Funding for ag research and rural development approved in appropriations bill
Washington, DC â??Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, supported Senate passage today on a vote of 81-18 of the Fiscal Year 2006 Agriculture Appropriations conference report. The funding measure contains projects endorsed by Crapo that will benefit Idaho farmers and communities. The agriculture spending measure dedicates substantial resources to agriculture, rural development and conservation projects important to Idaho communities. A highlight in this bill is the inclusion of Idaho in the School Fruit and Vegetable Program, which places domestically-grown fruits and vegetables in schools to help teach students about healthy eating choices and diet-related chronic diseases, while benefiting Idaho farmers who supply those domestically-grown snacks. â??Agriculture is vital to the economy and well-being of Idaho,â?? Crapo said. â??Iâ??m pleased Congress was able to put forth an agriculture funding package that provides benefits for Idahoâ??s producer and consumers. Idahoâ??s inclusion in the Fruit and Veggie Schools program will be a win for both Idaho farmers and children in helping promote healthy eating and life choices while providing benefits for producers. The research initiatives provided for in this bill will also bring great long-term developments to Idaho agriculture.â?? The legislation includes funding for Idaho projects including:â?¢Tri-State Predator Program for livestock protectionâ?¢Billingsley Creek Aquaculture facility constructionâ?¢Inland-Northwest Forest Products Research Consortium Wood Utilization projectâ?¢College of Southern Idaho pump and water conservation projectâ?¢Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committeeâ??s work to eliminate brucellosis from wildlife in the Yellowstone areaâ?¢Nez Perce Bio-Control Centerâ??s weed control programâ?¢Improving the Safety and Shelf-life of Idaho Commodities projectâ?¢Solutions to Economic and Environmental Problems (STEEP) programThe measure also includes funding for various ongoing potato, sugarbeet, pulse crop, small fruit, viticulture, barley, canola, grass seed, grain and aquaculture research projects. The House passed the Agriculture Appropriations conference report on October 28th. The legislation now goes to the President for final signature.FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.