Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

AG RESEARCH SEES INCREASED SUPPORT

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A number of agriculture-related projects for Idaho were approved today by a Senate subcommittee. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies passed its fiscal year 2006 bill.

Idaho Senator Larry Craig, who serves on the Subcommittee, announced the support for several projects important to Idaho. He stated, “This bill is vital to our farmers to help them develop better crops and conserve and manage the land under their care. As consumers, Idahoans and all Americans benefit from improved food at the store and a healthier economy. Overall, this bill represents fiscally-responsible support for agriculture and our rural communities.”

While start-up projects are rare in this bill, the following new Idaho projects are included:

Billingsley Creek Aquaculture Facility Construction ($1 million) -- Facilities for spawning, incubation, and rearing of multiple families of rainbow trout at Billingsley Creek, part of the University of Idaho’s Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station. This is the first installment.

CSI Irrigation Pumps and Water Conservation ($250,000) – Surface-water irrigation for the College of Southern Idaho campus.

Barley for Rural Development ($735,000) – Partnership with Montana State University to develop specialty varieties of barley for use in human diet and animal feed.

A number of existing projects received ongoing or increased support, including: Aquaculture Research Initiatives; Aquaculture Growth, Development, and Nutrition; National Small Grains Germplasm Facility; Sugar Beet Research; Brucellosis Eradication; Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research; Tri-State Predator Control; Potato Breeding Research; Cool Season Food Legume Research; Potato Variety Development; Improving Safety and Shelf-life of Idaho Commodities; Nez Perce Bio-Control Weeds Program; Idaho One-Plan; Northwest Wood Utilization Research; Grass Seed Cropping Systems; Solutions to Economic and Environmental Problems (STEEP); Jointed Goatgrass Research; Canola Research; Regional Barley Genome Mapping; Grain Legume Research; Great Basin Rangeland Project; and Yellow Star Thistle Research.

As members of their respective Appropriations Committees, Senator Craig and Idaho Representative Mike Simpson cooperate to ensure federal spending is restrained, tax dollars are appropriately spent, and that high-priority Idaho projects are included. Passage of this bill by the Subcommittee marks the first, but most important, step in the Senate’s process. The differences between the House and Senate bills will be ironed out in a conference committee. The House passed its bill on June 8, 2005.

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