Created by on 6/1/2011 12:00:00 AM

On May 24th, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee passed its fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding bill which would fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at a level of $225 million, $40 million (15 percent) below the enacted level of $265 million in the full year FY 2011 “continuing resolution.” A press release issued by the subcommittee states, “While trimming spending, this funding level will continue to support important and high-priority research on devastating crop diseases, emerging chemical and biological threats, food safety, and water quality. The funding will also maintain the nation’s research investment in land-grant and other agricultural colleges and universities.” The budget provided for AFRI in the bill is $100 million below the President’s FY 2012 request of $325 million.

Under the bill, funding for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which oversees the AFRI competitive grants program, was set at $1.02 billion. A mark-up summary table, the complete bill text, statements by Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Ranking Sam Member Farr (D-CA), are available on the subcommittee website. During the 30-minute mark-up of the bill, the only amendment considered was offered by Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and would have improved broadband access. It was rejected. The full House Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill on May 31st.
Earlier this month, FASEB submitted a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees requesting that AFRI be supported at a funding level of $500 million in FY 2012.