Please Help Us Protect the Uniform Bread Wheat trials

I received an email from Dr David Marshall, USDA-ARS lead researcher for the Uniform Bread Wheat Trials (the variety trials that are breeding for regionally-adapted bread wheats) the other day. The email basically said that if the Chaffetz Amendment (info below) were to be passed and enacted, that this would result in effectively eliminating the USDA-ARS.
The North Carolina Bread Flour Project was launched because of Dr Marshall's work. Bread (hard) wheat is a promising crop for Carolina growers and bakers. It is relatively easy to grow, is a good winter rotation crop, and it commands a higher price than soft wheat. Carolina Ground, L3C and Riverbend Malthouse are both launching this September, working with Carolina growers of organic bread wheat, rye, and barley (the Uniform Bread Wheat Trials also includes barley and rye). Variety selection is key for growers and the ability to access regionally adapted varieties is thanks to the work of the USDA-ARS.
We have seen consumer demand for local continue to grow despite the current recession. And we know that addressing our staple crops is a key piece in terms of sustainability and food security. The Chaffetz Amendment threatens to effectively do away with the Uniform Bread Wheat trials and the essential work that Dr Marshall and his staff are doing for our local foods economy. Please urge your representative to oppose the Chaffetz Amendment.

American Society of Agronomy | Crop Science Society of America | Soil Science Society of America
Science Policy - Action Alert
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Urge your Representative to Oppose the Chaffetz Amendment

WHAT: Call your Representative now and say: "As a constituent, I urge (your Representative ) to OPPOSE THE CHAFFETZ AMENDMENT (H.AMDT.428) to the House Fiscal Year 2012 agriculture spending bill, which cuts funding for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) by $650 million (the bill currently provides $993 million)." You can add that this amendment puts in jeopardy the ability of American agriculture to remain competitive; it will set back the innovation and development of new knowledge and technologies needed to ensure food security, sustainable renewable energy production, and adaptation to climate change.

HOW: Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Representative’s office. If you do not know who your Representative is, there is a zipcode look up at:
Note to Federal and University employees: check with your supervisor about any regulations concerning citizen advocacy prior to taking part in this action alert.

BACKGROUND: Funding for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is under attack. Specifically, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has introduced an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 agriculture appropriations bill which would slash funding for salaries and expenses of ARS by $650 million (the bill currently provides $993 million). If this draconian cut is passed, many ARS facilities could be closed and hundreds of ARS scientists may be let go. Decadal long studies will be lost, and the very ability of American agriculture to remain competitive will be in jeopardy. In addition, Rep. Chaffetz’s amendment would also cut funding for the Economic Research Service $43 million (the bill provides $70 million); reduce funding for the National Agricultural Statistics Service by $85 million (the bill provides $150 million); and reduce funding for Food For Peace Title II Grants by $1 billion (the total amount provided by the bill). Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.

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