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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington

Agriculture

Washington’s First Congressional District has a thriving agriculture industry that plays a key role in our local economy. Our district has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the Pacific Northwest and more than 3,000 farms that grow a large variety of fruits, vegetables and seeds. We are also home to a number of dairy farms.

As a former member of the House Committee on Agriculture, and the former Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research, I will continue to be a tireless advocate on behalf of our local farmers and food producers. I will fight for programs that support specialty (fruit and vegetable) and organic crops, cutting edge research, conservation of our forests, trade and job-creating investments that ensure we have a vibrant local agricultural industry in western Washington. To that end, each year I have led a bipartisan letter in support of increased agriculture research.  In addition, this session of Congress, I was appointed to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy and trade, two critical areas for agriculture.

I was honored to play a leading role, as the only Member of Congress from Washington state on the conference committee, in crafting the five-year Farm Bill . The 2014 Farm Bill included a number of reforms that will help reduce the deficit by more than $16 billion. It included unprecedented increases in funding for research and programs that support Washington state's specialty crop growers and organic farms, reauthorized important trade promotion programs that will help open up new markets for our farmers, and included critical funding for conservation and alternative energy programs.

The Farm Bill also included new dairy support programs to aid producers. As a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Dairy Caucus, I will continue fighting to improve this program and for dairy policies that support producers across our state.

I also introduced a bipartisan resolution with support from Members of Congress around the country that emphasizes the importance of specialty crops. Specialty crops are a growing and increasingly significant part of agriculture, accounting for about half of the value of U.S. crop production in a given year, but they are not discussed nearly as much as some of the more traditional commodities.

The farmers and businesses in the agriculture industry look to Congress to create sound agriculture and food policy, and they deserve the clarity that will enable them to plan for the future. As we look ahead to the 2018 Farm Bill and beyond, I will continue working to ensure that our local farmers and food producers have a strong voice in Congress.


 

More on Agriculture

Jun 13, 2016 In The News
More than 100 members of the U.S. House have written to the Obama administration in an effort to speed up the processing of foreign guestworker visas. Reps. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.; Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.; Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Ga.; and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., led 98 other House members in a bipartisan letter to administration officials urging them to adhere to regulations requiring them to process H-2A-visa foreign guestworker applications in a timely manner.
Jun 10, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) led 98 other Members in a letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services León Rodriguez regarding the administrative breakdown in the timely processing of H-2A agricultural worker program applications and visa petitions.
May 16, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today joined a letter to House Education and the Workforce Committee leaders expressing concern over a number of harmful provisions included in the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016.
Mar 7, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Pacific Northwest Members of Congress urged the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to take proactive measures to prevent the heavy losses to agriculture businesses caused in 2014 and 2015 due to technical problems with the H-2A visa system. 
Feb 25, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today introduced bipartisan legislation to require fish products purchased for federally subsidized school lunches be domestically harvested.
Feb 19, 2016 Press Release
WOODINVILLE – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today visited local small business, Locust Cider, to discuss the passage of tax relief for cideries. “Washington’s First District is home to some of the world’s best cideries and breweries. These growing industries are vital to our economy,” DelBene said. “This important tax relief will help provide more certainty for small cider brewers and will encourage economic growth not only in this industry, but with local farmers and manufacturers as well.”
Feb 9, 2016 eNewsletters
Dear Friend,In Congress, I’m working to help Washington’s families and businesses succeed. Instead of partisan bickering, I’m proposing innovative solutions that give us a solid return on our investments. Two years ago this week, as part of the bipartisan five-year Farm Bill, I secured $200 million for job-training pilot programs around the country similar to Washington’s Basic Food Employment & Training program.
Nov 2, 2015 eNewsletters
Oct 29, 2015 In The News
USDA has awarded a $3.6 million grant to the Seattle Jobs Initiative (SGI) to set up a so-called Center of Excellence designed to develop and disseminate best practices to help state job training centers find work for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP).
Oct 28, 2015 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today spoke on the House floor in recognition of October as National Farm to School Month:   “I rise to celebrate Farm to School Month. Having healthy food in our schools is crucial. We know that when students are provided with wholesome foods, they are more likely to pay attention in class and learn.

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