As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management and a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Subcommittees on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, as well as Conservation and Forestry, I'm proud and humbled to be able to shape agriculture policy for Minnesota's 8th District - bringing stability and security to our small towns and rural communities. Since coming to Congress in January 2013, I've been privileged to have worked hard to pass crucial dairy reforms to prevent skyrocketing milk costs, extend conservation programs, and promote organic farming and Beginning Farmer & Rancher programs.
Farm Bill amendments I sponsored:
- Promote Forest Products Research: I introduced an amendment to promote the benefits of wood as an environmentally-friendly building material - this amendment was adopted into the final bill and passed into law by President Obama. Following this, the USDA announced a new partnership to train architects, engineers and builders about the benefits of advanced wood building materials, and plans for a forthcoming prize competition to design and build high-rise wood demonstration projects. Read USDA's press release here.
- Increase the Conservation Stewardship Program: Minnesota has more conservation stewardship contracts than any other state - with Morrison County, in our 8th District, leading the way. Two of my amendments to the Farm Bill supported this popular program, the first to increase the maximum enrollment, and the second to streamline and simplify the application process.
- Repeal a Duplicative Catfish Inspection Program: I cosponsored a bipartisan amendment that would have repealed a wasteful and duplicative catfish inspection program, set to cost taxpayers $170 million dollars over the next 10 years, and give fish & seafood processors like Morey's and Trident in Motley with expensive and unnecessary regulations. Despite fierce debate and bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, the amendment did not make it into the final bill signed into law by the President.
- Support Farm-to-Market/Healthy Foods: An amendment I sponsored helps fresh food retailers serve their products to underserved communities, by authorizing funds for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), a public-private partnership that provides critical loan and grants to these retailers. In 2011, the Duluth Farmers Market received an $86,869 grant to purchase a "kitchen on wheels" that demonstrated how to prepare healthy foods.
- Restore Supplemental Nutrition Funds (SNAP): The House Agriculture Committee considered but voted down my amendment that would have restored funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The FARRM Act proposed $20.5 billion in cuts to SNAP, which is more than $4 billion above what was cut in the committee-passed bill in 2012, and $16 billion more than what was included in the Senate-passed farm bill. About 1 in 10 Minnesota residents receives SNAP benefits, the majority being families with children, and a large percentage being families with elderly or disabled members.
- Clarify Imported Seeds Inspection Rules: I sponsored an amendment to clarify the manner in which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires inspection of seed imports treated with pesticides.
More on Agriculture
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Two members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee have especially strong feelings about the need to aid farmers and ranchers during disasters because their states are in an extreme drought.
U.S. Reps. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, both Republicans, sat with nine colleagues as farmers and agri-business leaders from the region testified Thursday, Aug. 3, about what should be in new federal farm legislation. Many mentioned disasters, such as major crop and livestock losses.
U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has been elected Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s key Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.
This week U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan was awarded the Golden Triangle Award by the National Farmers Union for his “outstanding leadership” on issues affecting family farmers and rural America. Nolan’s selection was based on his exemplary voting record and work on matters important to Farmers Union members.
BAXTER, Minn. — A high-level U.S. Department of Agriculture official visited Avantech's future facility in Baxter to announce $1 million in loans intended to help finance the expansion.
A high-level United States Department of Agriculture official visited Avantech's future facility in Baxter to announce $1 million in loans intended to help finance the expansion.
Alarmed by the increasing number of Minnesota farmers who are dying on the job, state officials are scrambling to attack the leading cause of work-related accidents: tractor rollovers.
Key legislators and representatives of three state agencies met for the first time last week to gather information on how other states — including New York and Wisconsin — have reduced farm deaths by helping farmers add rollover protection to aging tractors that remain popular even though they tend to flip and lack modern safety features.