Reps. Soto, Pocan Introduce “Seeds for the Future Act” for Sustainable American Agriculture

March 8, 2018
Press Release
H.R.5208 will increase support for and access to public seed breeding programs

Washington, D.C.  Today, U.S. Representatives Darren Soto (FL-09) and Mark Pocan (WI-02) introduced the Seeds for the Future Act, legislation that will put the power of the seed back into the hands of American farmers and land-grant institutions by reinvesting in our public seed breeding and research programs, and improving coordination across the federal agencies that support these activities.

“I am proud to work with Rep. Pocan and industry leaders to support farmers and seed breeders in our nation. In order for our seeds, and consequently our crops, to prosper and remain competitive in the 21st century global market, we must continue robust federal investment in agricultural research and innovation,” stated Rep. Darren Soto.

“Many American farmers struggle to access seeds that work best for their climate, geography, and purpose,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “We must take steps to help secure our diverse seed stocks for years to come and the Seeds for the Future Act will do so by increasing investment in the development of publicly available, farmer-ready varieties.”

“For farm businesses to stay viable in today’s economy, they need to be able to overcome a host of obstacles, including increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather patterns, invasive pests, and previously unseen crop diseases,” said Kanika Gandhi, Policy Specialist at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “Seeds that are bred with today’s diverse farming systems, climate and growing challenges in mind are critical to farmers’ ability to keep their businesses, and their soil, healthy and strong. NSAC thanks Representatives Pocan and Soto for supporting American farmers and seed breeders. We look forward to working with these and other leaders in Congress to include the provisions of the Seeds for the Future Act in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

The Seeds for the Future Act will ensure American farms can remain resilient and competitive by:

•Ensuring that federal investments are sufficient to support farmers and researchers in developing seeds that work for a diversity of farming systems and locations

•Prioritizing “farmer-ready” public cultivar development in federal grant programs

•Encouraging commitment to seed diversification and regional adaptation

•Increasing efficiency and improving coordination across federal agencies


Congressman Darren Soto represents Florida’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Osceola County, as well as parts of Orange and Polk counties. He serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees.