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Agriculture

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Agriculture has always had strong roots in Michigan, where our farmers produce everything from asparagus to zucchini. As Michigan continues its economic recovery, agriculture remains a driving force in our economy and provides many good-paying, local jobs. I am committed to ensuring our farmers have the resources they need to continue producing the safest, most abundant, and most affordable food supply in the world. 

Immigration & Labor

Without a doubt, the number one issue for our farmers is immigration reform. In order for our farms to effectively produce quality agricultural products in the Sixth District we need to provide a reliable workforce for all farms. That means real immigration reform now.

In 2019, my colleagues and I introduced and the House passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.  This bipartisan legislation aims to help build a legal and reliable workforce for our nation’s agriculture community. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would provide agricultural workers an opportunity to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment, improve the H-2A visa program, and establish a mandatory E-Verify for the agriculture industry. Click here to learn more about the legislation.

Coronavirus and Agriculture

Our agriculture community has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus crisis, and we have been working overtime to support it. We led two letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture advocating for specialty crops and another asking for more flexibility for producers. We also advocated for more PPE for farm workers, as we look to bolster food safety and secure supply. Furthermore, our office has been in discussions about ways we can bring financial relief to our farms in Southwest Michigan.

2018 Farm Bill

I was immensely pleased with the bipartisan hard work that was put into completing the 2018 Farm Bill as it not only represents a foundation for farm policy for the upcoming years, but also provides economic certainty to an entire industry across the country.

I am expecting the same process this time around, and I looking forward to hearing from all of you through the process as well as working with Chairman Conaway on a Farm Bill that puts Michigan agricultural issues front and center.

Protecting Local Growers from Higher Operating Costs

I have long supported bipartisan solutions to ensure federal regulations do not interfere with day-to-day farm operations or needlessly raise energy prices and other operating costs for Michigan farmers and ranchers. 

Farmers are the best stewards of their own land and it is in their best interest to keep it healthy. I have championed a number of bills that seek to scale back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) red tape agenda where needed, including legislation to prohibit the regulation of farm dust and another bill to ensure that the EPA and State Department do all they can to make the fumigant methyl-bromide available to farmers in need. 

It is critically important to ensure the food we consume is safe. If our food safety standards and procedures are to be effectively implemented, our local farmers must have a voice in the rule-making process. Needless over-regulation where our farmers are already doing the right thing does nothing but endanger U.S. agriculture and harm our economy. 

Supporting Livestock Health

I helped lead the successful effort to modernize the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) review process for new and generic animal drugs. An improved approval process gives Southwest Michigan employers like Zoetis and Perrigo the predictability they need to compete on equal footing with companies overseas as well as deliver their life-saving drugs to livestock and poultry producers in a timely manner, keeping our food supply safe and helping our farmers compete globally. This bipartisan animal health legislation (H.R. 1407) was signed into law during the Obama administration.

Promoting Michigan Agricultural Exports

I supported the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. We need to ensure that we are protecting Michigan growers against foreign growers. We also need to ensure the playing field is level. I am supportive of a side agreement with Mexico and Canada regarding fresh fruits and vegetables that protect American growers.

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