Sens. Biden and Carper Announce $450,000 in Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Funding

U.S. Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper (both D-Del.) today announced initial approval of $450,000 in federal funding to enhance and improve Delaware agricultural projects.
Funding for these state projects was included in the FY08 Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Appropriations bill, which was recently approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration before it is reconciled with a similar bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  Once the final Senate/House compromise bill is passed, Congress sends that final bill to the president for final approval.
“A strong and stable agricultural community has always meant a strong economy,” said Senator Biden. “It’s important that we continue to make our farms a high priority, especially in tough crop seasons like this one. For as long as I can remember, Delaware has been at the cutting edge of agricultural technology; this funding ensures that we will remain trend-setters in the future.”
“Providing countless jobs, agriculture has been a driving force behind Delaware’s economy since the founding of our First State.  This funding will help update current agriculture systems to make sure our farmers and researchers are equipped with the best technology to meet the agricultural challenges of the 21st century,” said Sen. Carper.  
A breakdown of the funding is as follows: 
  • $100,000 to the University of Delaware for Avian Influenza Preparedness, to upgrade Delmarva’s avian flu diagnostic and biocontainment facilities.  The funding will also start the process of combining the Delaware and Maryland laboratory information management systems for poultry diagnostics, by allowing secure Web access to the system from the state labs and from individually approved companies and units. 
  • $350,000 to the Delaware Department of Agriculture for an Irrigation System Program, to provide the Department of Agriculture with better, current irrigation systems.  The Delaware Department of Agriculture strongly supports the installation of the most technologically advanced irrigation systems both to improve agricultural viability and the environment.”