AmericanHort Advocates for Critical Research Funds
With the Congressional appropriations season underway, the AmericanHort advocacy team is reaching out to House offices who control the nation’s purse strings. We’ve met recently with House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee members, Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and John Moolenaar (R-MI), this past week with additional visits scheduled. These visits enable us to educate decisionmakers on vital industry programs such as the Floriculture & Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) and the IR-4 Program.
FNRI is vital to our industry efforts to overcome pest and disease challenges, enhance the efficiency of production practices, develop and promote sustainable growing practices, and advance the economic, environmental, and human health benefits of our industry’s products and services. The focus of our FNRI outreach is to protect the program from any potential cuts while emphasizing its importance to horticulture.
The IR-4 Project was established to facilitate regulatory approval of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops, including environmental horticulture crops, to promote public health and well-being. Funding for the IR-4 has remained stagnant for the past few years and there is currently a request to increase the program’s funding to $20 million, up from the current funding level of $12 million. Of note, the President’s budget calls for an increase in the program as well, to a level of $17 million.
We will continue to provide updates on this outreach and status of these key industry programs.