The horticulture industry generates one third of both all specialty crop revenue, yet it receives only 12% of federal funds earmarked for specialty crops from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and Specialty Crop Research Initiative. The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) recognizes this disparity and has set a new strategic research focus to bring federal funding levels more in line with the industry’s economic contributions.
HRI realized the industry lacked a unified, strategic vision of research needs to provide a roadmap for future priorities that can be used to better leverage federal funds while, at the same time, guide its own research funding decisions.
With these goals in mind, HRI set to work. The result was a professionally moderated, two-day stakeholder meeting, where attendees shared their collective understanding of industry challenges, trends, and opportunities. Delegates representing all segments of horticulture and regions of the country gathered for a face-to-face summit to listen, learn, and share their insights with each other. Participants were encouraged to expand their reach by engaging in conversations with their peers in advance of the meeting to widen their perspectives. During the summit, the moderator led the group through a series of discussions that culminated in a consensus on four, key research priorities.
Through these efforts, HRI identified research priorities to tackle the challenges, capitalize on the trends and opportunities, better direct research investments, and leverage federal funding.
What were the results of their efforts? Click here to learn more!