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Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21 st Century Melissa D. Ho Specialist in Agricultural Policy September 16, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21 st Century Melissa D. Ho Specialist in Agricultural Policy September 16, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21 st Century Melissa D. Ho Specialist in Agricultural Policy September 16, 2010

2 CRS-2 Agenda Recent developments in US Agricultural Policy 2008 Farm Bill Annual Appropriations USDA Initiatives – e.g. Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Potential ways to effect change Incremental vs. Transformative Approach Funding level Policy decisions Program implementation

3 CRS Farm Bill Provisions Title I: Commodity Programs Title II: Conservation Title III: Trade & Food Aid Title IV: Nutrition Title V: Credit Title VI: Rural Development Title VII: Agricultural Research Title VIII: Forestry Title IX: Energy Title X: Horticulture and Organic Agriculture (new) Title XI: Livestock (new) Title XII: Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance Programs (new) Title XIII: Commodity Futures (new) Title XIV: Miscellaneous Title XV: Trade and Tax Provisions (new)

4 USDA Budget Authority, FY2009 CRS-4 Source: CRS, using USDA FY2010 Budget Summary, May Total = $114.6 billion, excluding supplementals

5 Annual Agriculture Appropriations FY2010 Agriculture appropriations bill (P.L ), enacted on October 21, 2009, contains $121.1 billion Discretionary spending, about 20% of USDA budget authority, is controlled by annual appropriations Major discretionary programs include research and education programs, certain conservation programs, most rural development programs, agricultural credit program, WIC, international food aid, meat inspection, and food marketing and regulatory programs Mandatory programs - such as farm commodity programs, crop insurance and certain nutrition programs are funded via authorizing statutes, even though they are included in annual appropriations bills

6 USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative “USDA’s ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative promotes local and regional food systems by stimulating community economic development and ensuring equitable access to affordable fresh and local food.”

7 CRS-7 Potential Ways to Effect Change Incremental vs. Transformative Approach Funding level Policy decisions Program implementation

8 Agricultural Research Funding USDA Research Budget, FY1990-FY2010

9 Agricultural Research Funding Federal Agency Average Annual Growth Rate (percentage) NIH5.73 NASA3.17 NSF2.43 USDA0.70 Non-Defense R&D overall 2.75 Source: USDA Research, Education, and Extension Task Force Report, Annual Real R&D Budget Growth by Federal Agency

10 CRS-10 Agricultural Research Policy 2008 Farm Bill elevated the role of competitive research through the creation of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) “Our commitment to nurture and support crop and animal production will not waver. Our other longstanding commitment is to make absolutely sure that this production system is sustainable, both in terms of being able to keep supplying America’s and the world’s food, feed, fuel and fiber, and in nurturing and safeguarding the natural resources that make this production possible. We can ill afford the divisive rhetoric from our stakeholders that holds we must choose either a healthy environment with low-intensity agriculture or a high-intensity sustaining food production system. Both high crop yields and safe and sustainable practices are critically important, and both deserve USDA’s continued full support.” * *R. Beachy, Director of NIFA, Remarks to APLU, November 19, 2009

11 CRS-11 Agricultural Research Program: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Research Focus and Priorities – “Science at and funded by USDA needs to be focused, leverage other resources, and concentrate on select priorities at a scale to produce useful outcomes.” * Core funding areas within AFRI include: * Foundational Program with six primary priority areas: - Plant health and production - Animal health and production - Food safety, nutrition and health - Renewable energy, natural resources and environment - Agriculture systems and technology - Agricultural economics and rural communities * Global Food Security * Childhood Obesity Prevention * Food Safety * Sustainable Bioenergy * Climate Change Integrated and Multi-disciplinary Research * R. Beachy, Director of NIFA, Remarks to APLU, November 19, 2009

12 Agricultural Research Program: AFRI AFRI Priority Area FY2010 Est. Funding Level % of Total Foundational Program $64 million 29% Global Food Security $19 million 9% Childhood Obesity $25 million 11% Food Safety $20 million 9% Bioenergy $40 million 18% Climate Change $55 million 24% Total $223 million 100% In FY2009, about 69% of projects were multi-disciplinary; about 30% integrated research with education and/or extension components Source: USDA, NIFA AFRI Priority Areas for Grant Funding

13 Conservation Conservation programs have often been targeted for budget cuts by authorizers and appropriators in order to generate spending offsets Between FY2003-FY2010, appropriators reduced mandatory spending for eight conservation programs by about $3 billion (EQIP had highest multiyear total at $1.2 billion) Authorizers changed provisions of the Conservation Security Program in FY2003 and FY2005 to offset agricultural disaster assistance ($3.1 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively) Authorizers generated $2.7 billion in savings across 12 programs during budget reconciliation in 2005

14 CRS-14 Rural Development Production agriculture is a small part of the rural economy, with less than 8% of the rural population employed in agriculture Rural Development Title of the farm bill supports rural infrastructure, agricultural development, rural economic development, rural business creation and expansion, and more recently, rural entrepreneurship and innovation The 2008 Farm Bill authorized several new programs to address rural and regional development: * Rural Collaborative Investment Program (RCIP); authorized to receive $135 million for FY * Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program; authorized $4 million mandatory, plus $40 million discretionary funding annually * Section 6015 loan/loan guarantees for locally and regionally produced agricultural food products, especially for underserved communities Several rural development programs not fully funded or implemented

15 CRS-15 Livestock Livestock comprises more than half of the value of U.S. agricultural production Over the past few decades, animal agriculture production and marketing have been moving to fewer and larger operations In general, the products of animal agriculture are not eligible for price and income supports (except milk) However, 2008 Farm Bill includes new Livestock Title with provisions related to USDA regulation of livestock and poultry markets, inspection requirements, interstate commerce, and labeling Livestock producers are awarded 60% of the funding allocation under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Federal environmental laws are under the jurisdiction of the EPA, not USDA

16 Summary Work within existing framework of policies, programs, and processes can be complicated, convoluted, and difficult - but is necessary Have a specific agenda, but keep the big picture objectives in mind Connect the dots Think outside of the box “Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer” -unknown


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