Cochran ‘hopeful’ that committee will advance ag research bill

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, is hopeful legislation to allow tax-exempt donations to advance agriculture research will be acted on during this Congress.

Cochran is a primary cosponsor of the Charitable Agricultural Research Act (S.1280), bipartisan legislation introduced by Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to amend the federal tax code to authorize the creation of new charitable, tax-exempt agricultural research organizations (AROs) dedicated to supporting breakthroughs in food and agriculture production. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

“This legislation would create opportunities to move agriculture research beyond industry-only or government-funded research by using the potential of our universities to improve American agriculture production and practices. I am hopeful that as the Finance Committee looks at tax-related legislation that this bipartisan measure will be considered,” said Cochran, who supported similar legislation in the 112th Congress.

Modeled after the medical research organization program, AROs would partner private entities and universities funded through by tax-exempt donations. The AROs would conduct agriculture research in conjunction with agricultural and land-grant colleges and universities, and complement existing public and private research into improving agriculture production and practices.

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