We the undersigned organizations endorse The Seeds for the Future Act (H.R. 5208) introduced in Congress by Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Darren Soto (D-FL).
The Seeds for the Future Act will help to secure our diverse seed stocks for years to come by increasing investment in the development of publicly available, farmer-ready cultivars. In recent decades, public plant breeding programs and the number of classical plant breeders at universities has steadily declined. As a result, innovation and growth have slowed, and many of our nation’s farmers have struggled to access seeds that work best for their particular climate, geography, and operation type.
The legislation will increase funding for farmer-ready public cultivar development in federal grant programs, encourage seed diversification and regional adaptation, and increase efficiency and coordination across federal agencies.
With the evolution of consumer preferences and expansion of diversified farming systems, we need public seed breeding efforts that work to help farmers use seeds that are best suited for their region and cropping system. The 2018 Farm Bill should include public investment in research that supports a variety of crops and provides farmers with the highest-quality seeds. We applaud the sponsors of this legislation for honing in on the critical investments the 2018 Farm Bill needs to increase plant breeding research. We urge your strong support.