Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) announced the introduction of the Improving Coordination of Agriculture Research and Data Act, legislation that would better facilitate the coordination of agriculture climate research, data collection, and monitoring, as well as expand adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices. 

“Today, the agriculture sector contributes about one-tenth of the United States’ total greenhouse gas emissions. However, agriculture has the potential to serve as a net negative greenhouse gas emissions sector through the development of environmentally friendly farming practices. Oftentimes, these practices also result in more profitable farm operations. 

“Moreover, the strong history of U.S. agricultural research, cooperative extension, and technical assistance programs have helped farmers become more productive, resilient, and environmentally sustainable while ensuring our global competitiveness and national security,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “As climate change threatens food security with extreme weather events, emerging pests and diseases, and increasingly erratic fluctuations in growing conditions, we must continue to invest in the research and development of practices to respond to climate challenges facing the U.S. agriculture sector. 

“My bill improves and streamlines the current structure of federal research programs and data systems to develop climate smart agriculture tools, resources, and practices. This bill not only creates a more efficient process for research and implementation of these practices, but the long-term ecological impacts will greatly benefit our farms and our planet.” 

Specifically, the Improving Coordination of Agriculture Research and Data Act would:

  • Establish an agriculture climate research scientific advisory committee to ensure the federal agriculture climate research agenda is driven by science and coordinated with farmers to address both long-term and immediate critical climate challenges.
  • Create a “Rural Climate Alliance Network” to strategically align agricultural climate research, data systems, and technology transfer by coordinating a network of public and private agriculture research entities, technical assistance providers, and other existing federal and non-federal agriculture climate research related networks.
  • Evaluate ongoing areas of agriculture climate research and data needs by requiring a report to Congress to measure the effectiveness of the Rural Climate Alliance Network, examine how new agriculture research and technology is reaching all facets of the agricultural system, and provide oversight of agriculture climate research programs and initiatives of the Department.

The Improving Coordination of Agriculture Research and Data Act is supported by The Breakthrough Institute, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America

Read the full text of the bill, here.


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