House Agriculture Committee Members Welcome Legislation to Protect America's Food

 

Oklahoma Farm Report

10 Feb 2020

 

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Chairman Filemon Vela, Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa, and Committee Members Cindy Axne, Salud Carbajal, Josh Harder, and TJ Cox welcomed the passage of the Protecting America’s Food & Agriculture Act of 2019.

 

The legislation, which passed under suspension of the rules today, authorizes the funding needed to hire new Customs and Border Agriculture Inspectors to ensure an adequately prepared staff inspecting food, and providing defense against foreign animal and plant pests and diseases at U.S. ports of entry.

 

“I know how vital CBP personnel and the work they perform are for the protection and growth of our trade and agricultural sectors,” said Congressman Vela. “Texas farms alone sold $24.9 billion in agricultural products in 2017, but those economic gains are threatened when our international ports of entry do not have the resources to mitigate pest and disease threats, like the African Swine Fever.

 

The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 authorizes the hiring of 240 new Agriculture Specialists and 200 Agriculture Technicians until staffing shortages are resolved. It also provides for the assignment of 20 Agriculture Canine Teams to prevent the introduction of harmful pests and foreign animal disease from entering the United States. I am honored to have introduced the Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives, with support from both sides of the aisle, and to have worked in partnership with Senator Peters to ensure this legislation gets signed into law.”

 

“I’ve long raised the issue of staffing levels at the border. It is critical that we have enough CBP agriculture inspectors, specialists and canine teams to protect our rural communities and our economy from foreign animal and plant pests and diseases,” said Chairman Peterson. “I represent a border district, where agriculture is a top industry, and The Protecting America’s Food & Agriculture Act authorizes the crucial resources to help protect districts like mine. Rural America can’t afford another disaster and we need to do everything we can to prevent these pests and diseases from impacting our farm and rural economies”…  

 

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