Resilient Economic Agricultural Practices (REAP)
Frequently Asked Questions
The world population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, requiring 40% more production of plant and animal protein from our limited arable lands that must also produce fiber, biofuels, and provide wildlife habitat. Agriculture must address these complex multiple land uses without compromising soil health, water, or air resources. This requires sustained long term research (~10 years) on land management practices across the varied U.S. landscape. Multiple-year assessment is necessary to demonstrate consistently detectable soil health changes in response to land management decisions. Currently, six years of research has been accumulated by scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and their land grant university partners at locations in 13 states (IA, MN, NE, SD, ND, IL, IN, WI, PA, SC, AL, MD, CO). A Department of Energy Sun Grant provided much of this support, but in 2013, congressional authorization for the Sun Grant program expired, putting the continuation of these ongoing programs at risk roughly half way through their needed lifecycle. Thus, at the request of USDA an alternative funding mechanism is being established by the ATIP Foundation. This will ensure uninterrupted continuation of this important research to sustain data development, collection and development of guidelines and tools needed to assess long-term effects of food, animal feed, fiber, and biofuels production on soil health.
The ATIP Foundation, LLC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity with its corporate office in Arlington, Texas and member offices in seven additional states. It is governed by its members comprised of technology based economic development entities serving as formal technology transfer facilitators with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Current members include the California Association for Local Economic Development; the Center for Innovation at Arlington, LLC (Texas); the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) in Toledo, Ohio; the Georgia Research Alliance, Inc.; Innovate Mississippi; the Kansas Bioscience Authority; Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO); and the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium. The Foundation engages with the USDA to promote public good through USDA’s 7-member Liaison Committee consisting of the four Deputy Administrators of ARS National Programs, the Assistant Administrator for Technology Transfer, a representative of the eight ARS Area Directors, and the USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.
The increased demand for food and water will challenge our agricultural R&D infrastructure at a time when federal resources are diminishing. The REAP PPP initiative is being established by the ATIP Foundation as a new model for ensuring that economic prosperity is sustainable through a U.S. agriculture sector that is globally competitive. The initiative will capitalize on federal scientific research on soil health through cost sharing with private sector firms and organizations that have an interest in continuation of this research. Funds raised for the initiative will be provided to supplement and support the research activities of ARS with its university partners in accordance with the Statement of Work approved by ARS and the ATIP Foundation; 10% (overhead) will be retained by the Foundation to administer the PPP.
In 2013, several organizations participated in the exploratory meetings on “formation of a REAP / soil health sustainability PPP.” They committed to the initiative with donations providing partial support for the research projects and thereby became “founders” of this inaugural public-private partnership. Seven founders, in alphabetical order, are Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, National Corn Growers Association, New Holland, POET-DSM, and The Nature Conservancy. The inaugural meeting of Founders of the REAP PPP was convened on November 3, 2013 in Tampa, Florida, and again in Washington, D.C., on January 31, 2014 with the leadership of USDA, ARS, and the Liaison Committee. Subsequently, these parties have identified several additional potential participants of this initiative, and the Foundation is extending invitations and informational packets to them in a broader outreach campaign. If you would like to consider participating in this initiative, contact the Foundation for a REAP PPP package.
Active participation is contingent on a fiscal contribution, preferably for multiple years because research necessarily must span a minimum of 4 years. The Foundation encourages contributions that are commensurate with the company’s or organization’s stake in the economic and multi-use land management arenas that this important research serves. See the donation guidelines below. Interested parties should contact the Foundation concerning the utilization of a “Restricted Gift Memorandum of Understanding” to initiate participation.
The ATIP Foundation acknowledges the donors on the Foundation website pages for the REAP PPP, verifying the commitment of corporations and organizations that support this critical long term research. Also, donors participating at or above a minimal level are invited to serve on the Technical Review Council (TRC) to review USDA’s comprehensive Statement of Work on the REAP research. The TRC makes recommendations to USDA through the ATIP Foundation as to the scope and prioritization of research activities and delivery of practical research outcomes supported by the donors in the partnership. All donors receive periodic newsletters providing the most recent research findings applicable to sustainability of soil health for production of feed, food, fiber, biofuels, and wildlife management.
The following is offered as a guide to suggested donations. The pyramid is shaped in proportion to the relative number of donors sought per category. Note that top level donors are invited to serve in an advisory capacity to the Foundation on all current and future initiatives.
Founders of REAP PPP: are invited to serve on the Steering Committee; propose additional participants for the Technical Review Council, and are designated as Founders on ATIP Foundation webpage.
- $250K or higher: Invitation to serve on the Executive Advisory Council that broadly advises the Foundation on all its activities. In particular, the Foundation expects to establish separate councils for each of the 4 “pillars” of ARS research (Plant Production and Protection; Animal Production and Protection; Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture Systems; Nutrition, Food Quality and Safety). Donors help shape PPP initiatives and provide guidance to ARS / USDA, through ATIP, and propose Foundation Forums / Showcases and other events.
- $100K: invitation to serve on Technical Review Council, invitation to review draft research reports (semi-annual) and newsletters, assist in planning forums / showcases.
- $50K: Receives research reports and newsletters that will be posted to ATIP Foundation website after final review and clearance. Invited to attend a public annual REAP event in D.C. sponsored by ATIP Foundation at USDA with USDA and Congressional participants.
- $10K: receives newsletters, participate in forums/showcases, and other events. Invited to attend a public annual REAP event in D.C. sponsored by ATIP Foundation at USDA with USDA and Congressional participants.