Congressman Blumenauer Invites U.S. Agriculture Secretary to Discuss a Better Farm Bill for Oregon

August 9, 2017
Press Release

Portland, Ore. – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue inviting him to visit Oregon as he travels the country seeking feedback for the next Farm Bill. In the letter, Blumenauer encourages Secretary Perdue to hear from Oregon food and farm stakeholders about how the Farm Bill should be changed to better serve Oregon's needs and improve U.S. food and farm policies. Oregon was not a stop on Secretary Perdue’s “Back to Our Roots” RV tour.

Over the last two years, Blumenauer has gathered feedback from a diverse range of food and farm stakeholders about their priorities for the next Farm Bill. He announced last week that he will soon introduce comprehensive food and farm legislation that incorporates this feedback. The legislation will refocus federal resources on those who need it most, foster innovation, encourage investments in people and the planet, and ensure access to healthy foods. Blumenauer also released his report, “Growing Opportunities: Reforming the Farm Bill for Every American.”

The full letter to Secretary Perdue is below. Click here for an electronic version of the letter.

 

August 9, 2017

The Honorable Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20250

 

Dear Secretary Perdue:

As you wrap up your Back to Our Roots RV tour across the Midwestern states, I invite you to next expand your horizons and visit my home state of Oregon, where exciting things are happening in our food and farm industries, but additional federal investment through the Farm Bill is needed.

Producing more than 220 commodities as part of its agriculture and fisheries, Oregon may be small, but it is a powerful player in specialty, sustainable, and organic crop production. With 12 agricultural commodities exceeding $100 million in production value, Oregon is different from many Midwestern states, which rely upon a small handful of crops. It’s worth your time to see this difference and hear from Oregon food and farm interests as you gather information from states in advance of the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

Given my constituents’ interest in sustainable agriculture and access to healthy food, I have already done some of the work for you. Over the course of two years, I gathered feedback from a diverse range of food and farm stakeholders – farmers, ranchers, agricultural researchers, farmworkers, nutrition advocates, conservation interests, winemakers, nurseries, wheatgrowers, processors, agricultural policy advocates, and more – about their priorities for the next Farm Bill. This feedback is documented in the enclosed report, entitled Growing Opportunities: Reforming the Farm Bill for Every American. Some of these proposals were even included in your Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. I invite you to take a look.

Oregon has much to offer and is similar to many states that are underserved by Farm Bill programs. Please consider visiting our state as you tour the country seeking input on the next bill. You won’t be disappointed.

Sincerely,

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