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North Dakota Ag News Headlines
New legislation strengthens DOE and USDA collaboration for ag research
North Dakota Ag Connection - 11/16/2023

Senators John Hoeven and Ben Ray Luján introduced the Department of Energy and USDA Interagency Research Act, a bipartisan legislation aimed at enhancing agricultural research and development, including electric grid modernization, rural technology development, and environmental science.

The bill is designed to leverage the DOE National Lab system to support the USDA in addressing the diverse challenges facing agriculture, public land stewardship, and rural American economic opportunities. It also aims to boost U.S. competitiveness in agricultural research and development, particularly against global players like China and the EU, while building upon successful existing DOE-USDA initiatives.

“In North Dakota, our two biggest industries are energy and agriculture, and we’ve found innovative ways to connect these industries and create value-added opportunities for both our agriculture and energy producers,” said Senator Hoeven. “This legislation will help strengthen the research partnership between the Department of Energy and the U.S Department of Agriculture to expand the nexus between the two foundational industries of ag and energy.”

Senator Luján highlighted New Mexico's agricultural sector and the National Labs' importance for research. He proposed legislation to formalize a partnership to fully utilize National Labs to support USDA efforts and address challenges faced by farmers, ranchers, and producers.

Frank Lucas and Zoe Lofgren introduced H.R. 1713 in the U.S. House of Representatives, gaining bipartisan support and passing out of the House Science and Agriculture committees. This bill aims to enhance agricultural research and support rural development through strengthened interagency cooperation.

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