Agriculture

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Rep. Suzan DelBene walking through a farm

Washington has a thriving agriculture industry that plays a key role in our state’s economy. The Pacific Northwest has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the country and Washington state alone produces over 300 crops.

As a former member of the House Agriculture Committee and the former Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, I am a strong advocate for our local farmers and food producers. I will continue to fight for programs that support specialty and organic crops, cutting-edge research, the conservation of our forests, trade, and job-creating investments that ensure we have a vibrant local agricultural industry in western Washington.

I currently serve on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy and trade, two critical areas that support the agriculture economy. In 2019, I helped pass the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which provides a stable open marketplace for farmers and businesses. The agreement ensured duty-free trade for most of Washington’s agriculture exports and eliminated key trade barriers, including Canada’s dairy pricing system and British Columbia’s discriminatory rule against imported wine.

After historic heatwaves in 2021 that devastated crops and livestock, I helped secure $10 billion in disaster relief for farmers and growers across the Pacific Northwest. This law provides critical relief for many growers and their families across Washington state hit by the heatwaves and other extreme weather events, including wildfires and droughts.

I also believe we must build a strong and sustainable future for our rural communities. Key provisions of my Timber Innovation Act were passed in the 2019 Farm Bill. These provisions are helping to create new business opportunities by supporting the growth of innovative green building materials (like cross-laminated timber) through investment and research. Innovation, job growth, and research can propel our region and the nation forward as a leader in sustainable agriculture.

Farmers and other agriculture businesses look to Congress to create sound, long-term food policy, and they deserve the clarity that will enable them to plan for the future. I will continue fighting to ensure that our local farmers and food producers have a strong voice in Congress.

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