President`s budget proposal includes increase to ag and environmental research

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Source: Soil Science Society of America

Science Societies applaud President’s support for food, agriculture and natural resources research

Madison, Wisconsin -- The Obama Administration rolled out a multi-trillion-dollar budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 today (Apr. 10). Encouragingly, the President’s budget proposal includes increases in funding for several key agriculture and natural resources-related research programs.

Several research programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) received budget increases for FY14. The administration is proposing the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the competitive research program within USDA, receive $383 million, an increase of $93 million over the FY13 budget levels. The intramural research program, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), would also receive a small increase for FY14, raising its funding level to $1.12 billion.

The proposal increases funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) nearly 5 percent above FY13 to $7.6 billion for FY14. Not only is NSF the only federal agency to fund basic research across all science and engineering fields, it also supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs aimed at training the next generation of scientific leaders.

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science also received a funding increase for FY14, more than 5 percent above the FY13 level to $5.15 billion. The increased funding will help the U.S. compete as a world leader in clean energy production and respond to the increasing threat and consequences of climate change.

“We are pleased to see that even during these fiscally constrained times, the President continues to support research and innovation, the building blocks of a strong economy,” says American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and Crop Science Society of America Chief Executive Officer, Ellen Bergfeld. “Food, agriculture and natural resources research hold the answers to some of the greatest challenges facing our nation and the world: food safety and security, clean energy production and natural resource management.”

“We are especially pleased to see that the President has taken note of the recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report on Agricultural Preparedness and the Agriculture Research Enterprise,” continues Bergfeld. “We’re hopeful that the proposed increase in AFRI funding indicates a long-term commitment to bringing AFRI funding up to the fully authorized level.”

See the full budget proposal: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit www.soils.org or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.

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