Rep. Carbajal Leads Bipartisan Call for Agricultural Research Investments in 2024 White House Budget

27 House members to White House: “In order to remain competitive globally…we must increase funding levels for research”

Last night, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) led a bipartisan group of 27 members of the House of Representatives in a letter urging the White House to prioritize investments in agricultural research in the upcoming 2024 budget set to be released in the next month.

The lawmakers emphasized the impact additional research in automation and mechanization would have in supporting farmworkers, easing labor shortages, meeting the challenges of climate change, and keeping American agriculture competitive in the global market.

“In order to remain competitive globally, and to not fall further behind, we must increase funding levels for research across the board,” the lawmakers wrote. “Publicly funded agriculture research has declined by one-third since 2002 when considering inflation and the rising cost of research, despite demonstrated benefits. There is a long and clear precedent that public investment in agricultural research… We look forward to working with you to ensure public investment in agricultural research receives the substantial increase it needs.”

The letter can be found here.

In their letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, the lawmakers highlighted a study done by USDA’s Economic Research Service which found that between every $1 of public agriculture R&D spending resulted in $20 in benefits for the US economy over a 20-year period.

As Congress is set to craft the next Farm Bill, the lawmakers also highlighted the importance of supporting the agency created by the 2018 Farm Bill – the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA) – which has been underfunded by 98% compared to its authorized budget in the last two years.

The letter was signed by Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Ami Bera (CA-06), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Suazanne Bonamici (OR-01), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Yadira Caraveo (CO-08), Andre Carson (IN-07), Jim Costa (CA-21), Sharice Davis (KS-03), Don Davis (NC-01), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), William Keating (MA-09), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Stacey Plaskett (VI-AL), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), Eric Sorensen (IL -17), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Bennie Thompson (MI-02), and Mike Thompson (CA-04).

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