The Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) applauds Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and four of her colleagues, for sponsoring the Seeds and Breeds for the Future Act.
With the aim of securing a resilient agricultural and food system in the face of increasingly challenging environmental conditions, the Seeds and Breeds for the Future Act promotes the development of ready-to-use, regionally adapted and publicly available seed varieties and animal breeds.
The Act would give farmers more tools to confront drought, varying growing conditions and to have plant and animal varieties that are better suited to their area. Further, it would ensure farmers throughout Wisconsin, and the United States, have access to domestically produced seeds and breeds that are developed through publicly available research.
“Wisconsin’s agriculture sector is a driver of our state’s economy and the heart of many of our rural communities,” said Senator Baldwin. “In the face of a changing climate, we must make sure our farmers and producers have the tools they need to adapt and compete on the global stage. This legislation will ensure that our farmers have regionally adapted seed varieties and animal breeds to increase their yields and adjust to new environmental challenges. Farmers are always innovating, and this reform will make sure research is keeping up with them.”
Over the past several decades, universities across the country have reduced, or even eliminated, their public plant and animal breeding programs, causing a shortage of crops and livestock tailored to unique regional conditions. Lack of access to regionally adapted seeds and breeds makes the domestic agricultural sector vulnerable to disruption and threatens farmers’ domestic and international competitiveness. The Seeds and Breeds for the Future Act ensures that the Unites States Department of Agriculture invests at least $75 million each fiscal year for competitive research grants that support the development of regionally adapted seed varieties and animal breeds at public universities.
A one-pager on this legislation can be found here.