ACTION ALERT – HOUSE and SENATE CALLS NEEDED - IMMEDIATELY!
TO: NASULGC's Board on Agriculture Assembly
Council on Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching
Mandatory funding for research, extension, and teaching eliminated in the House Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill conference proposal to the Senate.
The House and Senate are attempting to complete the Farm Bill and we need your IMMEDIATE help.
Under current law, $200 million per year in Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (IFAFS) funding is AGAIN scheduled to flow to the land-grant system in fiscal years 2010 to 2012. IFAFS provides competitively awarded grants to support projects that integrate research with extension and/or teaching.
The Senate-passed Farm Bill eliminated the $600 million in mandatory funding (not subject to annual appropriations) from the IFAFS program to pay for other Farm Bill “priorities,” but provided a one time allocation of $45 million to IFAFS for fiscal year 2008.
The House-passed Farm Bill INCLUDED the $600 million in IFAFS funding.
Now, however, the House has reversed that position and proposes to eliminate IFAFS funding.
Therefore, we need you to CALL the two senators and all of the House members from your state. If you cannot speak with the senators or representatives directly, ask to speak to the legislative assistant who handles agriculture issues. Ask each office to call their chamber's Agriculture Committee Chairman and Ranking Member requesting protection for the IFAFS funding.
The House and Senate have now proposed to eliminate the 2/10ths of 1 percent of the funding ($600 million out of $280 billion) in this Farm Bill for agricultural research, extension, and education. Even if the proposed new funding for specialty crops and organic research is included at the higher of the House or Senate passed levels, research, extension, and education funding would face a NET REDUCTION from current law.
Agricultural research, education, and extension is a vital tool for current and future generations of farmers, ranchers, consumers, students, and conservationists. If the proposed elimination of IFAFS funds becomes reality, Congress will have shortchanged the future for the sake of the present.
YOUR CALLS NEED TO BE MADE IMMEDIATELY!
Call or email Jim Richards at Cornerstone Government Affairs or 202-448-9509 if you have questions or feedback.
Thank you for your support and assistance,
The CREATE-21 Co-Chairs:
Jeffrey D. Armstrong
Robert D. Steele
L. Washington Lyons
TALKING POINTS FOR IFAFS CALLS:
IFAFS is the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems.
It was enacted in 1998.
Funding is used for competitive grants to support critical food and agriculture science priorities.
IFAFS projects integrate research with extension and/or teaching.
IFAFS provided $240 million in mandatory funding (not subject to annual appropriations) to the land-grant system in fiscal years 2000 and 2001 through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES).
Under current law, $200 million per year in IFAFS funding is scheduled TO RESUME in fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The Senate-passed Farm Bill eliminated this $600 million for other “priorities.”
The House-passed Farm Bill protected that funding. Until now.
With the House’s new proposal, the House and Senate have now essentially proposed to eliminate the 2/10ths of 1 percent of the funding ($600 million out of $280 billion) in this Farm Bill for agricultural research, extension, and education.
Even if the House and Senate proposed new funding for specialty crops and organic research is included at the higher of the House or Senate passed levels, research, extension, and education funding would face a NET REDUCTION from current law.
Our university and stakeholders benefit greatly from the IFAFS program. [EXPLAIN HOW YOU WOULD BENEFIT]
Thank you for supporting the [Name of your Institution], the land-grant system, our stakeholders, our customers and our farmers and ranchers. Please don’t shortchange the future for the sake of the present.
Can I count on the senator/representative’s support?
Will you call the House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members and ask them to protect IFAFS funding?