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Title of Law:Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998
Law #:Public Law 105-185
Passed by Congress:105th Congress (2nd Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain NRC studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

S1150 Lugar (R-IN) 06/04/98
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

To ensure that federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education address high-priority concerns with national or multistate significance, to reform, extend, and eliminate certain agricultural research programs, and for other purposes.
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SUBTITLE D--FOOD, AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION, AND TRADE ACT OF 1990 SEC. 241. AGRICULTURAL GENOME INITIATIVE.

Section 1671 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5924) is amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 1671. AGRICULTURAL GENOME INITIATIVE.

"(a) GOALS.--The goals of this section are--

"(1) to expand the knowledge of public and private sector entities and persons concerning genomes for species of importance to the food and agriculture sectors in order to maximize the return on the investment in genomics of agriculturally important species;

"(2) to focus on the species that will yield scientifically important results that will enhance the usefulness of many agriculturally important species;

"(3) to build on genomic research, such as the Human Genome Initiative and the Arabidopsis Genome Project, to understand gene structure and function that is expected to have considerable payoffs in agriculturally important species;

"(4) to develop improved bioinformatics to enhance both sequence or structure determination and analysis of the biological function of genes and gene products;

"(5) to encourage Federal Government participants to maximize the utility of public and private partnerships for agricultural genome research;

"(6) to allow resources developed under this section, including data, software, germplasm, and other biological materials, to be openly accessible to all persons, subject to any confidentiality requirements imposed by law; and

"(7) to encourage international partnerships with each partner country responsible for financing its own strategy for agricultural genome research.

"(b) DUTIES OF SECRETARY.--The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this section as the `Secretary') shall conduct a research initiative (to be known as the `Agricultural Genome Initiative') for the purpose of--

"(1) studying and mapping agriculturally significant genes to achieve sustainable and secure agricultural production;

"(2) ensuring that current gaps in existing agricultural genetics knowledge are filled;

"(3) identifying and developing a functional understanding of genes responsible for economically important traits in agriculturally important species, including emerging plant and animal diseases causing economic hardship;

"(4) ensuring future genetic improvement of agriculturally important species;

"(5) supporting preservation of diverse germplasm;

"(6) ensuring preservation of biodiversity to maintain access to genes that may be of importance in the future; and

"(7) otherwise carrying out this section.

"(c) GRANTS AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS.--

"(1) AUTHORITY.--The Secretary may make grants or enter into cooperative agreements with individuals and organizations in accordance with section 1472 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3318).

"(2) COMPETITIVE BASIS.--A grant or cooperative agreement under this subsection shall be made or entered into on a competitive basis.

"(d) ADMINISTRATION.--Paragraphs (1), (6), (7), and (11) of subsection (b) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 450i) shall apply with respect to the making of a grant or cooperative agreement under this section.

"(e) MATCHING OF FUNDS.--

"(1) GENERAL REQUIREMENT.--If a grant or cooperative agreement under this section provides a particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, the Secretary shall require the recipient to provide funds or in-kind support to match the amount of funds provided by the Secretary under the grant or cooperative agreement.

"(2) WAIVER.--The Secretary may waive the matching funds requirement of paragraph (1) with respect to a research project if the Secretary determines that--

"(A) the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or

"(B) the project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.

"(f) CONSULTATION WITH NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.--The Secretary may use funds made available under this section to consult with the National Academy of Sciences regarding the administration of the Agricultural Genome Initiative.".

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SEC. 632. STUDY OF FEDERALLY FUNDED AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND EDUCATION.

(a) STUDY.--Not later than January 1, 1999, the Secretary of Agriculture shall request the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of the role and mission of federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education.

(b) REQUIREMENTS.--The study shall--

(1) evaluate the strength of science conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the relevance of the science to national priorities;

(2) examine how the work of the Agricultural Research Service relates to the capacity of the agricultural research, extension, and education system of the United States;

(3) examine the appropriateness of the formulas for the allocation of funds under the Smith-Lever Act (7 U.S.C. 341 et seq.) and the Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.) with respect to current conditions of the agricultural economy and other factors of the various regions and States of the United States and develop recommendations to revise the formulas to more accurately reflect the current conditions; and

(4) examine the system of competitive grants for agricultural research, extension, and education.

