Here in Ohio, agriculture isn't just a business -- it's a way of life. More than one out of every seven jobs in Ohio is tied to the agricultural sector. Ohio farmers put food on our tables, grow feed for animals, and fill the tanks of vehicles across the nation. Simply put, our nation's prosperity, economic competitiveness, and energy independence depend on the strength of Ohio's agricultural sector.

Central to a strong and vibrant agricultural sector -- and keeping Ohio competitive -- is investing in agricultural research.

The strength of Ohio agriculture today is rooted in science. Advances in plant pathology, soil science, infectious diseases, engineering and water have transformed agriculture from the all-consuming occupation of nearly 40 percent of the American labor force in 1900 to a sophisticated industry as reliant on science, technology and innovation as any other. These advances -- many of which we take for granted -- are the result of investments made in agricultural research.

As we face constraints on natural resources, a rapidly growing global population, new diseases, and public health challenges, maintaining our support for agricultural research is as important today as it was almost 150 years ago when Congress created land grant universities, like the Ohio State University.

The work that happens at Ohio's research facilities -- from the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed in Coshocton and the Soil Drainage Research Unit in Columbus to the Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) right here in Wooster -- is invaluable.

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