HTML _ 97-325 - Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Programs: A Primer
4-Mar-1997; Jean Rawson; 10 p.

Abstract: The 105th Congress is undertaking a thorough review of federal laws and policies affecting the nationwide system of federal and state agricultural research laboratories and agencies, the land grant Colleges of Agriculture and related schools of forestry and veterinary medicine, and the continuing education programs of the Cooperative Extension System. In preparation for hearings and subsequent debate on these subjects, this report provides an overview of all the components of the system, its major programs, and its funding.1 The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) mission for the cooperative federal/state research and extension system is to: (1) advance agricultural productivity, economic efficiency and international competitiveness; (2) mitigate and improve the environmental effects of agriculture; (3) improve the social and economic welfare of rural and farm populations; and (4) improve human health and nutrition. USDA's budget for its Research, Education, and Economics mission area, $1.848 billion, represents 2.5% of all federal spending for research and development (R&D), and represents 3.2% of the total USDA budget. The federal portion of the federal/state agricultural research and extension system is comprised of USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), which is the agency that channels USDA funds to the state partners under a variety of programs. The state partners are the state agricultural experiment stations and Cooperative Extension Service in 50 states and 7 U.S. territories and their associated Colleges of Agriculture and schools of forestry and veterinary medicine. There also are 17 historically black land grant Colleges of Agriculture and 29 Native American colleges that gained land grant status in 1994. USDA distributes funding for this mission area through (1) direct funding to its in-house research agencies; (2) block grants to the states for research and extension (allocated according to formulas in authorizing legislation); (3) research, extension, and higher education grants awarded competitively through peer-review panel recommendations; and (4) grants designated by Congress in the annual appropriations acts. [read report]

Topics: Agriculture, Science & Technology

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