Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is FedByScience?

    FedByScience is a collective communications initiative to raise the visibility of public investment in food and agricultural research. Participating universities are joining together to tell impactful and inspiring stories about food and agricultural research. FedByScience is directed by its Advisory Committee.

  • What is the goal?

    FedByScience’s goal is to secure increases in congressional appropriations for capacity, extension, and competitive funding through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), as well as additional funding for state-level research.

  • Why is agriculture important to the U.S. economy?

    Agriculture remains a pillar of the U.S. economy, accounting for nearly $1 trillion of our GDP, 1 in 10 jobs, and provides a significant contribution to our nation’s trade balance.

  • What is the return on investment for agricultural research and development (R&D) funding?

    This is an area of R&D where return on investment is estimated at 20 to 1. Underlying the hard work and success of our nation’s researchers and producers is a firm foundation of science and innovation.

  • How do the U.S. and China compare with funding agricultural research?

    The U.S. agricultural research budget has declined in real dollars since 2003. The U.S. has been second to China in total public agricultural research funding since 2008. In 2013, China’s spending on public agricultural R&D became nearly double that of the U.S.

  • How does this impact the next generation of researchers?

    On our campuses, we have witnessed promising, young scientists who do not enter or leave the field of agriculture because of lack of funding. The U.S. must revitalize its research efforts to attract a new generation of researchers and take full advantage of the transformation underway in science more broadly.

  • What is at stake?

    Today’s challenges include the emergence of devastating new plant and animal pathogens, reduced water quantity and quality, unacceptably high outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, and increased diet-related, chronic diseases. Fortunately, these and other challenges can be addressed through expanded research.

  • What is SoAR’s role?

    The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation coordinates FedByScience. For more information or to join, please contact Andrea Putman, aputman@supportagresearch.org or 571-257-7625.