Funding for agricultural research projects included in the omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed by President Bush in January, could help Alabama farmers find new ways to treat costly diseases, expand marketing opportunities for some crops and explore high-tech management practices for others.Alabama Farmers Federation National Affairs Director Keith Gray said the bill included more than $5 million for agricultural research at Alabama facilities.”Last year, the Federation’s producer-elected commodity committees set research priorities, and we’ve been working with our congressional delegation to secure funding for projects which will help Alabama farmers become more profitable,” Gray said. “Our senators and congressmen deserve credit for ensuring that Alabama’s thriving agricultural industry received the research funding it needs to remain competitive.”U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said, “I’m pleased to announce funding for many important projects in Alabama. These funds will improve the quality of life for the residents in these communities.”As part of the appropriations bill, Congress agreed to postpone implementation of the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law for two years. Some commodity groups had argued the law excluded certain foods as well as restaurants and food service businesses. The mandatory labeling requirements were set to go into effect Sept. 30.
Alabama Receives Agricultural Research Funding