May, 2014

    June 2, 2014


    House and Senate Committees Advance Agriculture Appropriations Bills

    House Summary

    On May 20th, the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies met to consider its appropriations bill for FY 2015. The full House Appropriations committee approved the bill on May 29th. The bill totals $20.9 billion in discretionary funding, which is equal to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the House bill includes $774 million for NIFA Research and Education Activities, which is $2 million above the FY 2014 funding level. This includes $325 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The bill provides $5 million for the expanded Section 1433 program, up from $4 million in FY 2014. Almost all other NIFA accounts were funded at their FY 2014 level. The House bill does not provide any funding for the Innovation Institutes proposed in the President's budget.

    NIFA Extension Activities would receive $467,339,000, approximately $2 million less than FY 2014. The House bill provides $1.12 billion for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a $2 million decrease from last year. During committee consideration, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) offered an amendment to provide $155 million for ARS buildings and facilities. These funds would go to support construction of the proposed Southeast Poultry Disease Research Laboratory that was requested in the President's budget.

    The House report also includes language regarding the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research that was created in the 2014 farm bill. The committee expressed its concerns about USDA obligating the full $200 million available before the foundation has been established and matching funds have been received. The committee directs USDA not to expend any funds other than those necessary to get the foundation established and to report to the committee no later than January 1, 2015.

    A copy of the committee approved bill (click here) and report (click here) can be found on the committee website.

    Senate Summary

    In the Senate, the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee met on May 20th to consider its version of the FY 2015 spending legislation. The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill on May 22nd. The bill provides $1.292 billion for National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is $15 million above fiscal year 2014. This amount includes $325 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, $244 million for Hatch Act and $300 million for Smith-Lever funding. The Senate bill provides level funding of $4 million for Section 1433. The Senate bill would fund the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the level of $1.139 billion, which is $17 million above fiscal year 2014. The Senate bill (click here) and report (click here) are now available on the committee website.

    Below is a table of selected agricultural research accounts reflecting the recently released House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bills:

    Selected Agriculture Appropriations Accounts (As of May 29, 2014)

    FY 2014 - Enacted
    FY 2015 – President's Budget
    FY 2015 – House
    FY 2015 - Senate
    Agricultural Research Service
    $1.154 billion
    $1.136 billion
    $1.12 billion
    $1.139 billion
    Southeast Poultry Disease Research Laboratory
    $155 million
    $155 million
    NIFA Research and Education
    $772 million
    $837 million
    $774 million
    $787 million
    $244 million
    $244 million
    $244 million
    $244 million
    $316 million
    $325 million
    $325 million
    $325 million
    Expanded Section 1433
    $4 million
    $5 million
    $4 million
    (NEW)Innovation Institutes
    $75 million
    NIFA Extension Activities
    $469 million
    $468 million
    $467 million
    $472 million
    Smith Lever
    $300 million
    $300 million
    $300 million
    $300 million
    NIFA Integrated Activities
    $35 million
    $29 million
    $32 million
    $32 million

    NAS Animal Science Committee Holds Second Meeting

    The National Academies of Science (NAS) committee conducting the study entitled “Consideration for the Future of Animal Science Research” held its second meeting on May 13-14. FASS Washington Representative Lowell Randel participated in the public portion of the meeting. During the public session, the committee heard from speakers on topics important to animal agriculture ranging from funding equity for animal science to climate and environmental considerations and international development.

    Speakers represented a variety of university and NGO including:

    Henning Steinfeld – Food and Agriculture Organization

    Russell Cross – Texas A&M University and National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science

    Montague Demment and Anne-Clair Hery – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

    Jude Capper – Montana State University

    Raymond Anthony – University of Alaska-Anchorage

    Randy Brummet – World Bank

    Clare Narrod – University of Maryland

    It is anticipated that the committee will hold one more meeting before completing its work later this year. More information on the study and the committee meetings can be found by clicking here.

    FASS Science Policy Committee to Meet in Washington

    The FASS Science Policy Committee will meet in Washington, DC on June 3-4 to hold committee business meetings and engage with federal agencies and industry partners. The committee is planning to meet with representatives from agencies including the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health to discuss was to promote interagency collaboration in animal science. FASS Washington Representatives Lowell Randel and Walt Smith are organizing the meetings with agencies and industry.