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Programs > Agriculture & Food: Focus on the Farm Bill > Research, Education and Extension

Research, Education and Extension

Investment in agricultural research is vital to continued productivity and innovation in growing and diverse sectors of American agriculture.

Strong consumer demand for sustainably and organically produced foods has fueled strong growth in these sectors of agriculture, yet federal investments in sustainable and organic farming research have not kept pace with this growth. The continued growth of sustainable and organic farming systems depends on a strong investment in sustainable and organic research.    

The 2012 Farm Bill should invest in future agricultural innovation by: 

• Reauthorizing and funding successful and consistently over-subscribed mandatory competitive research programs for beginning farmers, organic agriculture, and specialty crops (i.e., fruits and vegetables). 

• Addressing research, data collection, and technical assistance needs for emerging value-added businesses and agricultural sectors.   

• Enhancing public plant and animal breeding and integrated pest management research, education, and extension to ensure farmers have the tools they need to meet growing consumer demand. 

• Integrating public health priorities into the federal agricultural research agenda to examine the link between food production and health.   
Why It Matters 

• In order to increase and improve production, farmers need cutting-edge research that is easily accessible and relevant to their farming systems.

• Investments in organic and sustainable research provide innovations that enable farmers and food businesses to be successful. 

• Research on diversified agricultural systems contributes to improved public health, which is important to our nation’s economy and well-being. 


A Primer on the Farm Bill

Action Timeline in Congress

Advocating Our Values

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Commodity Programs

Conservation Programs

Crop Insurance Subsidies

Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs

Local Farms, Food & Jobs: New Legislation

Market Concentration & Livestock Operations

Renewable Energy from Farms

Rural Development

Sustainable Agriculture: Nation's New Foundation