Research money small but vital part of farm bill

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News,Business,Congress,Agriculture,Farm Bill

DETROIT (AP) — President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Michigan State University to sign the sweeping farm bill underscores the legislation's importance to the East Lansing school and other research and agriculture-focused institutions.

The hundreds of millions of dollars pledged for such research is a relative drop in the bucket for the nearly $100 billion-a-year bill that mainly provides money for food stamps, farm subsidies and crop insurance. Yet scientists are relieved that the five-year bill Obama will sign Friday is becoming law after years of legislative wrangling.

One of the beneficiaries is Rufus Isaacs. He's a Michigan State entomologist who leads a team of scientists working to enhance bee pollination of crops.

His project, which received an $8.6 million government grant, would have been in jeopardy if the farm bill didn't pass.

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