Hoeven Discusses Opportunities to Expand Joint Ag Research With USDA Under Secretary, ARS Administrator

Senator Holds Ag Research Collaboration Roundtable, Outlines Efforts to Grow NDSU-Grand Farm-ARS Cooperative Agreement & Establish NDSU Ag Policy Research Center

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a roundtable to discuss opportunities for expanded joint agriculture research in North Dakota, with the goal of building upon successful collaborations that the senator has worked to advance, both as the Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. To this end, Hoeven brought together a range of stakeholders with expertise in agriculture research, technology and autonomous systems, among other fields. Participants included:

·       Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics.

·       Dr. Simon Liu, Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

·       Congressman Kelly Armstrong.

·       North Dakota Lt. Governor Tammy Miller.

·       Greg Tehven, Grand Farm Board Chair.

·       Brian Carroll, Grand Farm Co-Founder.

·       Representatives from Microsoft, CHS, RDO, Bobcat and Appareo/AGCO.

In particular, Hoeven discussed how to best leverage multiple ongoing initiatives, such as the Food systems Adapted for Resiliency and Maximized Security (FARMS) project and the AgTech Cooperative Agreement he worked to establish and fund between ARS, NDSU and Grand Farm, to build effective partnerships and catalyze innovation.

           “Over the last 50 years, innovations in agricultural research and technology have allowed farmers and ranchers to produce more, with less,” said Hoeven. “Today’s roundtable builds upon these decades of work to realize new opportunities for collaboration and lead to the next big leaps in ag technology. That’s exactly what we’re working to accomplish with the FARMS project, NDSU and Grand Farm’s cooperative agreement with ARS and our efforts to establish an ag policy research center at NDSU. I appreciate Under Secretary Jacobs-Young and ARS Administrator Liu for joining this important discussion and their continued partnership with our research institutions, groups like Grand Farm and our world-leading ag industry.”

Advancing Ag Research Priorities

As ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven:

·       Secured $1 million for the NDSU-Grand Farm-ARS cooperative agreement in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 and included $2.5 million to continue the partnership in the Senate’s FY24 funding legislation.

·       Included $2 million in the Senate-approved FY24 funding legislation to establish a new agriculture policy research center at NDSU. The center would:

o   Help address farm and agribusiness challenges through in-depth policy and economic analysis.

o   Bring North Dakota expertise to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

o   Complement the work conducted at similar centers, including at the University of Missouri, Texas A&M University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

·       Advanced more than $50 million in agriculture research funding for North Dakota as part of the Senate’s FY24 agriculture funding bill, which has been approved by the full Senate.

FARMS Project

Under a National Science Foundation (NSF) award Hoeven announced earlier this week, NDSU and Grand Farm, in partnership with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo (FMWF) Chamber Foundation, the Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and the North Dakota Tribal College Systems will receive up to $160 million over 10 years to carry out the FARMS initiative, including $15 million in the first two years of the project. Hoeven worked to secure the application’s approval, having made the case for the project to the NSF Director.  

The collaboration is one of ten applications awarded across the country. The funds were awarded under the NSF Regional Innovation Engines program and will support efforts to leverage NDSU and Grand Farm’s existing agriculture research expertise to address global food challenges, including ways to address agricultural workforce shortages and improve best practices.