Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Roberts (R-Kan.) have introduced legislation, The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, to authorize the establishment of a non-profit foundation to solicit donations from the private sector for enhancing agriculture research.

This model will serve as a useful tool to foster new public-private partnerships among the agricultural research community, including USDA research agencies, academia, private corporations and non-profit organizations.

There are precedents for congressionally mandated foundations across the federal government, including entities devoted to medical research, public health and safety, and natural resource conservation. Some examples include: Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Forest Foundation.

“Because of research, agriculture is a bright spot in our economy and supports more than 16 million American jobs,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “Creating this foundation will leverage private capital to spur new research ventures, creating jobs and growing the economy.”

Roberts said, “This foundation model has a proven track record of success and will complement and maximize the use of tax dollars in agricultural research while establishing a consistent and growing resource for researchers that will benefit the agriculture industry as a whole. I look forward to the committee’s debate on the farm bill and the research title in particular. This legislation should be a part of those discussions.”