Incoming chairwoman Stabenow announces ag committee agenda
Incoming chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says the farm community needs help, while announcing her agenda for the beginning of the 117th Congress.
“From the ongoing pandemic to the devastating climate crisis – our farmers, families, and rural communities need help,” said incoming Chairwoman Stabenow in a news release. “My vision for the Committee revitalizes our food and farm economy to grow new opportunities in American agriculture and provide access to healthy food for American families.”
The Democratic Senator from Michigan says she will pursue an aggressive start to the new term to address the many challenges facing the country's food and agriculture system and promote policies that create jobs and economic opportunities for farmers, families, and rural communities.
Stabenow says the Committee will build on past bipartisan achievements to strengthen the diversity of American agriculture, support the millions of jobs at the root of the U.S.'s farm and food economy, protect our land and water, strengthen small towns and rural communities, and support families working hard to make ends meet.
Chairwoman Stabenow agenda includes:
Respond to COVID-19 to Address Hunger Crisis and Repair the Broken Food Supply Chain: The ongoing pandemic has caused a hunger crisis and created major disruptions across the nation’s food supply chain. As many as 50 million Americans are not able to feed themselves and their families. The Committee will prioritize improving access to food assistance to ensure that every family can put food on the table. The Committee will also proactively address disruptions across the supply chain that have created a ripple effect that has harmed farmers, food processors, and workers.
Address the Climate Crisis with Voluntary, Producer-led, Bipartisan Solutions: The climate crisis is already having a profound impact on the future of the planet, the economy, and the agriculture sector. While agriculture and forestry are uniquely affected by climate change, they are also an important part of the solution. The Committee will take aggressive action on legislation to help both farmers and foresters cut down their emissions and to create new sources of income from the adoption of practices that store more carbon in soil and trees. Many of these solutions have the added benefits of protecting land, water, and wildlife.
Fight Childhood Hunger with Stronger Child Nutrition Programs: The foundation of healthy families and a healthy future starts with our children, yet too many go hungry in our country. The Committee will pass a Child Nutrition bill that expands access to healthy meals during the school day and in the summer months, supports working families whose children need good nutrition at daycare, and strengthens critical nutrition assistance for moms and babies.
Create Jobs and Improve Quality of Life in Rural America: Small towns and rural communities have been ignored for too long. The Committee will work with the Biden Administration and prioritize investments to improve economic opportunities and quality of life in rural communities, including expanded high speed internet access, small business support, and rural clean energy jobs.
Fill Key Leadership Positions at U.S. Department of Agriculture and Related Agencies: As the Biden Administration gets to work, it is vital to quickly confirm qualified nominees so they can get to work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Farm Credit Administration, and Farmer Mac. The Committee will work on a bipartisan basis to confirm qualified nominees as quickly as possible to ensure farmers and families can count on a dependable level of service.
Lay the Groundwork for the Next Bipartisan Farm Bill: The next Farm Bill must provide the tools needed to rebuild our economy, create jobs, and grow the diversity of American agriculture. It is vital to continue strong investments to provide certainty for farmers, strengthen support for fruits and vegetables, expand local and regional food economies, protect land and water, preserve food access, and promote opportunity in small towns and rural communities. The Committee will take a hard look at what is working, what needs improvement, and hear feedback from farm and food advocates in Michigan and across the country.