RELEASE: Letter From the Breakthrough Institute and 60+ Others Call on Congress to Accelerate Advanced Agriculture Research in Next Farm Bill

Washington, DC—Earlier this month, the Breakthrough Institute, joined by more than 60 scientific societies, nonprofit organizations, land grant universities, and other research stakeholders sent a letter to Congress urging the inclusion of the Advancing Cutting Edge (ACE) Agriculture Act in the upcoming farm bill.

The bipartisan, bicameral ACE Agriculture Act proposes increasing the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority’s (AgARDA) authorization to $100 million to provide the program the greatest opportunity and flexibility to support research that leads to transformational results. By adding an additional focus on resilience and mitigation research, the legislation also aims to ensure the United States maintains global leadership in climate-smart agricultural innovation.

AgARDA was established in the 2018 Farm Bill to support high-risk, high-reward research at USDA to address the most far-reaching challenges facing the food and agriculture system. The program was designed to 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.

“Congress created AgARDA to accelerate high-risk, high-reward research at USDA, drawing on the success of other advanced research agencies at the Departments of Defense and Energy,” said Emily Bass, federal policy manager at the Breakthrough Institute. “As U.S. agriculture seeks to both maintain long-term productivity growth and cut the sector’s carbon footprint in line with national and global climate goals, advanced agricultural research is needed now more than ever to develop innovative technologies. AgARDA is poised to do just that by bringing a proven model of transformative research to USDA.”

AgARDA has bipartisan, bicameral support in Congress and is widely backed by the agriculture and research communities, as demonstrated by the diverse set of stakeholders represented in this letter. Breakthrough applauds Senators Bennet and Marshall and Representatives Panetta and Feenstra for their leadership on the ACE Agriculture Act and continues to urge Congress to support advanced and innovative research at USDA by reauthorizing AgARDA in the next farm bill.

To read the full letter and list of signatures, click here.


Agricultural & Applied Economics Association

American Association of Mycobacterial Diseases

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

American Conservation Coalition Action

American Dairy Science Association

American Feed Industry Association

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Malting Barley Association

American Phytopathological Society

American Seed Trade Association

American Society for Microbiology

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Animal Science

American Society of Plant Biologists

American Soybean Association

American Veterinary Medical Association

Animal Health Institute

Aquatic Plant Management Society

Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Bipartisan Policy Center Action

C3 Action

Cereals & Grains Association

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES)

ClearPath Action

Colorado Farm Bureau

Colorado State University

Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)

Crop Science Society of America



Ecological Society of America

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative

Entomological Society of America

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Policy Innovation Center

Evangelical Environmental Network

Eversole Associates


Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance

International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research

International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium

Iowa State University

Kansas State University

Meat Institute

Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals – Multistate Initiative

National Barley Improvement Committee

National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research

National Turfgrass Federation

National Wheat Improvement Committee

North American Millers' Association

North Central Weed Science Society

Northeastern Weed Science Society

Pet Food Institute

Soil Science Society of America

Southern Weed Science Society

Spark Climate Solutions

Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation

The Breakthrough Institute

The Good Food Institute

University of Florida

U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center Stakeholder Committee

Washington State University

Weed Science Society of America

Western Society of Weed Science


For Media Inquiries:

Emily Bass

Federal Policy Manager for Food & Agriculture