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Blunt Touts Missouri Priorities In FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

September 19, 2019

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, announced that the committee-approved fiscal year 2020 agriculture funding bill includes several Missouri priorities.

“Missouri agriculture supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes billions of dollars to our economy every year,” said Blunt. “With world food demand expected to double in the next 30 to 40 years, we have an incredible opportunity ahead of us if we have the right policies in place to take advantage of it. That’s why I’m glad this bill makes important investments to support Missouri’s world-class plant and animal research institutions, which play an important role in keeping our farmers and producers on the cutting edge of innovation. The bill also funds programs that farmers, ranchers, and landowners rely upon to help overcome hardships caused by flooding, extreme weather, and market uncertainty. Finally, the legislation prioritizes resources to move us closer to ending the digital divide, which will improve the quality of life and enhance economic opportunities in rural communities. I’ll keep working to ensure the men and women who drive our agriculture industry have the tools they need to continue leading the way in a global economy.”

Key Missouri Priorities Funded in the Bill:

  • Agricultural Research – The bill provides $3.17 billion to support agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This investment will support research, education, and extension activities at the University of Missouri, Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Lincoln University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ARS facility in Columbia, Mo.
    • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: The bill includes $425 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, a $10 million increase over FY2019.
    • Policy Research Centers: The legislation provides $8 million for policy research cooperative agreements, an increase of $3 million over FY2019. This investment will assist with the analysis of national and international projections of agricultural markets and the rural economy. 
    • Building and Facilities: The measure includes $25 million for the construction of a new plant bioscience lab at the University of Missouri.o    NIFA and Economic Research Service (ERS): The legislation provides $25 million to fully fund the relocation efforts of NIFA and ERS to the Kansas City region. In a recent Kansas City Star op-ed, Blunt outlined his support for the move.
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA): The bill includes nearly $1.13 billion for various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs that Missouri farmers and ranchers rely upon. The bill also prohibits the closure of FSA county offices.
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: The legislation provides $835 million for conservation operations and technical assistance, an increase of $15 million over FY2019, to help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land.
    • Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program: The measure includes $175 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program, a $25 million increase from FY2019. Additionally, the bill includes $11 million for the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project, which will provide water to rural communities.
  • Rural Development: The legislation provides over $3 billion for Rural Development programs and activities, including infrastructure, community development, rural housing, and water programs.
  • Rural Broadband: The bill includes $6.94 billion for rural electric and telephone infrastructure loans and $64 million for Distance Learning/Telemedicine and Broadband grants that will help expand access to modern, high-speed internet services in rural areas.
  • Food & Drug Administration: The bill includes $5 million for Animal Feed Ingredient Reviews at the Center for Veterinary Medicine.

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