INTRODUCING THE UNITED STATES-ISRAEL AGRICULTURE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 91
(House of Representatives - May 25, 2017)

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INTRODUCING THE UNITED STATES-ISRAEL AGRICULTURE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP 
                                  ACT

  (Mr. SOTO asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. SOTO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the United States-
Israel Agriculture Strategic Partnership Act, H.R. 2659, a bipartisan 
bill that permanently authorizes the U.S.-Israel Binational 
Agricultural Research and Development program, otherwise known as BARD, 
which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
  I thank my co-introducer, Congressman Yoho, as well as you, Mr. 
Speaker, for being a cosponsor, and many others in the Florida 
delegation.
  I could wax ecstatic and poetic about BARD, but let me just say this: 
the program works. It inspires healthy competition of good ideas. It is 
beneficial to both countries and provides a fantastic return on 
investment; over $440 million worth of benefits for the United States 
and $300 million of benefits for Israel.
  BARD is focused on urgent goals like increasing agricultural 
productivity, particularly in hot and dry climates.
  BARD is training the next generation of innovators through ag science 
workshops and postdoctoral fellowships. It funds programs in over 25 
States, including our great State of Florida. It strengthens our 
relationship with our best ally in the Middle East: Israel.
  This is a forward-looking, commonsense, bipartisan bill supported by 
experts and advocates on both sides of the aisle.

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