Observations on the President’s Budget in Agriculture

Val Giddings April 17, 2013
April 17, 2013

Budget proposals – Presidential or Congressional – too often are more political Kabuki than serious policy, and the risk of smoke and mirrors is directly proportional to budget pressure. It is therefore a pleasant surprise to find in the President’s most recent budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Agriculture less theater than past experience would predict, as well as some genuinely sound policy. However, even with this positive momentum, there is still much more to be done. For these funding increases to deliver the hoped for results, systemic reforms are required to advance development of next generation plant and animal genetics, enhance centers of excellence targeting specific agricultural challenges, and move policy away from deployment of existing technologies to basic research.