Reforming agriculture policy
After years of work, the President signed a 2014 Farm Bill containing many of the reforms proposed in Congresswoman Chellie Pingree's 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, 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, as you can tell from the graphic above, 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.
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More on Reforming agriculture policy
Congresswoman Pingree held a roundtable for stakeholders from Maine's dairy industry on December 15 to get their feedback on how federal programs are working for them. With her is USDA Farm Services Agency Deputy Administrator Brad Pfaff, who oversees some of these programs. The event was the second she held to collect feedback from Mainers ahead of Congress' upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill. The first was held in Wiscasett in November.
Congresswoman Pingree talks with a group of contract poultry farmers about the unfair practices large processors have subjected them to.
Farmers in five counties to get access to emergency assistance, including loans
Rosemont Market receives $65,000 to double local food sales, and Somali Bantu Community receives $395,000 to reduce food insecurity
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today announced two USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grants that would benefit Maine—one to Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport to train organic dairy farmers and another to fund an Armed to Farm veteran farmer training in Maine.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree testified before the House Agriculture Committee today to kick off the first-ever Congressional hearing focused on the problem of food waste in the United States.
"When good food goes to waste on the farm, it means the resources used to grow that food—fuel, labor and water—is also wasted. When it goes to waste in a local restaurant it means less revenue for the owner. And wherever and whenever food is wasted, it means less food for the 50 million Americans who are food insecure," Pingree told the committee.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today welcomed news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed to reevaluate the standards for foods labeled "healthy." Pingree has been pushing the FDA to update those standards since KIND Snacks and leading nutrition and public health experts filed a Citizen Petition last December, asking FDA to reevaluate its requirements to emphasize the importance of nutrient-dense ingredients as part of healthy eating patterns.
Loan program will help farmers buy refrigerated trucks, storage and processing facilities, thanks to legislation written by Pingree
After the U.S. Senate voted to block the DARK Act, an anti-GMO labeling bill, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement:
"The DARK Act goes against the 90% of Americans who think that food containing GMOs should be labeled and its defeat in the Senate is a win for consumers. Now we should move forward with a reasonable bill that requires clear, simple on-package labeling that tells consumers if they are buying something that contains GMOs."