Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Kaufman Applauds Inclusion of Funding for STEM Research in Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Bill includes $400,000 in research and extension grant funding for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields

October 26, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, President Obama signed legislation to provide $400,000 in research and extension grant funding for women and underrepresented minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields as part of the FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

Earlier this year, Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) organized a bipartisan group of 13 Senators to send a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture in support of funding to encourage women and minorities from rural areas to participate in STEM-related fields.

In the letter, the Senators noted that, “diversity is widely acknowledged as playing a critical role in spurring innovation and creativity in our economy” but “the unfortunate reality is that there is a well-documented shortage of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.”

In response to the bill signing, Sen. Kaufman said, “We can all agree that STEM education is critical to our future. The funding included in the Agriculture Appropriations bill will allow more women and underrepresented minorities – often underutilized in STEM fields – to help build a clean energy economy, stay competitive in a globalizing world, and drive the health and science research that will improve our quality of life.”

As the only serving U.S. Senator who has worked as an engineer, Sen. Kaufman has advocated for a renewed emphasis on science and innovation to meet the increasing challenges of a competitive global economy on numerous occasions.

In June, Sen. Kaufman introduced the STEM Education Coordination Act with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to coordinate federal STEM educational activities. The bill would help to ensure federal dollars are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible in this area, as well as foster a workforce “that can out-discover, out-think, out-innovate and out-produce our worldwide competition.”

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