ASTA Witness Testifies on Farm Bill Research Programs

Cindy Zimmerman


Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee heard testimony from Dr. Katy Martin Rainey, Associate Professor, Agronomy, Purdue University, on behalf of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) during a hearing Tuesday on “Farm Bill 2023: Research Programs.” Rainey spoke to the foundational role of agriculture research in the 2023 Farm Bill in ensuring a secure agricultural production and food system, which starts with quality seed.

“Strong federal investment in agriculture research—leveraged through effective public-private partnerships– is vital to ensuring the success of U.S. farmers in the face of a complex array of emerging challenges,” stressed Rainey. “We rely on the support of Farm Bill funding and programs to ensure continued U.S. leadership as the provider of the best seed to the world.”

Rainey emphasized the importance of Farm Bill research programs for the seed industry. Continued investment and support for these programs, including the National Plant Germplasm System, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), and the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AGARDA), are priorities in the next Farm Bill reauthorization. “As we deal with the challenges of feeding a growing population, all of these programs have unique roles creating solutions for a more secure and sustainable future, while keeping the U.S. competitive globally,” she said.

Rainey underscored the role of emerging innovations in crop improvement, made possible by long-term, sustained investments in ag research, in supporting farmers’ successful use of conservation practices. “Breeding will bolster practices for climate adaptation and mitigation, soil health and habitat restoration, such as cover crops, while also benefiting farm productivity,” she said. “This includes the exploration of new and emerging tools like gene editing, which has the potential to unlock new capabilities in plants, thanks to robust private and public sector R&D investments over time.”

Rainey will be in Chicago today to join her colleagues at the ASTA CSS and Seed Expo.

Listen to Dr. Rainey’s testimony here:
Dr. Kaity Martin Rainey testimony 5:59

Interview with Kaity Martin Rainey from ASTACSS
ASTACSS Kaity Rainey interview 8:42

2022 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo Photo Album

Find more audio from ASTACSS in the virtual newsroom for the event

ASTA, Audio, Farm Bill, Research