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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington

Agriculture

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 and vegetables. We are also home to a number of dairy farms.

As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, and the 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.

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 that aid producers and protect consumers from wild swings in milk prices. As a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Dairy Caucus, I will continue to fight for dairy policy that supports 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 a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I will continue to work to ensure that our local farmers and food producers have a strong voice in Congress.

More on Agriculture

Apr 11, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal delegation representing Snohomish County called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a Secretarial Disaster Designation for Snohomish County to assist farmers who have been affected by the State Route 530 mudslide.
Apr 10, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Governor Jay Inslee today announced his decision to preserve existing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for over 200,000 Washington households by providing additional assistance to those who participate in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Congresswoman Suzan DelBene issued the following statement:
Feb 5, 2014 In The News
MOUNT VERNON — A significant piece of the federal farm bill for Skagit County agriculture is the increased and permanent funding for specialty crop research and grant programs. The bill is the first to provide long-term investments for the programs and raises funding 50 percent over levels offered in the last farm legislation, providing $80 million per year to the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and $72.5 million per year, to start, for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
Feb 4, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Senate today passed a five-year Farm Bill by a vote of 68-32. The bill includes a number of reforms that will reduce the deficit by over $16 billion, with much of the savings coming from reforms to agricultural subsidies, such as the elimination of direct payments.
Feb 4, 2014 In The News
The mosaic of interests, the political horse-trading, the willingness to hold hostage the food stamp program: The farm bill defines lawmaking down. In the age of gridlock, incremental changes are cast as victories.
Feb 3, 2014 In The News
WASHINGTON — The mammoth farm bill passed by the U.S. House last week contains a provision written by Rep. Suzan DelBene, of Medina, to replicate a Washington state program to train food-stamp recipients for jobs with taxpayer money. To read the full story, click HERE.
Jan 30, 2014 In The News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene calls the farm bill passed by the U.S. House a ‘big win’ for Washington’s specialty crop farmers. She says the bill gives unprecedented levels of funding for the specialty crop industry, including Whatcom County fruit and vegetable farmers. $800 million for specialty crop research. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the farm bill next week.  To hear the full interview, click HERE.
Jan 27, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today a majority of the members on the joint House-Senate Conference Committee to negotiate the Farm Bill approved a conference report on a final five-year Farm Bill.
Jan 27, 2014 In The News
Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) sits down with KING 5's Mark Wright last week to talk about the NSA's broad spying program. DelBene said the NSA should be reigned in and only look at specific phone data. She also talks about proposed cuts the SNAP food stamp program and even gave her predictions for Sunday's Super Bowl. To watch the entire interview, click HERE.
Nov 20, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene announced that the Northwest Agriculture Business Center in Mount Vernon will receive $200,000 from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support local farmers and agriculture related businesses.

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