Dressed casually in a sweater and jeans, Cowan toured Nourse Farms, which produces 20-million berry plants annually. The farm features a lab where plants are produced using modern tissue culture methods, which involves cloning. Cowan says funding for agricultural research and development could be in jeopardy if lawmakers do not come to an agreement on two issues: a solution to possible steep budget cuts through Sequestration, and funding for a new Farm Bill to replace the one set to expire later this year.
“These across-the-board cuts are not a good idea. Everyone says that, we’ve got to figure out a way to do something about that. But for farmers Like the Nourses and others and not just the farm industry, but who depend on federal resources for research and other causes, we need to be thinking about these folks.”
Cowan says he favors a balanced approach when it comes to settling the Sequestration dispute.
“It’s going to mean some spending cuts, but it doesn’t need to be across-the-board. It needs to be targeted and thoughtful. And obviously, revenue. We need to keep in mind that we need more revenue to do the things we want to do. If we do that in a very balanced way and have honest, adult conversations around it, we will get there.”
Cowan was appointed to the Senate by Governor Deval Patrick when John Kerry resigned to become U-S Secretary of State in last month. Cowan remains in office until after Kerry’s successor is elected on June 25th.