Hoeven & Baldwin Introduce Legislation to Authorize Funds for Joint U.S.-Israel Agriculture Research

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) today introduced the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) Act, bipartisan legislation to authorize funding for collaborative agricultural and scientific research in areas of mutual interest to the United States and Israel. The BARD program was first established in 1977 by an agreement between the U.S. government and the Israeli government, but has operated without formal authorization, with the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) devoting $500,000 of its base funding to the program each year.

The Hoeven-Baldwin bill would authorize appropriations directly to the program through the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, which Hoeven chairs in the Senate. This would help ensure certainty for the BARD program, strengthen the U.S.-Israeli partnership and support projects that are critical to agriculture, food safety and conservation, among other things.

“Israel is one of our closest allies and, like the U.S., is a world leader in scientific research,” said Senator Hoeven. “After more than 40 years of joint research, this legislation would formally authorize the BARD program, helping to ensure it receives funding directly through annual appropriations, strengthening the ties between our two nations and supporting the success of our agriculture producers.” 

“The Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, known as BARD, is an important partnership between the U.S. and Israel as we work together to create bold, global solutions that help address plant and animal health, food quality and safety, and environmental issues,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m working with Senator Hoeven to support this vital research program and do right by farmers, agriculture businesses and consumers, both here at home and around the world.”