Senator Pat Roberts stated Friday that bipartisan legislation including his provision expanding access to G. I. Bill funds to veterans pursuing degrees in agriculture and natural resource sciences has passed the Senate. The legislation, introduced by Veterans Committee Chairman Senator Johnny Isakson was named in honor of Emporia, Kansas, native and Army veteran Harry W. Colmery.
Roberts stated, “We need to bolster our workforce with those trained in agriculture sciences and in natural resource sciences.The demand for these skill sets is there. If we can help our veterans study these sciences, they can be a part of this growing economy.”
The legislation provides makes update for reservists, Purple Heart recipients, veterans who face school closures while enrolled, and surviving family members. It also provides increased resources and authority for educational assistance to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics ( STEM ) programs, computer programming and career technical training.
Roberts requested the inclusion of the additional sciences following testimony before the Agriculture Committee by Dr. John Floros, Kansas State University’s Dean of Agriculture and Director of K-State Research and Extension. FLoros said: “We support initiatives to enhance the number of students selecting agriculture and related disciplines for their university training. We encourage the Committee to explore avenues to that the next Farm Bill can raise national awareness of and authorization to begin to tackle this challenge of worldwide food security. ”
Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.