The Wenatchee Valley’s congressional representative, 8th District Congresswoman Kim Schrier, announced that her fix for access to critical agricultural research grants has been signed into law and implemented by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Schrier says bill was an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill that passed. She says without it, Washington growers would have missed out on upcoming grant opportunities.
Known as the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), the new law funds research that supports over 300 crops in Washington state. Past funding for Washington has included projects to fight fungicide resistance in wine grapes, precision irrigation for fruit growers and pest prevention in onions.
“Agriculture is one of the main drivers of our state’s economy and research is vital for farmers and growers to keep up with the changing economy and climate,” said Rep. Schrier. “This issue was brought to my attention earlier this year by the agriculture community in my district. Without a solution, Washington State University and many other institutions who have participated in SCRI would be unable to meet the newly-imposed matching requirements.”
“Dr. Schrier has worked very hard to make sure specialty crop researchers have access to the resources they need,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN-07). “This announcement should provide clarity and certainty to researchers and I’m glad to see her efforts producing results for this year’s grant recipients.”
Schrier continued, “We have unique and exciting projects happening in Washington state that would not have gotten off the ground without this fix. Our farmers and our country depend on this research. I’m very happy that we got this done for Washington farmers.”
Rep. Schrier expects that the 2020 application process will continue as planned since NIFA will be waiving the match requirement for recipients of grants under SCRI.