Merkley, Wyden Announce Key Funding for Pendleton Agricultural Research Station

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the omnibus spending bill expected to pass the Senate and the U.S. House this week includes language that will help fund essential programs in Oregon, including the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center near Pendleton, which was at risk of devastating cuts. 

The Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, an Eastern Oregon-based research station of the federal Agricultural Research Service, conducts cutting-edge research on dryland cropping systems on the Columbia Plateau, which are used widely across Eastern Oregon.  

“Oregon’s economic success depends on agriculture,” said Merkley. “Supporting local agricultural research that can respond directly to the challenges and opportunities our farmers and ranchers face is essential to strengthening our economy. Funding the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center is good news for our farming and agricultural communities in Eastern Oregon and will help our nation meet the agricultural and economic demands of the 21st century.”

“I fought to make sure the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center’s groundbreaking agricultural research could keep going,” Wyden said. “I’m thrilled that this center will be able to continue its work on new, sustainable ways to feed our state and build on its work to revolutionize agricultural practices across the globe.”

Earlier this year, Senator Merkley, the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, worked to draft the bill that will fund the Agricultural Research Service, including the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, along with other aspects of rural development, food safety, and agricultural investments, for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16).