Reed Supports Increase in Research Initiative Funding in Farm Bill
In supporting the five-year Farm Bill, Reed worked to strengthen programs he heard from area farmers as priorities of the district. Reed made a push during the Conference Committee negotiations to make improvements to and further develop the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, a program proven successful in enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops. Program funding in the Farm Bill is increased by $5 million from the previous authorization.
“We fought hard to expand support for this program that means more research and more help for our farmers,” Reed said. “With the right targeted, prioritized investments, we’re putting our region in a unique position to take advantage of federal research opportunities. The better we care for our local farmers, the better able they are able to do their jobs and supply our families with safe, affordable food.”
The Specialty Crop Research Initiative provides grants to research institutions and cooperative extensions for crop development, genetics and pest control. Reed says the program is an added boon for agriculture in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, especially with the abundance of specialty crops and research institutions like Cornell in the region.
“At Cornell’s Geneva campus, we are focused on the success of the specialty crop industry in New York and beyond,” said Thomas Björkman of Cornell’s Experiment Station in Geneva. “As we strive to make great fruits and vegetables more accessible to New Yorkers, and keep our rural economy humming, the Specialty Crop Research Initiative is crucial funding. Through our rich partnerships throughout New York and our pre-eminent research teams, we expect to be very competitive for the research grants that it offers.”
The Farm Bill saves taxpayers more than $20 billion while strengthening support for programs of district priority. In addition to the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Reed pointed to expanded access to crop insurance in the Farm Bill to protect farmers against weather and natural disasters and important reforms to dairy programs to ensure support for their industry.
Reed voted in support of the Farm Bill to authorize farm programs for New York’s 23rd district. The bill passed the House this week with strong bipartisan support. A vote on the bill in the Senate is expected next week.