Bill Would Create New USDA Agency Focused on Supporting Innovation

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Legislation introduced Monday would create a new research agency in the Department of Agriculture. Introduced by Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, and Representative Cindy Axne, an Iowa Democrat, the legislation would create the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Terra to invest in innovative technologies that increase economic opportunity for farmers.

ARPA–Terra would provide competitive funding to land-grant universities for early stage research on technologies that industry might not undertake due to the long-term and high-risk technological barriers that exist. The agency will enable the United States to develop technologies – and put them in the hands of farmers to enhance export competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and crop resilience to extreme weather.

Axne says the bill “will help our researchers continue to lead the way in Agriculture science and development.” Bennet says the legislation will “strengthen American global leadership in agricultural research and development.” The lawmakers point out that the legislation is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation.