The President’s proposed FY19 budget came out recently. As expected, there are proposed ARS lab closings that include Morris and Brookings, SD as well as 18 others.
What can you do? Send a letter of support to members of congress for the continued operation of the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris or for the continued need for long term agriculture research. Please do so before March 15 (deadline for member requests). Sue Dieter suggests you fax your letter “because mail won’t get there until sometime in April (I kid you not).” Calls and emails are also beneficial if you are not able to fax a letter. (When calling, be sure to ask for the staffer who deals with agriculture.)
Here are some talking points for you to use in support of the lab, when calling or writing:
The USDA -ARS North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory, or Soils Lab, has an annual budget of $2.8 million. There are approximately 18 FTE employees, which does not include student interns or other, non-federal employees.
The Soils Lab has been leading research on novel, year round cropping systems for the Upper Midwest to promote pollinator health, rejuvenate soil health, enhance water quality, prevent soil loss and stimulate rural economies. Their work provides independent and trustworthy research that enables farmers to increase productivity and profitability while simultaneously enhancing soil, water and Air quality.
The research being done at the Soils Lab greatly benefits society but is not and likely would not be done in the private sector.
As Congress deliberates Federal spending, we urge continued support of agriculture research in general and USDA-ARS Specifically.
Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agriculture research now returns over $20 to our economy. *
*study available here https://medium.comusda-results/ch11-ad47897cba7#.ap1qc5xhp
Please fax, email or call to express your support:
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Fax: (202) 228-2186
Phone: (202) 224-3244
Senator Tina Smith
Fax: (202) 224-0044
Phone: (202) 224-5641
Congressman Collin Peterson
Fax: (202) 225-1593
Phone: (202) 225-2165
You can also send letters to ARS Administrator Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young (FAX (202) 720-5427 )
We suggest that you provide a copy to the beleaguered folks at the Soils Lab, as a show of support. Jane Johnson is the Acting Research Leader firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking action,
Your Indivisible Morris Team