Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, was successful in achieving $11.2 million in federal funding for the planning and design of a USDA Agricultural Research Service facility.
The funding is included in the federal 2021 omnibus appropriations bill, which was approved by Congress yesterday. Fortenberry said the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will be the site of the facility.
“Congressman Fortenberry has been a tremendous supporter of moving agriculture into the 21st century and continuing America’s role as both the leading innovator and food producer in the world. He’s also been an incredible supporter of the ground-breaking work being done at our university,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “This project wouldn’t have happened without his hard work and diligence in obtaining funding. It’s an incredible opportunity for partnership between UNL and the USDA, fueling the future of agriculture and food production.”
“As the ranking member on ag appropriations, and through tough negotiations, I am very pleased that a new USDA building for ARS is slated for the Nebraska Innovation Campus at UNL,” Fortenberry said. “With this new funding, USDA will expand its strategic research investments in areas such as agricultural innovation and precision agriculture. This effort aligns the needs of our country and the university’s agricultural research mission.”
Nebraska is the nation’s third-largest ag economy, with agricultural production contributing more than $21 billion annually. Nebraska is known for the scale and diversity of its crop and livestock commodities, as well as for the abundance of its natural resources. The university is consistently ranked among the top agricultural colleges in the United States, with respected, established research programs in food, agriculture, climate, water and natural resource sciences.
“Nebraska is the epicenter of agriculture in the United States,” said Mike Boehm, vice president and vice chancellor for agriculture and natural resources at Nebraska. “News of this facility is a bold step to ensure American agriculture remains the leader in feeding and fueling a growing world in a sustainable way.”