(c) REPORTS.--The Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate--

(1) not later than 18 months after the commencement of the study, a report that describes the results of the study as it relates to paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b), including any appropriate recommendations; and

(2) not later than 3 years after the commencement of the study, a report that describes the results of the study as it relates to paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (b), including the recommendations developed under paragraph (3) of subsection (b) and other appropriate recommendations.

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*********************************************************************************************
HRpt 105-492 CONFERENCE REPORT To accompany S. 1150 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND EDUCATION REFORM ACT OF 1998
Conference Committee
(04/22/98)

Special Typefaces Key:
[[ ]] Text to be omitted // \\ Italic text
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######

//"SEC. 1671. AGRICULTURAL GENOME INITIATIVE.\\

// "(a) GOALS.--The goals of this section are--\\

// "(1) to expand the knowledge of public and private sector entities and persons concerning genomes for species of importance to the food and agriculture sectors in order to maximize the return on the investment in genomics of agriculturally important species;\\

// "(2) to focus on the species that will yield scientifically important results that will enhance the usefulness of many agriculturally important species;\\

// "(3) to build on genomic research, such as the Human Genome Initiative and the Arabidopsis Genome Project, to understand gene structure and function that is expected to have considerable payoffs in agriculturally important species;\\

// "(4) to develop improved bioinformatics to enhance both sequence or structure determination and analysis of the biological function of genes and gene products;\\

// "(5) to encourage Federal Government participants to maximize the utility of public and private partnerships for agricultural

genome research;\\

// "(6) to allow resources developed under this section, including data, software, germplasm, and other biological materials, to be openly accessible to all persons, subject to any confidentiality requirements imposed by law; and\\

// "(7) to encourage international partnerships with each partner country responsible for financing its own strategy for agricultural genome research.\\

// "(b) DUTIES OF SECRETARY.--The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this section as the `Secretary') shall conduct a research initiative (to be known as the `Agricultural Genome Initiative') for the purpose of--\\

// "(1) studying and mapping agriculturally significant genes to achieve sustainable and secure agricultural production;\\

// "(2) ensuring that current gaps in existing agricultural genetics knowledge are filled;\\

// "(3) identifying and developing a functional understanding of genes responsible for economically important traits in agriculturally important species, including emerging plant and animal diseases causing economic hardship;\\

// "(4) ensuring future genetic improvement of agriculturally important species;\\

// "(5) supporting preservation of diverse germplasm;\\

// "(6) ensuring preservation of biodiversity to maintain access to genes that may be of importance in the future; and\\

// "(7) otherwise carrying out this section.\\

// "(c) GRANTS AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS.--\\

// "(1) AUTHORITY.--The Secretary may make grants or enter into cooperative agreements with individuals and organizations in accordance with section 1472 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3318).\\

// "(2) COMPETITIVE BASIS.--A grant or cooperative agreement under this subsection shall be made or entered into on a competitive basis.\\

// "(d) ADMINISTRATION.--Paragraphs (1), (6), (7), and (11) of subsection (b) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research

Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 450i) shall apply with respect to the making of a

grant or cooperative agreement under this section.\\

// "(e) MATCHING OF FUNDS.--\\

// "(1) GENERAL REQUIREMENT.--If a grant or cooperative agreement under this section provides a particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, the Secretary shall require the recipient to provide funds or in-kind support to match the amount of funds provided by the Secretary under the grant or cooperative agreement.\\

// "(2) WAIVER.--The Secretary may waive the matching funds requirement of paragraph (1) with respect to a research project if the Secretary determines that--\\

// "(A) the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or\\

// "(B) the project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.\\

// "(f) CONSULTATION WITH NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.--The Secretary may use funds made available under this section to consult with the National Academy of Sciences regarding the administration of the Agricultural Genome Initiative.".\\

######

//SEC. 632. STUDY OF FEDERALLY FUNDED AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND EDUCATION.\\

// (a) STUDY.--Not later than January 1, 1999, the Secretary of Agriculture shall request the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of the role and mission of federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education.\\

