Campaign News

Minnesota Ag Connection: Craig Presses Perdue on Behalf of Minnesota Farmers

Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, questioned U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on the need for a predictable farm safety net, reliable USDA NIFA grants and strong partnership from the federal government.

"The Market Facilitation Program certainly kept some farmers afloat, but I'm concerned that we have set a terrible precedent for US farm policy. This Committee has spent decades working toward a farm safety net that is predictable and reliable," said Craig. "Farm policy must be focused on sound economics, never on political expediency."

Craig also pushed for answers for the Main Street Project, a Northfield farm serving minority beginning farmers that has seen delays in receiving funding from the Agency due to USDA staff shortages. The staff shortage at USDA comes after the Secretary's decision to relocate two divisions to the Kansas City region.

"You said the move of ERS/NIFA to Kansas City was to better serve farmers and ranchers where they are, but in fact this move has proven to not serve farmers like those at the Main Street Project," said Craig. "Programs like this one, which give first time farmers an opportunity to learn and develop, deserve the partnership that has been promised to them by the federal government."

In August, Craig launched her Farmer Advisory Council, a group of farmers, producers and agriculture advocates from Minnesota's Second District, in addition to her questions Wednesday in the Agriculture Committee, she submitted additional questions for the Secretary to answer on behalf of these farmers.

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