programs to put a greater emphasis on increasing habitat and establishing cropping and integrated pest management practices to protect native and managed pollinators.
Johnson, Eddie Bernice (TX): Adds the additional point to Subtitle B of the research title that emphasis should be placed on proposals that examine the efficacy of current agriculture policies in promoting the health and welfare of economically disadvantaged populations (in addition to supporting research/ health promotion to “solve the problems of nutritional inadequacy).
Terry (NE): Creates a competitive demonstration project designed to provide proof of concept in supplementing corn with sweet sorghum as an ethanol feedstock.
Wu (OR): Broadens the eligible universities by adding that universities that do work in alternative energy related fields, such as agriculture, chemistry, environmental sciences, bioengineering, biochemistry, natural resources and public policy are eligible for the biofuels from biomass internship program.
Israel (NY) and Doyle (PA): Would eliminate the sale of random source animals for research and will prohibit the marketing of medical devices by using live animals in demonstrations to market such devices.
Bordallo (GU): Authorizes a grants program to assist the land grant institutions in the U.S. territories in upgrading facilities and equipment in the agricultural and food sciences. It authorizes appropriations for five years in the amount of $8 million per year. It authorizes USDA to vary award amounts and to establish competitive criteria for the program.

Now that the House has completed action on the bill, attention will turn to the United States Senate. To date no bill has been introduced in that chamber, nor has any consensus seemed to have emerged around any central ideas or themes for a bill. Nonetheless, NASULGC has made and is continuing to make the land-grant system's needs known to senators and key staff.

With Congress scheduled to begin its four week August recess at the close of business on Friday August 3, it is likely that Senate action will not begin in earnest until September.

The Cornerstone Team