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

Jan 10, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues today in a meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue focused on improving the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to recruit and train veteran farmers. NOTE: Photos from meeting attached.

Dec 6, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the Capitol today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) hosted a briefing on produce prescription programs, an element of the food is medicine movement that is proving effective at improving people’s diets and health outcomes by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Launching a national produce prescription pilot program called Harvesting Health is one provision of HR 3491, the Local FARMS Act, a bipartisan bill Pingree has introduced with Reps.

Oct 24, 2017 Press Release
At an awards dinner last night, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) received a 2017 Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation for her work on national food system reform.
Oct 17, 2017 Press Release
The USDA’s Farmer Fair Practice Rules would have helped level the playing field between contract poultry farmers and the large processors they contract with.
Oct 5, 2017 Press Release
PORTLAND, ME—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today announced over $1 million in USDA funding to support a number of local food projects throughout Maine, including a $500,000 award to build up Greater Portland’s food processing infrastructure. 
Sep 28, 2017 Press Release
“I will dearly miss Gus, who was a good friend and a trusted partner in our shared work to reform the food system. ..."
Sep 18, 2017 Press Release
"I’m very concerned by the loopholes USDA Office of Inspector General’s found in the verification and inspection process that have allowed non-organic food from other countries to be sold as organic in the U.S.," Congresswoman Pingree said.
Aug 23, 2017 Press Release
Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and more than two dozen federal lawmakers from across New England sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that dairy milk be designated as an agricultural commodity eligible for Federal Crop Insurance and that the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to develop additional insurance products for dairy farmers.