September 3, 2014
The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) held its first meeting on August 7th. During the meeting, the Board voted to elect the first set of officers to govern the Foundation. Former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman will serve as Chairman of the FFAR Board of Directors and Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum will serve as Vice Chairman. FFAR is a non-profit foundation created by the 2014 Farm Bill to provide an additional mechanism to solicit funds to support food and agriculture research. The Farm Bill includes $200 million in seed money for the foundation that will be used to match donations received to support research projects.
The National Academies of Science committee undertaking the study entitled "Sustainability Considerations for the Future of Animal Agriculture Science Research" will meet for a fourth time on September 8-9th. The meeting will be closed to the public as committee members continue their internal work to draft the report. The report is expected to identify critical R&D, technologies, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. Previous committee meetings were held in March, May, and July of 2014, and a final report based on their deliberations will be completed in late 2014. More information on the study can be found by clicking here.
As Congress returns from August recess on September 8th, they still have the task of providing appropriations for fiscal year 2015. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have passed their respective versions of the agriculture appropriations bill, but it appears unlikely that a stand-alone appropriations bill for agriculture will pass before the fiscal year ends on September 30th. With a limited number of legislative days in September, Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution that would likely last until sometime in December. This would get members of Congress past the 2014 elections. Depending on who controls Congress after the November elections, an omnibus appropriations bill or a continuing resolution covering the remainder of the year are the most likely outcomes.