Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Food & Agriculture

food waste press conference

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Congresswoman Pingree has introduced comprehensive legislation to build on the success of local and regional food economies by helping farmers tap into growing markets and helping consumers access healthy food. Learn more about HR 3941, the Local FARMS Act here. 

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is a national leader on food policy, including issues involving local food, food waste, and organic agriculture.
She currently serves on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees federal funding for the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. 

As Congress prepares to work on the next Farm Bill, Congresswoman Pingree is introducing legislation to support local and regional food systems, increase funding for organic research, standardize food date labels, and reduce food waste across the food chain.   

During the last Farm Bill, Congresswoman Pingree served on the House Agriculture Committee. After years of work, the President signed a 2014 Farm Bill containing many of the reforms proposed in her Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act.  These reforms take important steps to support local farmers, invest in regional food systems, and give all consumers better access to nutritious food that benefits the local economy.  

Among others, her victories include: 

  • Making it easier to use SNAP benefits to purchase local food
  • More funding to promote farmers markets and farm stand, assist farmers seeking organic certification, and make local value-added products.
  • Reforming federal insurance programs that work better to protect organic and diversified farms​

But there is more work to be done to turn the nation's food policy right side up. Visit here for updates on her work to make our food system work better for the environment, people, and the economy.  

More on Food & Agriculture

Oct 18, 2018 Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today that over $2 million in USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grants will be awarded to the University of Maine and a Waterville small business to advance Maine’s agricultural economy. FoodCorps, a program that offers food and agriculture education programs in several Maine communities, also received funding.

Oct 15, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and David Young (R-Iowa)—co-chairs of the House Food Waste Caucus—as well as Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)—co-chairs of the House Hunger Caucus—have together introduced H.Res. 1113, a resolution in the House designating tomorrow, October 16, 2018, as “World Food Day.”

Oct 3, 2018 Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced today that Maine organizations will receive more than $1 million in funding from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to recruit and train beginning farmers as well as assist farmers with chronic health issues and disabilities. Grants will go to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston Maine, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Sep 6, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree released the following statement today in response to an update provided by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb  on the agency’s plans to revise its guidance for “added sugars” on packages of pure maple syrup and honey. Pingree has been a vocal advocate for rewriting confusing guidance that was issued earlier this year.

Sep 6, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Ranking Member Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01), and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), the four democratic members of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, sent a letter to Secretary Perdue at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to express their concerns with the agency’s proposal to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outside of Washington, D.C.  

Aug 20, 2018 Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today announced a total of nearly $530,000 in federal grants for several small businesses in Southern Maine. The funds comes from two USDA Rural Development programs Pingree has strongly advocated for in Congress—the Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG).

Aug 2, 2018 Blog Post

UPDATE: Read the bipartisan letter sent to the Farm Bill conferees in support of including LAMP in final legislation.

Jul 24, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) released the following statement in response to USDA’s plan to offer $12 billion in relief to farmers harmed in the wake of the Administration’s trade actions. 
Jul 16, 2018 Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced today that two farms in her District will receive USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grants to expand their businesses and launch new product lines. Pingree has been steadfast in her opposition to proposed cuts to this vital program, which has a track record of helping rural businesses succeed and hire more workers.