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Senators: US must fix ag research maintenance backlog

August 14, 2021 GMT

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — Maine’s independent senator has joined a group of colleagues to push for the U.S. to help address a maintenance backlog at agriculture research facilities.

Sen. Angus King said the backlog is estimated to be at least $11.5 billion for universities and $1 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service facilities. He said he has helped introduce a bill that would create competitive grants to fund renovations at agriculture schools and direct funding to modernization of the federal facilities.

King said the maintenance backlog and need for modernization is apparent at University of Maine, which is a key institution in local agriculture research. He said his bill “will ensure that land-grant universities, like the University of Maine, can invest in their research facilities and give them added certainty and a smoother road ahead for their important work.”