Soy growers are urging Congress to extend the authorization for the Global Crop Diversity Trust in the upcoming Farm Bill. The American Soybean Association (ASA) and other ag and trade organizations sent a letter to Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, along with House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson last week, underscoring the vitality of the Trust.“Early U.S. support for the Trust has spurred other governments to contribute to the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide,” the groups state in the letter. “Since the early U.S. involvement, the Trust has garnered pledges of more than $450 million from developing as well as developed countries, the private sector, and charitable foundations. Rather than donate to the endowment, some countries have extended loans, financial support for particular projects, genebank partnerships and rescue operations and still others have paid for operational activities.”The groups wrote that while the Trust has made great strides in raising funds from other donors for its endowment, further assistance is needed.“By furthering its support of the Trust, the U.S. can demonstrate its commitment to long term investments that will ensure that farmers here and across the developing world will benefit from a full array of genetic diversity,” the letter states.The Crop Trust was established in 2004 to safeguard crop diversity, forever. It provides financial support for the key international genebanks that make the diversity of our most important food crops available. It also supports the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which currently holds more than 930,000 samples, originating from almost every country in the world. The Vault is located inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.Click here to read the entire letter.