DelBene Selected as Top Democrat on Agriculture Subcommittee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) was selected to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.
“I look forward to leading this important subcommittee and hearing innovative ideas from farmers, ranchers and researchers,” DelBene said. “People rarely link technology with farming, but it is vital to the future of our agriculture industry. I hope to support and build on this interconnectivity in my new role, using my experience both in the technology industry as well as on the Committee.”
As a member of the Agriculture Committee, DelBene helped shepherd a five-year Farm Bill to final passage last year by serving on the conference committee. She helped secure record funding for a number of priority programs for the horticulture industry, including Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). These programs are critical for specialty crop growers, helping to improve production efficiency, manage pest and plant disease, open new markets and spur innovation and technology in agriculture.
“Congress needs to help our agriculture industry by supporting the research and development of new technologies that improve crop yields and prevent damage from pests and invasive species,” DelBene said. “Thanks to programs like SCRI – which give us a great return on our investment – researchers at Washington State University studied biodegradable plastic mulches for high tunnel vegetable production. Researchers were able to develop new mulches that not only extend the growing season, but are also less damaging to the environment. This is just one example of the exciting work going on in Washington state and these are the types of programs I want to continue to support through my leadership on the committee.”
Washington’s First Congressional District is home to several biotechnology firms and more than 1,000 farms. It’s also the nation’s number one producer of red raspberries.