Davis Announces Agriculture Research and Workforce Grant Awarded to U of I
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) a $378,671 grant as part of their Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to provide hands-on educational experiences for research and to fill workforce gaps in the country’s food, agriculture, and related industries. Davis serves on the House Agricultural Committee, is co-chair of House Agriculture Research Caucus, and has been a strong advocate for AFRI funding.
“Ensuring we have the research and workforce necessary to further agriculture successes is not just important for Illinois, but for our national economy,” said Davis. “We need to fill these gaps in our workforce and the College of ACES at the University of Illinois is one of the best programs in the nation to help us do that. I’m proud to be a strong supporter of this program and ag research.”
“Agriculture is rapidly becoming a data-driven enterprise. We must immerse our agricultural scientists and educators of the future in both data sciences and agricultural sciences, with the skills and abilities to work seamlessly across those fields. That’s why Illinois is investing in digital agriculture. USDA support is vital to that effort,” said Dr. Germán Bollero, Associate Dean for Research, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
This year Davis helped secure a 5% increase in funding for the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) program from Fiscal Year 2018, and recently led a bipartisan letter signed by 111 of his colleagues advocating for robust funding for USDA-NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative in 2020 appropriations.