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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

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.
Jun 4, 2013 In The News
MOUNT VERNON — Local farmers and agricultural advocates largely supported the newest versions of the 2013 farm bill on Wednesday at a round-table discussion with U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene.Read the full article HERE.
May 31, 2013 In The News
LYNDEN, Wash. – Representative Suzan DelBene says it is crucial that Congress pass a farm bill.She will be visiting Lynden Friday to meet with local farmers and businesses for a round table discussion. Read the full story HERE.
May 16, 2013 Press Release
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene released the following statement following the House Committee on Agriculture’s passage of the Farm Bill:
Apr 25, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene today introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting specialty crops, highlighting the vital role they play in America’s agricultural industry and calling for the inclusion of specialty crop programs in a new farm bill.
Mar 28, 2013 In The News
Since the Washington State University Mount Vernon Research Center was built in 1947, local farmers have relied on it to provide methods of controlling disease, research into new markets and ways to improve crop quality and yields. On a tour through the center Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., looked in on some of the agricultural research carried out there and heard the plight of researchers, industry professionals and local farmers anxious for funding to return.

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