The House Agriculture Committee has voted unanimously to send to the House Floor U.S. Representatives Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Dusty Johnson’s, R-S.D., bipartisan H.R. 7675, Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act, which would create a dedicated task force designed to shore up the American food supply chain, increase government coordination and provide recommendations to Congress to prevent future supply chain issues. Craig and Johnson introduced the legislation alongside Representatives Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, Cheri Bustos, D-Illi., and Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa.
Craig’s legislation would create a task force at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would be responsible for evaluating the stability and reliability of the agriculture and food system as well as identifying specific recommendations to improve the security, safety and resilience of the supply chain. The task force would be required to submit a report detailing its work and recommendations to Congress no later than 270 days after the enactment of the bill.
“Right now, Americans are justifiably frustrated by the higher prices they’re experiencing – whether that’s families checking out at the grocery store or farmers and business owners struggling with higher input costs,” said Craig. “In Congress, we must take immediate action to get products from ships to shelves faster – and to rebuild and strengthen our supply chains for future generations. I’m proud to see this commonsense legislation receiving bipartisan support and urge final consideration on the House floor as soon as possible.”
National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington said the bill is a big step toward ensuring that farmers are able to provide food and fuel in a timely and efficient manner to American families and the global market. “We are highly appreciative of the bill’s congressional supporters for their work on this important issue.”
Krysta Harden, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, commented, “We commend Reps. Craig and Johnson for their leadership in helping to address the supply chain challenges that U.S. dairy exporters continue to face,” “The bipartisan legislation introduced last week to establish a USDA supply chain resilience task force is a timely and commonsense step in ensuring that American dairy and other agricultural suppliers can meet the world’s pressing food needs without delay."
National Farmers Union thanked Craig and Johnson for their efforts to make food security a national priority.
“Our supply chains have faced immense challenges in the last few years,” said Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union. “Looking into the strengths and weaknesses of our current agriculture marketplace and food system will give us answers to better equip farmers and ranchers to respond and adapt to these obstacles.”
Specifically, the Agricultural and Food System Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Response Task Force would be responsible for:
- Evaluating the stability and reliability of the agriculture and food system supply chain by assessing:
- the strengths of the agriculture and food system supply chain;
- the weaknesses of the agriculture and food system supply chain;
- current and potential future critical bottlenecks in the agriculture and food system supply chain, including transportation bottlenecks in the distribution of agricultural inputs, processed and unprocessed food and food input products, and consumer-ready food products;
- workforce challenges and opportunities in the agriculture and food system supply chain; and
- Federal, State, and local laws and regulations that increase the stability and reliability of the agriculture and food system supply chain or decrease or otherwise negatively impact the stability and reliability of the agriculture and food system supply chain.
- Identifying specific recommendations to improve the security, safety, and resilience of the agriculture and food system supply chain, including recommendations that address:
- long-term strategies;
- industry best practices;
- risk-mitigation actions to prevent future bottlenecks and vulnerabilities at all levels of the agriculture and food system supply chain; and
- legislative and regulatory actions that would positively impact the security and resilience of the agriculture and food system supply chain.
- Submitting a report to Congress no later than 270 days after the enactment of the bill on the activities, findings, and recommendations of the Task Force.
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, said they look forward to working with Congress in advancing this legislation and additional measures to address this important issue.
“American dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own rely upon a strong supply chain to feed the world. Reps. Craig and Johnson recognize this critical need, and their bipartisan bill to establish a USDA agency specific to the supply chain challenges would help ensure that U.S. agricultural producers will have an even stronger voice within USDA in promoting the interests of food and agriculture as we develop a strong supply chain.”