Support the America Grows Act

On April 26, 2021, COPAFS signed onto a letter in support of the America Grows Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill Senators Durbin and Moran have recently introducted that would significantly increase our nation’s investment in agricultural research and development.

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairwoman, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition,
andForestry Committee
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
The Honorable Jeff Merkley
Chairman, Senate Agriculture, Rural
Development, Food and Drug
Administration,and Related Agencies
Appropriations Subcommittee
The Honorable John Boozman
Ranking Member, Senate Agriculture,
Nutrition,and Forestry Committee
The Honorable Richard Shelby
Vice Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
The Honorable John Hoeven
Ranking Member, Senate Agriculture, Rural
Development, Food and Drug
Administration, and Related Agencies
Appropriations Subcommittee

Dear Ranking Members,

As organizations concerned about the future of food and agricultural science, the undersigned are writing to express our support for the America Grows Act of 2021 (S.1371), a bipartisan bill Senators Durbin and Moran have recently introduced that would significantly increase our nation’s investment in agricultural research and development.

Food and agriculture remain a pillar of the U.S. economy, accounting for nearly $3 trillion of our GDP, 1 in 6 jobs, and a significant contribution to our nation’s trade balance at more than $155 trillion in export value. As the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities of our agriculture and food system, and the increasing occurrence of natural disasters that harm harvests and production, agricultural research is a critical solution for our nation’s economic and national security. Thanks to the U.S. government’s extraordinary leadership and commitment to agricultural research and development since 1862, our agriculture sector is the most productive in the world, providing Americans with safe, affordable, and abundant food.

The public return on investment for agricultural research is significant, estimated at $17 to $1. Yet U.S. funding in this area has declined in real dollars since 2003 while other forms of domestic research have risen dramatically. The America Grows Act would help reverse this dangerous trend by reinvesting in our nation’s scientists and producers and helping reassert U.S. research leadership on the global stage. Modeled after the successful 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016, which spurred additional funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the America Grows Act appropriates a 5% inflation-adjusted annual increase for the next 10 years for agricultural research in the following USDA agencies:

  • Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
  • Economic Research Service (ERS)
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The timing for the America Grows Act could not be better. Investments in research are critical in addressing production, nutrition, food security, and other major challenges across the U.S. food and agricultural sector. Farm cash receipts from crop and livestock sales are at their lowest
point since 2016, and USDA projects that farm income will decline 8% in 2021. Our nation’s
producers are facing pest, disease, and severe weather challenges that research can solve.

Thank you for your consideration and your hard work on behalf of agriculture and agricultural research. We look forward to working with you to advance the America Grows Act. This legislation represents a crucial step in meeting the vital needs of our nation’s producers and consumers while retaining our status as the world leader in agricultural innovation.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

AFRI Coalition

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Agricultural Retailers Association

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association of Mycobacterial Diseases

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

American Dairy Science Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Malting Barley Association

American Phytopathological Society

American Phytopathological Society (APS)

American Pulse Association

American Seed Trade Association

American Society for Horticultural Science

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Nutrition

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Animal Science

American Society of Plant Biologists

American Statistical Association

American Veterinary Medical Association

Aquatic Plant Management Society

Arizona Farm Bureau

Association of 1890 Research Directors

Association of American Universities

Association of Northeast Extension Directors (NEED)

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

Association of Southern Region Extension Directors

The Breakthrough Institute

Brooks Tropicals, LLC

Charles V. Riley Memorial Foundation

College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University

Colorado Farm Bureau

Colorado State University

Consumer Federation of America

Corn Refiners Association

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)

Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics

Crop Science Society of America

Ecological Society of America

Entomological Society of America

Eversole Associates

Experiment Station on Organization & Policy (ESCOP)

Farm Journal Foundation


The Fertilizer Institute

Friends of ARS Coalition

Fort Valley State University

Hop Growers of America

Hop Growers of Washington

Institute for Agriculture and Trade

Institute of Food Technologists

IR-4 Project

Kansas State University

Kauffman’s Animal Health

Michigan State University

Michigan State University AgBioResearch

Midwest Poultry Consortium

Minnesota Canola Council

Montana State University

Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals Multistate Initiative

National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization

National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance

National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science

National Association of Forest Resources Programs

National Association of Plant Breeders

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

National Barley Growers Association

National Barley Improvement Committee

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Farmers Union

National Grange

National Milk Producers Federation

National Pork Producers Council

National Sunflower Association

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

National Turfgrass Federation (NTF)

National WIC Association

New York Farm Bureau

North American Millers’ Association

North Carolina State University

North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NCRA)

North Central Weed Science Society

Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NERA)

Northeastern Weed Science Society

Oklahoma State University

Oregon State University

Plant Based Products Council

Pollinator Partnership

Poultry Science Association

Robinson Oak Lea Farm

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rural & Agriculture Council of America

Society for Range Management

Soil and Water Conservation Society

Soil Science Society of America

South Dakota State University

Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Southern Weed Science Society

Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation

Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas Farm Bureau

Union of Concerned Scientists

United States Cattlemen’s Association

The University of California System

University of California, Davis

University of Delaware

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Maryland

University of Nebraska

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wyoming

US Canola Association

US Dairy Forage Research Center Stakeholder Committee

US Dry Bean Council

USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council

USA Rice

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

Weed Science Society of America

West Virginia University

West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Western Society of Weed Science

CC: The Honorable Richard Durbin Democratic Whip, The Honorable Jerry Moran

Download/Print the Support the America Grows Act Letter.