Members have reintroduced legislation to establish a new type of charitable tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization meant to foster public-private partnerships within the agricultural research community including USDA research agencies, academia, private corporations and non-profit organizations. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act would establish the legal structure for “agricultural research organizations,” or AROs, a concept that builds on existing models for Congressionally-mandated foundations focused on medical research, natural resources and other priorities. The goal would be to increase funds going to agriculture research in a time of declining public funding but increasing food needs. The bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and in the Senate by Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). NAWG and many state wheat associations signed on to a letter voicing support for an identical bill last year. More information about the ARO concept can be found at http://nunes.house.gov/uploadedfiles/charitable_ag_research_act_2013.pdf.