Subcommittee reviews research innovations achieved by the nation's agricultural colleges and universities

Sep 29, 2015

Today, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, held a public hearing to review research innovations achieved by the nation’s agricultural colleges and universities. Members heard from a panel of distinguished researchers representing some of the most prestigious agricultural colleges and universities in the country.

Today’s hearing was the third in a series of hearings highlighting agricultural research, extension, and education programs. Back in April, the subcommittee held a hearing with Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden and 17 young leaders in the 4-H program who spoke about the need to strengthen the urban, rural coalition. Then, in July, the full Agriculture Committee held a hearing to honor the 125th anniversary of the enactment of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, during which the presidents of the 1890 land-grant universities shared with the committee their views regarding advancements their universities have made and the challenges faced by the agriculture community. Furthermore, two weeks ago the committee heard from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research, Education, and Economics division who emphasized the return on investment from agriculture research. The International Food Policy Research Institute has concluded that these investments have a 48 percent average annual rate of return.

“Over the course of this hearing series we have seen and heard first-hand the high rate of return from investments in agricultural research and innovation. I am excited to see stakeholders prioritizing the need for food and agricultural research within our national policy discussions. As we begin preparing for the next farm bill, we will look to these stakeholders and the challenges they are facing to establish policies that will allow our research sector to continue to evolve and grow. I want to thank all of our witnesses for their participation today, especially Dr. Hauser, Dean of the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture, for his insight on this topic specific to my district and home state of Illinois,” Subcommittee Chairman Davis said.

“Investments in agricultural innovation and research are an important way to strengthen and improve our industry. With the population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, farmers and ranchers need all the tools that agricultural researchers can provide to meet these food and fiber needs. I am proud to see that federal investment in agricultural research is paying dividends to our industry, and universities like the ones we heard from today are utilizing these resources to lead this productive advancement in agriculture.” Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway said. 

Written testimony provided by the witness from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Subcommittee Chairman Davis' opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Witness List:

Panel I

Dr. Robert J. Hauser, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
 
Dr. James W. Moyer, Associate Dean for Research, College of Agricultural, Human, and NaturalResource Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
 
Dr. Mindy Brashears, Director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence, TexasTech University, Lubbock, TX
 
Dr. Michael Heithaus, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Florida International University, North Miami, FL
 
Dr. Michael P. Lacy, Professor and Department Head, Department of Poultry Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
 
Dr. Douglas D. Buhler, Senior Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI