The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has joined 15 other public and private universities in FedByScience, an effort to boost federal investment in agricultural research.
The initiative, timed with the release of the 2018 House Farm Bill, focuses on demonstrating to the public and policymakers the many ways that U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded universities and researchers are creating a safer, healthier and more productive food system.
FedByScience launched April 18 with two briefings for Senate and House of Representatives staff. The effort tells stories in which scientific discoveries and innovations have improved the way food is produced and distributed.
Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie Green, a FedByScience co-chair, is in Washington, D.C., for the launch.
“U.S. farmers are confronted by turbulent commodity markets, extreme weather and an uneven economy,” Green said. “A stronger investment in agricultural research can provide the science and innovation that farmers need to navigate these obstacles. Universities are now joining together to ensure that our stories about the value of food and ag research are heard.”
The agriculture and food production industries are facing considerable challenges. Such challenges can only be addressed through additional research, yet the U.S. agricultural research budget has declined in real dollars since 2003. The United States has been second to China in total public agricultural research funding since 2008. In 2013, China’s spending on public agricultural research and development became nearly double that of the United States.
In addition to Nebraska, other participating universities are Colorado State University, Cornell University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, the University of California at Davis, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Washington University in St. Louis.