On October 21st, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led 30 Members of Congress in a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer requesting their assistance in preserving the $7.75 billion investment in agricultural climate research, agriculture innovation, and agricultural research infrastructure included in the Build Back Better Agenda. This investment is crucial to maintaining President Biden’s commitment to building sustainable and resilient agricultural communities, and the undersigned members look forward to working with congressional leadership and the White House on protecting these provisions.
“We can’t build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic without sustainable and equitable investments in the future of agriculture,” said Rep. Adams. “To reclaim our global leadership in food and agricultural science and rise to tackle the climate crisis, we must be a leader in research and innovation infrastructure. To make sure we’re making the most of every American’s talents, we must work diligently to improve equity and access to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research programs. Furthermore, a substantial portion of the $3.65 billion included for research facilities will support the most important drivers of equity in agriculture: minority-serving institutions and 1890s Land-Grant Institutions. The way to make this a reality is by protecting the $7.75 billion investment in agricultural climate research, agriculture innovation, and agricultural research infrastructure included in the House Agriculture Committee’s section of the Build Back Better Act.”
“As American farmers have consistently dealt with numerous challenges from an erratic market and extreme weather events to the existing pandemic, American government funding for agricultural research has remained dismally flat for the past fifty years,” said Rep. Panetta. “By increasing federal funding for agriculture research and development, we can play our part by supporting farmers who not only need it but also deserve it. The letter that I wrote and led seeks to reaffirm Congress’ commitment to farmers who continue to fight climate-induced production challenges and are willing to be part of the solution.”
This funding in the Build Back Better Agenda is crucial to achieving net-zero emissions and removing long-standing barriers to entry for socially disadvantaged producers. The provisions also direct funding towards minority-serving institutions, addressing President Biden’s goal of improving equity and access to federal programs.
Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte, Mecklenburg Country) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In 2015, Rep. Adams co-founded the first Bipartisan HBCU Caucus in Congress. She is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, one of the 1890s institutions.