It sets the next five years of farm policy, including important research programs related to the production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber. Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, a move applauded by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). Leaders of the Science Societies also praised Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, Democrat from Michigan, and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, Republican from Kansas, for demonstrating strong bipartisan guidance throughout the Senate process. The bill includes a strong investment in agricultural research as well as the conservation, stewardship and sustainability of America’s farmland. In addition, the bill includes provisions for the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a measure strongly supported by the Science Societies.
“We understand difficult choices had to be made during the Senate farm bill process,” says American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Chief Executive Officer Ellen Bergfeld. “We’re pleased Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Roberts shepherded a strong plan that recognizes the significant value of conservation, as well as the future of food and agricultural research. It also shows there’s significant support for the long-term sustainability of American agriculture and the opportunities it provides.”
The Science Societies will now be tracking movement on the 2012 Farm Bill by the House Agriculture Committee and remains hopeful Chairman Frank Lucas, Republican from Oklahoma, can move it forward this summer. As of today, the House has indicated that they will mark-up the bill after returning from the Fourth of July holiday.
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.