BAC Call to Action

112th Congress, No. 8 —August 9, 2011


Senate Contacts Needed Before August 31


We are at a very critical juncture in the FY 2012 appropriations cycle and once again need the active assistance of all land-grant institutions. While Congress is on its summer break, we need you to visit with your U.S. Senators and their staff assistants and ask them to reject the cuts to food and agriculture research, extension, and teaching proposed by the House in H.R. 2112.



On June 16, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 2112, the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The House-passed bill would reduce funding for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) by $203 million (16.7%) compared to FY 2011. [A spreadsheet detailing the House cuts can be found here:]


The House action occurred before the recent debt ceiling/budget fight played out and the disappointing House results are due primarily to the relative paltry spending ceiling (302(b) allocation) received by the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Now that the House and Senate have agreed upon an overall budget for FY 2012, the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee may have an increased 302(b) allocation. We need to convince members of the Senate to use some of that increased allocation to restore the NIFA cuts.


Call to Action

Following your institution’s congressional contact procedures, please talk directly to your two senators and convey the following messages:

1.    Thank you for your continuing support of the land-grant system and its integrated mission of research, extension, and higher education. Your support remains particularly important and relevant as the land-grant system proudly celebrates its sesquicentennial in 2012.

2.    Now that the debt ceiling and budget agreement has been enacted, additional funding is available to support critical programs, such as those at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) which underwrite land-grant discovery, outreach, and learning.

3.    The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to markup its FY 2012 spending bills soon after Congress returns from its summer break. The Agriculture bill is likely to be one of the first considered.

4.    Senator, we urge you to once again contact Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Herb Kohl and Ranking Member Roy Blunt and ask them to support the land-grant system’s core priorities as articulated in the attached one pager. (We have attached a draft letter for your consideration.)

5.    While we understand that even the very small increases we seek may be difficult to achieve in this budgetary climate, at a minimum the cuts to our core NIFA priorities made by the House in its version of the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill must be restored.

6.    We have prepared an impact statement that details how our university’s research and extension programs will be harmed if the House cuts are not restored.  That impact statement is attached.

7.    Thank you for your continued support of our programs.



§  An impact statement template. (One for 1862s and one for 1890s.)

§  A spreadsheet to help you complete the impact statement. (1862s = Blue Tab;  1890s = Green Tab.)

§  An example (from Ohio State) of a completed impact statement.

§  The one-pager that outlines the BAC’s core priorities for FY 2012.

§  A draft letter that your senators can send to Senators Kohl and Blunt.


As always, we appreciate your willingness to make the congressional contacts that are critical to our mutual success. Although it is only August, this has already been a long, difficult, and stressful year for all of us. There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s not an on-coming train!) and we hope that this will be our final request for assistance in the FY 2012 budget/appropriations cycle.


Please make the request contact with your two senators before the end of the month and ask them to once again carry our message to the leadership of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.


If you have questions about the attached documents or other related matters, please contact Jim Richards (, Hunt Shipman (, or Fred Hutchison ( Please send a copy of your impact statement to Fred (who can help you with formatting if necessary).


Thanks again for your assistance.


Beverly Durgan, BAC Chair                          Frank Galey, BAC Advocacy Chair