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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

Oct 25, 2013 In The News
Ninety-five percent of the world’s mouths to feed live outside the United States, and 160,000 people in Washington are gainfully employed in feeding them, yet the state’s $40 billion agricultural export trade is threatened by Congress’ prolonged failure to write a new farm bill. The farm bill stalemate is another Tea Party-caused breakdown of business in Washington, D.C., that is hurting Washington state.
Oct 14, 2013 In The News
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., was named to the conference committee working to pass a farm bill. Conference committees are made up of members from the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and are used to negotiate when the two branches pass different version of a bill.
Oct 12, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene was named as a member of the conference committee to negotiate a reauthorized Farm Bill. The House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution to enter formal talks with the Senate, and today named their conferees. DelBene issued the following statement: “I’m honored to have been appointed to the conference committee to negotiate a reauthorization of the Farm Bill. As the only Member of Congress from Washington on the conference committee, I take this responsibility very seriously.
Oct 8, 2013 In The News
BURLINGTON — More educational offerings and support services for beginning farmers will be added to the Viva Farms program in Burlington as a result of a substantial federal grant from the Department of Agriculture. As part of $3.2 million in federal Specialty Crop Block Grants recently provided to the state, Viva Farms received $115,226 to fund a case study of the Viva model and additional educational programs for new and disadvantaged farmers.
Oct 6, 2013 In The News
SEATTLE — Most crab fishermen from Washington are already in Alaska preparing for the start of the season in just ten days, but if the government shutdown drags on, they’ll be forced to stay docked. “The problem is the federal government is the one that actually issues the permits,” said Mark Gleason, who represents the industry. “The people in charge of issuing those permits, are currently furloughed as non essential.”
Sep 26, 2013 In The News
A few key federal grants announced this week could help Whatcom County berry farmers improve growing efficiency and export sales.The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $3.2 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants to Washington state, with about $345,000 going toward programs that will benefit local farmers. The funding for these grants is already in place and shouldn't be affected by the current Farm Bill debate taking place in Congress, said Viet Shelton, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Bothell, whose district includes parts of Whatcom County.
Sep 24, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene praised the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today that $3.2 million in grants were awarded to Washington state through the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program. These grants will support Washington producers of fresh fruits and vegetables by funding research to improve growing practices and helping farmers gain access to new international markets.
Jul 11, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene gave the following remarks on the floor of the House Representatives today regarding her vote on the latest version of the Farm Bill, which fails to authorize nutrition programs.  It would harm millions of working families, seniors and children. The full text, as prepared for delivery, is below:“Mr. Speaker, I rise with great disappointment today. It’s a shame that the House has allowed the Farm Bill to get to this point.
Jun 20, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene released the following statement following the House of Representatives failed to approve a new Farm Bill:“As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ve worked to ensure that our local farmers and food producers have a strong voice in Congress. Additionally, I’ve fought for a Farm Bill that is humane and protects our safety net which millions of working families and children depend on.“Sadly, today the House put forward a Farm Bill that failed to meet the demands of our farmers or families.
Jun 18, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Suzan DelBene introduced amendments to the Farm Bill that would save free school meals and update eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) while also reducing the federal deficit. Currently, H.R. 1947, the Farm Bill, cuts $20.5 billion from nutrition programs like SNAP, which would result in nearly two million people losing SNAP benefits altogether and more than 210,000 children losing access to free school meals.

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