Posted on November 22, 2004
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 Omnibus Conference Report, which the Senate passed late Saturday, includes over $50 million for agriculture projects in Tennessee. The conference report will now go to the President for his signature. "Agriculture is one of Tennessee's most vital industries and this funding will develop innovative ways to farm while maximizing resources and minimizing environmental damage," said Frist. "These research and education projects will also create jobs and ensure that Tennessee's farm economy remains vibrant and strong." "This bill funds important agriculture research and education programs in Tennessee," said Alexander. "I am proud of our farmers, and Senator Frist and I will continue to do all we can to support them they are a significant part of our state's rich history." The FY2005 Agriculture Appropriations Bill was passed as part of the FY2005 Omnibus Conference Report. Agriculture projects funded in Tennessee include: $1.75 million for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Tennessee State University in Nashville to support horticulture research at the joint Appalachian Horticulture Research unit of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. Research at the Appalachian Horticulture Research unit will help to develop resistant genes in dogwoods and other woody ornamentals and techniques to enable the rapid deployment of new cultivars for the marketplace. $680,000 for the University of Tennessee and the West Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station to support Cropping Systems Research. Funding will support efforts to improve crop value and protect water and soil resources in the Mississippi River watershed. Additional research is needed to help farmers optimize disease control while maintaining the best crop management practices to protect soil and water quality. $628,000 for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to support utilization horticulture research. The University of Tennessee's Institute of Agriculture is one of 10 centers nationwide that takes part in the wood utilization research program. The program supports the research and development of engineered wood products including composites, strand-oriented materials and other value-added products that are important to Tennessee's forestry industry. $47.5 million to support the nationwide Boll Weevil Eradication Program, of which Tennessee will receive a portion of the funding. In Tennessee, the program is a cooperative effort of the Southeastern Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, the Tennessee Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, and federal and state agriculture officials. Boll weevils cost farmers and the U.S. cotton industry millions each year.