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Government Relations

AAEA Comments on the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research Draft Priorities

The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) and the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) commented on the initial efforts of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) in identifying priorities for research. The work of the Foundation, which is focused on catalyzing innovation to solve pressing challenges in food and agriculture, is critical in realizing the public and private advancements needed to overcome societal challenges as well as the interdisciplinary synergies that enhance basic and applied research. Please see the comments here. Members of AAEA Government Relations Committee and the C-FARE Board of Directors will meet with FFAR on late September during the Government Relations portion of the C-FARE Board Meeting.

NAAEA Annual Meeting – 2015 Congressional Visits Day

The Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE) government relations programs aims to connect experts who are conduits of objective, reliable, and timely information about research in food, agricultural, and resource economics with decision makers, policymakers, and funders of the science. The Agricultural and Applied Economics Congressional Visits Day (CVD) is a one-and-a-half-day biennial event that brings agricultural and applied economics professionals to Washington, DC. During the visits, the group will raise awareness about the importance of agricultural and applied economics analysis, research, and related statistical resources.

Discussions that take place in DC at CVD highlight the role of agricultural economics in the U.S. agricultural, food, and resource research “solution supply chains”. Such exchange of information can also aid in increasing the quality of discourse and efficiency of decision-making related to national and international economic policy and research priority setting. During the CVD, the members of the profession will have the opportunity to meet with their Members of Congress or congressional staff to describe the work taking place in their departments or research portfolio. The effort is a relationship-building exercise that will help connect the policymaker to the on-the-ground economic research. The intramural research and federal statistical resources which members of the profession use to undertake research will also be discussed.

The "solution supply chain" is reference from the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation's University Leader Report on Pursuing a Unified Message. The report can be found here.

Photos of members of the agricultural and applied economic community and Members of Congress (2013-2015).

Budget and Appropriations Update

As of today there are 14 days left until the end of fiscal 2015. Next week Congress is not in session due to observance of Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish near year. Also next week on September 22-24 the Pope will visit DC, meeting with the President and addressing the U.S. Congress. These activities and the ongoing debate about the Iran nuclear deal as well as the pressure of the impending debt ceiling all point toward a continuing resolution come the end of September. Yet, the passage of a resolution is not as straightforward as one would think—the potential breaking point: Planned Parenthood.

The playing field is complicated with members of the House encouraging passage of a short-term stopgap bill that includes significant reductions in Planned Parenthood funding, something that the Democrats have said they would not accept under any circumstances. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has stated that he will back a ‘clean’ plan to fund the government into December. In a recent Politico article, he stated that any efforts to defund Planned Parenthood without a Republican President were futile.

The length of the needed continuing resolution is unknown. Since the Treasury estimates that the United States will hit the debt ceiling in October, it is likely that any stopgap measure will extend beyond late October. Continuing resolutions can last only a few days, weeks, months, or even the entire fiscal year. If Congress cannot reach a deal to extend funding, the government will shut down. Since 1977, when the modern congressional budget process was adopted, there have been 18 government shutdowns. In October, 2013, a 16-day shutdown impacted many government programs and resources important to the profession.

Funding Opportunities

Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research (CSTAR) Program
Closing Date: Oct 30, 2015

The CSTAR Program represents an NOAA/NWS effort to create a cost-effective transition from basic and applied research to operations and services through collaborative research between operational forecasters and academic institutions. These activities will engage researchers and students in applied research of interest to the operational meteorological community and will improve the accuracy of forecasts and warnings of environmental hazards by applying scientific knowledge and information to operational products and services.

Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE)
Letter of Intent Deadline: October 5, 2015, Full Proposal Deadline: November 3, 2015

The goals of the ADVANCE program are (1) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers; (2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity in the STEM academic workforce; and (3) to contribute to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce. ADVANCE also has as its goal to contribute to and inform the general knowledge base on gender equity in the academic STEM disciplines. The Institutional Transformation (IT) track is meant to produce large-scale comprehensive change and serve as a locus for research on gender equity and institutional transformation for academic STEM. The Institutional Transformation Catalyst (IT Catalyst) track is meant either to conduct self-assessment or to implement unique strategies – either adapted from those found effective in the IT track or ones designed to be responsive to the unique environments of eligible institutions – and evaluate their effectiveness.