A federally funded research farm in Oconee County, Georgia is on the verge of closing. The closure is the latest in a string of agricultural budget reductions. The Congressional supercommittee, tasked with cutting $2 trillion from the federal budget, has frequently targeted agricultural spending, cutting funding from nutritional programs, conservation programs, and agricultural research.
The reduction in research budgets has led to the closures of research farms across the country. The Oconee farm is simply the latest. A federal appropriations bill approved by House and Senate committees strips all research funding from the farm, forcing its closure.
While the final bill has not been approved, it is headed for an up or down vote in both the House and Senate.
While the appropriation bill allows for the possibility that vital functions of the research farm could be moved to the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the gradual reduction in research funding is a major blow to the agricultural sector. Agricultural research has been a vital part of the growth and stability of American farming. Farm research allows for more weather resistant crops, has helped deal with invasive insect species and other pest problems, and has increased the productivity of American farms.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer