Subcommittee Reviews Agricultural Research Programs

May 10, 2007

WASHINGTON - Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research, today held a hearing to review agricultural research programs.

Most agricultural research programs are carried out by scientists at academic institutions, agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other private or industrial organizations.  Existing programs address several key issues in agricultural production such as conservation practices, farm efficiency, international competition, environmental impacts, nutrition and general productivity.

"As we write the new Farm Bill, hearings such as this one only further demonstrate how the fundamental need for research spans across many different commodities and various agricultural sectors," said Chairman Holden.  "Advances in agricultural and energy research are important to increasing farm profitability, continuing agricultural viability, competing in the international marketplace, improving nutrition, and protecting the environment."

"Debate over research has always been about how much money is needed for specific projects or programs, never about the mechanism of delivery or the structure of how we establish priorities.  Our role, on the Agriculture Committee, is to design the best policy to ensure that the funds made available for research are used in the most effective manner and that's what we are going to try to do in the next farm bill," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma.

The Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research Subcommittee is one of six House Agriculture subcommittees involved in reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which expires in September 2007.

Witness testimony is available on the Committee website. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.

Witness List:

Panel I

Dr. Gale Buchanan, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Panel II

Dr. William H. Danforth, Chancellor Emeritus, WashingtonUniversity, Chairman of the Coalition of Plant and Life Sciences, and Chairman of the DonaldDanforthPlantScienceCenter, St. Louis, Missouri

Dr. Bruce A. McPheron, Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station, Pennsylvania State University, on behalf of National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, University Park, Pennsylvania

Dr. George W. Norton, Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Dr. Joe Bouton, PhD., Senior Vice President and Director, Forage Improvement Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia, Ardmore, Oklahoma