| December 30, 2013

Private agricultural research needed

Medical Research Organizations (MROs) have been harnessing the power of private philanthropy for human health since the mid 1950’s when Congress authorized their creation. Now, Oklahoma producers and agriculture experts are advocating a similar approach: the creation of Agricultural Research Organizations (AROs) to fund much-needed research that would benefit Oklahomans dramatically. A board member for Truth About Trade & Technology and a friend to OCPA, Oklahoma rancher Hope Pjesky, recently wrote an excellent piece for The Journal Record. Among other points, she notes:

Demographers estimate that farmers and ranchers like me must double their food production between now and the middle of the century, to keep pace with population growth as well as the demands of an emerging middle class in China, India, and elsewhere. We’ll also have to attend to environmental concerns, resource depletion, and volatile weather. That’s a tall order, requiring all the scientific ingenuity we can muster. The U.S. spends tens of billions on scientific research every year, but the amount that supports competitive agricultural research comes to less than $500 million. AROs would build food and agricultural research capacity in the U.S. by channeling private philanthropic dollars. AROs would be required to work with land-grant and agricultural colleges. Best of all, AROs would not require new government spending.

A critical part of this effort (also mentioned in the article) is the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, a true Oklahoma treasure. Not only does the foundation provide stellar research and service to support agricultural producers in our state and around the country, they are also an incredible success story on how private investment can improve lives through science, improve processes and practices that will help feed our growing population, and literally change the world.

I encourage you to read the full article here.

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