HTML _ IB95101 - The 1995 Farm Bill: Research, Education, and Extension Issues
30-Nov-1996; Jean Rawson; 9 p.

Abstract: The U.S. agricultural research, education, and extension system is comprised of a vast network of Federal agricultural laboratories (the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS)), State agricultural experiment stations (Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)), land-grant college of agriculture teaching programs, and State and county Extension offices. The USDA reorganization in 1994 also put the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) under the direction of the new Assistant Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. The Forest Service also has a research program. Agricultural research represents 1.7% of Federal spending for all research and development. Although U.S. agricultural research and extension programs are permanently authorized, funding authority for USDA's in-house research programs, and for Federal support for cooperative research, higher education, extension programs in the States, and several research grant programs, is contained in Title XVI of the 1990 farm act (P.L. 101-624) and will expire at the end of 1995. The House Agriculture Committee has proposed extending the current research title for 2 years and beginning a major reform effort in separate legislation next year. In preparation for hearings in 1996, Chairman Roberts released a list of 57 questions for the agricultural research and extension community to answer by November 1995. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a new research title on July 18. Among the revisions are measures to improve research tracking and accountability, terminate a number of research advisory boards and replace them with one new one, repeal existing but unused authorities, and make competitive grants to universities for facilities construction. The conference agreement on an FY1996 spending bill, which was completed on September 27, would provide $1.78 billion for all of the Research, Education, and Economics agencies, compared with the FY1995 appropriation of $1.82 billion. ARS is slated to receive $740.2 million and CSREES $907.5 million, representing a total reduction of $41 million from last year's levels for those agencies. The conference agreement allocates $96.7 million for the National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive research grants program, compared with the appropriated level of $103.1 million in FY1995. The Administration had requested $130 million for the NRI. [read report]

Topics: Agriculture

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