“Yes”, according to Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA), the current chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. “Taking a page” from the CATO Institute’s recent Handbooks on Policy, Chairman Kingston questioned the value of USDA’s publicly-funded agricultural research carried out by USDA and the land-grant universities at his subcommittee’s recent hearing on the FY2012 appropriations for agricultural research. USDA Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), Cathie Woteki, vigorously defended the research funded through programs under the REE mission area and stressed that most of these programs were precompetitive. Chairman Kingston has made it abundantly clear that agricultural research would not be spared in cuts to reduce the nation’s deficit. It is apparent that Chairman Kingston and a number of his colleagues in the House of Representatives do not see any value in agricultural research.
If you disagree, please contact Representative Kingston immediately and express your own thoughts about the role of publicly-funded agricultural research. Contact Representative Kingston in his House office here or in his role as Chairman of the House subcommittee by sending an email to the attention of the subcommittee staff director, Martin Delgado at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, take a moment to thank Undersecretary Woteki for her support by sending her an email at Catherine.Woteki@osec.usda.gov.
While a complete transcript is not available for this hearing, you can see the written statements submitted by the USDA witnesses here. Let me know if you made contact by adding a comment to the blog or by sending me an email.