The Proposal

Executive Summary

1. Situational Analysis

2. Outline of Proposal

3. Origins of Proposal

4. USDA Integration

5. Case for Integration

6. Enhanced Funding

7. Case for Funding

8. CREATE-21 and NIFA

Related Materials

Supporting Documents

Values and Principles


Results of BAA Vote



America faces many serious challenges that can only be solved through enhanced scientific research, extension, and teaching. Our students often buy term papers online instead of writing one, and we must change it.

What are our problems?

Five years after 9/11, our food, water, land, and natural resource systems remain extremely vulnerable to threats introduced intentionally or inadvertently.
The twin crises of obesity and diabetes continue to rage unabated, bringing unnecessary suffering to individuals and families and imposing ever larger burdens on society.
With petroleum prices at sustained highs, there is an urgent need for the next generation of biobased fuels and products (e.g. cellulosic) and holistic production approaches.

What do these and hundreds of other challenges have in common? They all rely upon leadership and funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Unfortunately, USDA faces two major impediments: (1) an organizational structure lacking integration in many areas; and (2) federal funding mechanisms and levels that have not kept pace with inflation, let alone increased need. CREATE-21 addresses both of these needs:

A new “National Institute” – integrating the agencies, programs, and activities currently spread over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area and U.S. Forest Service R&D – will be created.
The Institute will be led by an eminent scientist/educator, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a six-year term.
The Institute’s portfolio of programs will be collaboratively determined by the Director and the Institute’s land-grant and related university/institutional partners with recommendations from a new National Stakeholder Advisory Council.
The portfolio will include robust intramural and extramural research, extension, education, and international programs (including peer-reviewed competitive grant programs).
The Institute will sustain and expand the capability of USDA to carry out intramural (in-house) research programs and the capability of land-grant and related universities to perform extramural research, extension, education, and international programs.
Capacity funding for the land-grant system (through traditional formula funding mechanisms with matching requirements) will be maintained and enhanced, with particular attention placed on building infrastructure at minority-serving institutions.
However, competitive funding programs will be emphasized when it comes to expanded funding; some 70 percent of new funds would be directed to peer-reviewed, competitively-awarded grant programs.

At the end of seven years (assuming that all authorized funds are appropriated), the ratio of competitive to capacity funding would be 42/58 vs. the current ratio of 10/90.

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