As the Biden-Harris administration crafts its fiscal year 2025 (FY25) budget submission, the Breakthrough Institute weighed in to highlight how advanced research remains underfunded in the Department of Agriculture's research and development (R&D) efforts. In a letter delivered to key officials at the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Department of Agriculture, Breakthrough emphasized that advanced R&D will be essential to both maintaining the long-term productivity of U.S. agriculture and cutting the sector's carbon footprint in line with climate goals.
Breakthrough has long advocated for the need for a USDA research program that can help de-risk innovative technologies by funding research with significant potential benefits but which may be too early-stage or technically challenging for private-sector investment. The Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AgARDA) is poised to fill a critical niche in the federal agricultural research ecosystem to advance high-risk, high-reward research to address the most far-reaching challenges facing the food and agriculture system.
In the letter, Breakthrough urged the administration to renew its commitment to ensuring AgARDA reaches its full potential by requesting at least $45 million in FY25 for the program.
Breakthrough and other stakeholders will continue to advocate for Congress to reauthorize AgARDA in the next farm bill and increase its program investments each subsequent year. However, it is also critical for the administration – in what could be President Biden's final budget request – to demonstrate the need for advanced research to build on its historic investments in climate-smart agriculture.
To read the full letter, click here.