May 25, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 91 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
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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[Page H4595] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] 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. ____________________