McFarland speaks at conference advocating support for Land Grant partners
  • 02/23/2024

McFarland speaks at conference advocating support for Land Grant partners

Ashley McFarland, vice president and technical director of the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA), has been invited to speak on a panel at the 2024 Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET)/Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) Joint Washington Conference. This year’s theme is Investing in Capacity for Impact and Innovation and brings together CARET delegates and BAA members to engage in dynamic programming, hear from food and agriculture leaders from across the country, and go to Capitol Hill to deliver the ask of the BAA. Their work directly supports the mission of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU)


Land Grant institutions are a vital part of the public-private partnerships that support the community of barley research throughout the U.S. In fact, 10 of the 11 barley breeders in the U.S. that AMBA supports are based at a Land Grant university. Nonetheless, declining federal funding over the years has led to decreased staff capacity and insufficient facilities to support robust research programs. Industry, including the efforts of the National Barley Improvement Committee, continue to advocate for increased support of these institutions. 


McFarland will be featured on a panel during the Monday afternoon of the program intended to prepare the delegates for the Congressional visits the following day. The panel, titled “Leadership Capacity in Agricultural Pipelines: From Innovation to Implementation,” includes a diverse group of professionals that tie in the industry demand for a vibrant Land Grant system. McFarland will speak specifically to the importance of publicly funded barley research, opportunities for engagement with industry, and the need for infrastructure funding to attract best available talent. The messaging will serve as talking points for the delegates when they deliver their message on the Hill. Other notable speakers on the agenda include Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and USDA’s Chief Scientist; Dr. Manjit Misra, Director, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and several Congressional staffers representing the House and Senate agriculture committees.