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Florida Delegation Meets as Congress Readies for the Farm Bill in September

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Last week, the Florida congressional delegation held a meeting focused on agriculture and the Farm Bill.

The delegation is led by U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. Both of them weighed in on the meeting.

“Today’s hearing was a productive conversation about Florida’s agriculture future. This is a critical industry to Florida that supports an estimated 2.1 million jobs. As Congress considers the Farm Bill in the coming weeks, I’m confident our state’s delegation will secure necessary wins for Florida’s farmers and ranchers,” said Buchanan.

“Our delegation made clear today that Florida growers not only bring jobs, cultural and economic diversity to our state, they also put food and orange juice on America’s tables. I was grateful that Congressman Buchanan and I and our Florida colleagues could discuss various issues that our No. 2 industry faces, such as the emergence of AI and climate change,” said Wasserman Schultz.

U.S. Reps. Aaron Bean, R-Fla., Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., Neal Dunn, R-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., John Rutherford, R-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Michael Waltz, R-Fla., attended the meeting.

The delegation heard from a panel including R.J. Layher, the director of government affairs from the American Farm Bureau Federation; Dr. Scott Angle, the senior vice president of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; Mike Risola, the director of federal affairs of the Florida Department of Agriculture; and Susan King, the board chair of Feeding Florida and the CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida.

Pointing to “hurricanes, citrus greening and Mexico’s illegal dumping of specialty crops,” Buchanan called it a “trying year for Florida’s farmers and ranchers” and pointed to “Florida’s citrus production is nearing a historic 90-year low – the worst since the Great Depression.”

“Ensuring access to healthy nutritious food is an issue we can all support. The cost of not supporting it is something we cannot afford. It’s why I am passionate about this work and I believe we can come to solutions together to help fight hunger. The Farm Bill is a truly bipartisan exercise that can maintain and improve our nutrition programs,” King told the delegation.

Cammack, who sits on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, said that Florida has a great deal riding on the Farm Bill, which will be drafted when Congress returns in September.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

    View all posts

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