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H.R. 5208 (115th): Seeds for the Future Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 7, 2018.

Seeds for the Future Act

This bill amends the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act to require the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that at least $50 million of USDA grant funding is used each year for competitive research grants that support the development of public cultivars.

A "cultivar" is a variety of plant that has been intentionally selected for use in cultivation because of its improved characteristics. A "public cultivar" is the commercially available uniform end product of a publicly funded breeding program that has been sufficiently tested to demonstrate improved characteristics and stable performance.

The bill also amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to establish a public cultivar research activities coordinator within USDA to coordinate research activities relating to the breeding of public cultivars.