RELEASE: Letter from Breakthrough and Others Urges Congress to Invest in Public Agricultural Research in the 2023 Farm Bill

Signed by 40 environmental and agricultural organizations, the public letter calls for increased funding for public research to build a more sustainable and resilient U.S. agricultural system.

Washington, DC—Today, the Breakthrough Institute, joined by 40 climate, environmental and agricultural organizations, sent a letter to the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, urging them to prioritize funding for public agricultural research and innovation in the upcoming Farm Bill.

The letter states, “agricultural production accounts for approximately 11 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions” and yet “public investment in U.S agricultural R&D has declined by one-third over the last two decades.”

“Public agricultural research is the first step needed to put new tools and innovations in the hands of farmers to address growing challenges and build resiliency. Through development of regionally-relevant agricultural practices and cutting-edge technologies, publicly funded agricultural research can simultaneously improve food security, revitalize rural communities, protect farmers and ranchers’ livelihoods, and empower producers to mitigate climate change.”

Click here to read the full letter.

The letter continues, “meaningful investments in Department of Agriculture (USDA) research agencies and programs are long overdue. With increased funding, USDA research initiatives could accelerate the development and dissemination of environmentally and economically beneficial innovations and practices, such as crop cultivars with deeper root systems, crop varieties that are high-yielding and drought-tolerant, methane-inhibiting cattle feed additives, and improved livestock grazing and soil management practices. Based on historical trends, each additional dollar of public agricultural research spending would also generate an average of $20 in benefits to the U.S. economy.”

“If the U.S. is to meet its climate goals and build a resilient agricultural sector, farmers and ranchers will need to have access to the best tools, data, and technologies. This will require the U.S. to reaffirm its leadership in funding public agricultural research.” Therefore, Congress must “support farmers and ranchers and protect the environment by reauthorizing and increasing funding for agricultural research programs in the next Farm Bill.”


American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

American Phytopathological Society

American Society of Agronomy

Bread for the World Institute

California Climate and Agriculture Network


Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Cereals & Grains Association

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

Crop Science Society of America

C.V. Riley Memorial Foundation


Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Working Group

Farm Journal Foundation

Friends of the Mississippi River

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Land Stewardship Project

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

National Association of Plant Breeders

National Center for Appropriate Technology

National Organic Coalition

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

National Young Farmers Coalition

Natural Resources Defense Council

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

North American Craft Maltsters Guild

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network

Organic Farming Research Foundation

Organic Seed Alliance

Pesticide Action Network

Resilience Project

Soil Science Society of America

Spark Climate Solutions

Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council

The Breakthrough Institute

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

The National Center for Frontier Communities

The Nature Conservancy

Union of Concerned Scientists