// (b) REQUIREMENTS.--The study shall--\\

// (1) evaluate the strength of science conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the relevance of the science to national priorities;\\

// (2) examine how the work of the Agricultural Research Service relates to the capacity of the agricultural research, extension, and education system of the United States;\\

// (3) examine the appropriateness of the formulas for the allocation of funds under the Smith-Lever Act (7 U.S.C. 341 et seq.) and the Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.) with respect to current conditions of the agricultural economy and other factors of the various regions and States of the United States and develop recommendations to revise the formulas to more accurately reflect the current conditions; and\\

// (4) examine the system of competitive grants for agricultural research, extension, and education.\\

// (c) REPORTS.--The Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry of the Senate--\\

// (1) not later than 18 months after the commencement of the study, a report that describes the results of the study as it relates to paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b), including any appropriate recommendations; and\\

// (2) not later than 3 years after the commencement of the study, a report that describes the results of the study as it relates to paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (b), including the recommendations developed under paragraph (3) of subsection (b) and other appropriate recommendations.\\

######

(16) NATIONAL FOOD GENOME STRATEGY

The Senate bill amends section 1671 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize the Secretary to establish a National Food Genome Strategy for agriculturally important plants, animals, and microbes. Subsection (a) establishes the purposes of the section. This section also provides that USDA is to be the lead federal agency for the Plant Genome Initiative unless funding provided through USDA for the Plant Genome Initiative is substantially less than funding provided through another Federal agency, in which case the other Federal agency would be the lead agency as determined by the President. Subsection (b) requires the Secretary of Agriculture develop and carry out a National Food Genome Strategy on the development and dissemination of information regarding the genetics of agriculturally important plants, animals, and microbes. Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements with individuals and organizations in accordance with section 1472 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to carryout the purposes of this section. This subsection also requires that grants made under this subsection be awarded on a competitive basis. Subsection (d) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to issue necessary regulations. The Senate bill authorizes the Secretary to consult with the National Academy of Sciences regarding the National Food Genome Strategy. The Senate bill authorizes the Secretary to include in contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements an allowance for indirect costs in the same manner such costs are allowed under contracts, grants and cooperative agreements by the National Science Foundation. (Section 212)

The House amendment amends the heading of Section 1671 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to "Agricultural Genome Initiative." The Secretary shall conduct research for the purposes of supporting basic and applied research and technology, studying and mapping agriculturally significant genes, ensuring that current gaps in existing agricultural genetics knowledge are filled, and preserving diverse germplasm and biodiversity.

Grants made under the House amendment would be awarded on a competitive basis, and no funds awarded under this section may be used to fund construction. In the House amendment, a one-to-one match or in-kind support is required for any grant which is to benefit a specific commodity but the Secretary may waive the matching requirement with respect to an individual project if (1) the Secretary determines the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally or (2) the project involves a minor commodity, deals with scientifically important research, and the grant recipient would be unable to satisfy the matching requirement.

The House amendment authorizes the necessary funds to be appropriated for each of the 1998 through 2002 fiscal years to carry out the purposes of the revised section. (Section 232)

The conference substitute adopts the House provision with amendments to modify the goals, to prescribe duties of the Secretary, to provide authority for cooperative agreements which would be subject to matching requirements, to require grants or cooperative agreements to be made on a competitive basis, to allow consultation with the National Academy of Sciences and to strike the authorization of appropriations. (Section 241)

In establishing the Agricultural Genome Initiative, it is the intent of the Managers that USDA would continue to be the lead federal agency for agricultural genomic research.

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(41) STUDY OF FEDERALLY FUNDED AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND EDUCATION

The Senate bill directs the Secretary to request the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of the role and mission of federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education. The study will include an evaluation of the strength of science conducted by the ARS and the relevance of that science to national priorities; and examination of the formulas for agricultural research and extension funding and examination of the competitive grant system. A report of the study is to be submitted to Congress in two stages beginning eighteen months after the commencement of the Study and concluding within 3 years of the commencement. (Section 242)

The House amendment has no comparable provision.

The conference substitute adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to revise study requirements. (Section 632)

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