June 19, 2009

CARDIN, MIKULSKI AND HOYER ANNOUNCE $17.4 MILLION IN RECOVERY FUNDING FOR BELTSVILLE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Funds Will Enhance Two Aging Research Facilities on the Campus

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) and U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is distributing $17.4 million in Recovery funds to make building repairs and system upgrades to the Agricultural Research Service Center and the National Agricultural Library, both located on the Beltsville, MD campus.   This funding will allow for needed improvements to the two facilities and will help to revitalize the economy by creating jobs.

 

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's  chief scientific research agency and is tasked with finding solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day, from field to table.  The National Agricultural Library will receive $7.4 million to replace plumbing systems and make needed repairs to the exterior of the building; the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center will receive $10 million to replace boilers, electrical and steam systems serving the Beltsville campus.

 

"The Beltsville Agricultural Research Service is the USDA's premier research facility and these funds will help ensure that we have the infrastructure in place that will allow our nation to stay on the cutting edge of research into food safety and nutrition while also preserving our farm land," said Senator Cardin.  

 

"BARC's dedicated team of scientists is working hard every day to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect our farm economy and the health and nutrition of every American. This funding will help ensure they have modern, up-to-date facilities to carry out their important work, while creating new jobs and giving a boost to the economy," Senator Mikulski said.

 

"Prince George's County is fortunate to be home to two world-class agricultural research facilities - the National Agricultural Library and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center," said Congressman Hoyer.  "These Recovery Act dollars stand to give a shot in the arm to our local economy, while improving the working conditions of the scientists and researchers leading our nation in protecting our food supply, enhancing farming techniques, and perfecting our understanding of the nutritional value of what we eat."

 

Today's announcement by the USDA included funding for 36 projects around the country for a total cost of $176 million. Also included in the announcement was $9 million for the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will be used to repair heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, fix electrical and plumbing systems, mend roofs, and address other critical maintenance at ARS facilities.  All of the projects selected are at locations conducting research of the highest priority.