A coalition of more than 350 agriculture organizations led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, SoAR, and the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research today called on Congress to allocate $11.5 million to repair dilapidated research facilities at colleges of agriculture.
In a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate agriculture committees, the groups wrote, “Modern agricultural research and education facilities serve as the backbone of the nation’s cutting-edge research and applied science solutions.”
“A report recently assessed the state of facilities at U.S. colleges and schools of agriculture, reporting that 69 percent of these buildings are at the end of their useful life,” the letter said.
“The report estimated the cost to upgrade deferred maintenance for these buildings now as $11.5 billion, and the cost to replace the dilapidated facilities as $38.1 billion. It further stated that strategic federal investment in these facilities at 1862, 1890, 1994, and insular land-grant and non-land-grant schools of agriculture would create 200,000 new jobs nationwide. Finally, this investment would contribute to solving the need for the U.S. to recruit and graduate 60,000 new U.S. graduates with agricultural expertise every year.”