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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

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.
Oct 30, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene gave the following remarks during the Farm Bill Conference Committee’s first meeting today. The bipartisan, bicameral committee will focus on resolving the differences between the House and Senate-passed Farm Bills over the next few months. The 2008 Farm Bill extension expired September 30. The full text of DelBene’s speech, as prepared for delivery, is below: “Members of the conference committee, I’m pleased that the Farm Bill Conference negotiations officially begin today.
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.

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