RELEASE: New Analysis Breaks Down $2 Billion in Proposed New Ag Spending, Climate Benefits in Reconciliation Bill

Berkeley, Calif. — This week in a new blog post, the Breakthrough Institute’s Director of Food and Agriculture Dan Blaustein-Rejto broke down the $2 billion of new agriculture spending in Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) bill. While less than the $7.75 billion initially proposed, $1.7 billion is specifically set aside for research, representing a strong investment that will cut carbon emissions significantly.

Click here to read the full blog

Dan Blaustein-Rejto is available for comment or interview

Importantly, the proposal does not include funding increases for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA’s in-house research agency that researches decarbonizing beef and dairy products and other climate-related issues. Items that were not cut completely were slashed substantially, such as funding for the construction and repair of agricultural research facilities (cut by more than half from $3.65 billion).

Here is the breakdown:

  • $1 billion for university and college research facilities
  • $210 million for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
  • $210 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
  • $120 million for the Sustainable Agriculture Research Education program
  • $60 million for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
  • $60 million for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative
  • $30 million for AGARDA, the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority
  • $5 million for Urban, Indoor, and Emerging Agriculture
  • $5 million for 1890 Land-Grant Universities

“Future increases in agricultural R&D funding could yield even greater climate benefits. Our research shows doubling agricultural R&D funding would reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by at least 109 million metric tons per year in 2050, equivalent to ⅙ of current US agriculture emissions.”

Congress’ investment in agriculture funding is encouraging, hopefully, indicating future investment as reducing carbon emissions from food production is critical in fighting climate change.