January 29, 2008

Federal Budget Bill Funds Agriculture Research

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The recently passed federal budget bill included millions of dollars for agriculture research for Cornell, both at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva and the University’s Ithaca campus, The Ithaca Journal reported
The majority of the funds will go to Geneva, with a $1.88 million grant for the Center for Grape Genetics Research to replace the current building and a $1.56 million Viticulture Consortium Special Research Grant. A total of $1.574 million will also be appropriated for research in grape genetics, rootstocks, and the apple fire blight disease.
In addition, the bill included about $3 million for research on campus, including: $743,000 for the Food Safety Research Consortium, $743,000 for livestock and dairy research and $660,000 for the National Beef Cattle Genetic Evaluation Consortium. The rest of the money will go to human nutrition research, environmental research and computational agriculture.
While the bill does provide millions of dollars in funding, however, it is far from the total amount needed to build the Center for Grape Genetics Research. According to Thomas Burr, director of the Experiment Station, about $20 million is still needed. He also noted that the $1.56 million special grant for viticulture consortium represents a 26 percent reduction in funding.
“We’re extremely thankful to our congressmen, Maurice Hinchey (D-22nd Dist.), Michael Arcuri (D-24th Dist.) and Jim Walsh (R-25th Dist.), who support agriculture in New York State and agriculture research. We still have quite a ways to go, but I’m very pleased we’re moving ahead,” said Burr.