Eighteen Senators have signed-on to a bipartisan letter spearheaded by Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Specter (D-PA) in support of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program – USDA’s premier competitive research, education, and extension grants program advancing the development of sustainable agricultural systems. The letter was submitted to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate agriculture appropriations subcommittee.
In the letter, Senators expressed support for $30 million for SARE in this year’s appropriations process, stating that funding SARE at $30 million will “help launch a new era of research advancing the profitability, productivity, and environmental services of sustainable agriculture.”
For twenty-two years, SARE has funded innovative, farmer-driven projects ranging from early Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) models to rotational grazing systems adapted to current farming systems. Over that same period, SARE has been consistently funded at less than a third of its full authorization of $60 million, despite significant demand for the program. This year, President Obama has requested $30 million for SARE, including money to jump-start a federal-state matching grants program that would help build capacity at the state-level for sustainable agriculture research.
Investments in research made today determine the agricultural systems of the future. Funding SARE at $30 million, states the Senators’ letter, “is making a down-payment on innovation in agriculture for generations to come.”
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Learn more about SARE grant opportunities.