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Hearing of the House Appropriations Committee - USDA Research, Education, and Economics Budget Hearing


Location: Washington, DC

Good morning. Thank you for joining us for the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to discuss USDA's fiscal year 2014 budget request for its research agencies.

I welcome Dr. Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to the Subcommittee. Joining Under Secretary Woteki, we have: Dr. Cynthia Clark, Administrator of the National Agricultural Statistics Service; Dr. Mary Bohman, Administrator of the Economic Research Service; Dr. Ed Knipling, Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service; Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Mr. Mike Young, USDA's budget

This Subcommittee has a strong tradition of supporting agricultural research, and I'm pleased that today we will be reviewing USDA proposal for FY 2014. USDA is proposing a total of $2.812 billion, $410 million increase over the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, for research programs. Within the proposal are significant increases for some programs, such as the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and a new poultry science laboratory. There also are many decreases, consolidations and transfers. We will be exploring these in detail.

In particular, we are interested in NIFA's budget proposal for AFRI and sustainable agriculture, organic, specialty crop and integrated research programs. We need to hear NIFA's explanation for why it did not comply with congressional direction regarding its budget proposal for theseprograms. This is an important part of answering the question of whether USDA is effectively meeting its broad mandate in research.

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