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Agriculture

Tim Walberg Agriculture

Agriculture is a key component of Michigan’s economy. After all, agriculture is the second largest industry in Michigan and the state is also the second most agriculturally diverse in the country. During the challenging economic times that have plagued the Michigan economy, the steady growth of our agricultural sector has kept our economy afloat. To maintain this edge, I believe we must:

Prevent Undue Regulations

The safety of our food supply can benefit from standard rules and practices, and our farmers are committed to producing safe and affordable food for consumers. However, our farmers need to have fair and commonsense rules to live by, and I oppose excessive regulations that hinder the agricultural community.

I’ve heard concerns about the EPA’s covert campaign to promote the WOTUS rule which overstep federal anti-lobbying rules by using propaganda and grassroots lobbying. To prevent future abuses, I’ve championed legislation to ensure federal agencies do not engage in illegal lobbying. My bipartisan bill, the Regulatory Integrity Act, increases transparency in the rulemaking process to prevent future misconduct. 

In April 2020 the Trump Administration further streamlined the WOTUS rule to provide clearer guidance and reduce regulatory confusion. These changes took effect in June 2020.

Expand Markets

Not only does south-central Michigan produce a wide array of agricultural products, it produces some of the best. It is important that we adopt policies that allow our farmers and producers to look outside our region and beyond to sell food and agricultural products. By advancing trade policies that are free, fair, and enforced, we can open new markets for Michigan-made products.

Implementation of the U.S. – Mexico – Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement will help achieve this goal by expanding market access for dairy farmers, improving transparency for agriculture product standards, and modernizing guidelines for biotechnology, sanitary, and phytosanitary measures to reflect state of the art techniques utilized across the agriculture industry.

Provide Greater Certainty

Farmers and agricultural producers carefully plan over the long-term to provide our nation and the world with an abundant, healthy food supply. For too long, Congress promoted uncertainty in the countryside through short-term extensions of our agricultural policy. In December 2018, the House passed the Conference Report to H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act, which reauthorizes the Farm Bill for five years, makes important updates to our federal farm and nutrition assistance programs, and provides the certainty that our farmers need to flourish and feed the world. H.R.2 was signed into law on by President Trump on December 20, 2018.

Promote Conservation

As agriculture helps to drive Michigan’s economy, we must also encourage responsible stewardship and conservation best practices to help ensure the long-term health of Lake Erie and the entire the Great Lakes ecosystem. I’ve introduced H.R.2141, Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Act, which builds upon Michigan’s successful MAEAP program and encourages states throughout the Great Lakes Basin to develop voluntary agricultural assurance programs to promote conservation and minimize agricultural pollution risks. 

RELATED ITEMS

04/08/19 – Sponsored Legislation: H.R. 2141, Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Act
04/29/19 – Cosponsored: H.R. 218, Death Tax Repeal Act 
03/14/18 – Cosponsored: H.R.5275, Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions Act
07/27/17 – Sponsored Legislation: H.R. 3518, Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Act
04/04/17 – Cosponsored: H.R.1626, Student Agriculture Protection Act
01/10/17 – Cosponsored: H.R. 424, Gray Wolf State Management Act
02/04/16 – Cosponsored: H.Res.591, Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Farm Credit System

More on Agriculture

April 15, 2020 Press Release
In Michigan, nearly 1.25 million people receive food assistance through this federal program.
February 3, 2020 Press Release
I am honored to have Jennifer Lewis as my guest and highlight the invaluable role agriculture plays in feeding our families and sustaining our economy.
February 3, 2020 Tim In The News
Seventh District Republican Congressman Tim Walberg has announced that Hillsdale County farmer Jennifer Lewis will be accompanying him at President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
January 29, 2020 Press Release
The USMCA delivers on a key promise to negotiate a stronger deal that benefits Michigan workers and levels the playing field with our neighbors.
December 19, 2019 Press Release
For too long, Michigan has needed better trade deals, and today’s vote will help finally put NAFTA in the rearview mirror.