Sen. Smith fought for a spot on the Senate Agriculture Committee because ag is the backbone of Minnesota’s economy.
All Minnesotans are impacted by the Farm Bill, and Sen. Smith heard from Minnesotans with backgrounds in farming, rural development, rural health, and nutrition to make sure that all voices were reflected in the final 5-year bill that passed in 2018. That legislation included many provisions that Sen. Smith authored and championed, including improvement to the dairy safety-net program, the legislative roadmap for the energy title, and improvement to USDA conservation programs. It also included many provisions that benefit Minnesota’s native communities and new American communities, like permanent funding for beginning and traditionally under-served farmer outreach programs.
Sen. Smith understands that it’s been a very difficult few years for agriculture, and she believes that the federal government should be giving farmers more support. She’s heard from farmers about the high cost of health care, including access to health care providers and access to mental health care resources, which is why Senator Smith championed the creation of the rural health liaison at the USDA as well as funding for local mental health resources and to expand access to stress reduction and suicide prevention programs.
She also believes it’s important to invest more in Greater Minnesota, and from her leadership post on the Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee, will keep working to expand access to broadband and better infrastructure. Thousands of Minnesotans are employed in the ethanol and biodiesel industry, selling corn and soybeans to biofuel facilities boosts the incomes of farmers around the state. Biofuels are good for energy security, for our environment, and for our economy, which is why Sen. Smith will advocate for a strong Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program.
You can learn more about Senator Smith’s efforts to make economic development in rural America a priority here.
WASHINGTON, [11/7/22] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) urged Minnesota farmers to enroll in key agricultural safety net programs for the 2023 crop year. Producers have until March 15, 2023 to enroll in in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, which help protect farmers from unexpected market volatility. “The Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs help provide our farmers with a strong safety net and much-needed stability in the event of volatile commodity markets,” said Klobuchar. “ I encourage all eligible farmers to reach out to their local Farm Service Agency and apply for assistance before the March 15 deadline.” “While market prices have been good for Minnesota farmers, recent history tells us it’s important to be prepared for anything,” said Smith. “Whether it’s the pandemic, Putin’s war in Ukraine, or climate-fueled extreme weather, unexpected shocks to the market can be devastating for Minnesota farmers and our local economy. That’s why safety net programs like ARC and PLC are so important – they provide farmers the security they need to navigate market volatility. I encourage Minnesota farmers to contact their local USDA Service Center and sign up for these programs before the March 15 deadline.” The ARC and PLC programs are part of a broader safety net provided by USDA, which also includes crop insurance and marketing assistance loans. The ARC and PLC safety net programs were first authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/02/22] — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), announced over $2 million in funding for a key program aimed at helping underserved and veteran farmers in Minnesota access critical financial services. The program, which Smith helped reauthorize in the 2018 Farm Bill, will deliver support and training for Minnesota farmers who have historically lacked access to critical federal programs and services, including loan and grant assistance. “We have to acknowledge that the USDA has a history of institutionalized discrimination against farmers of color. That is the history and we cannot shy away from it,” said Sen. Smith. “As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I have worked hard to create equitable access to financial services for underserved farmers including Black, Hmong, Latino and Native American farmers in Minnesota. These investments will help level the playing field and ensure everyone has equal access to financial services and other critical federal programs.” The Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers program relies on peer “Connectors,” who deliver culturally relevant trainings and offer one-on-one support to help farmers understand and access U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources. By using existing connections to Black, Hmong, Latinx, and beginning farmer networks, thousands of Minnesota farmers will gain awareness of these programs and services. Additionally, funding will be used to build comprehensive financial literacy and business development programs to help underserved farmers access financial capital and gain a better understanding of their farm’s finances. The program will also provide culturally
U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith and Representative Craig Announce Minnesota Dairy Producers Can Sign Up for Improved Dairy Margin Coverage
WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/24/2022] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith and U.S. Representative Angie Craig (all D-MN) announced that Minnesota dairy producers are eligible to sign up for the 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, an important safety net program that helps producers manage changes in milk and feed prices. The lawmakers encourage producers to sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office by Dec. 7, 2022. “The Dairy Margin Coverage program helps provide Minnesota’s dairy farmers with important stability and risk management tools that benefit our rural communities,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “ I encourage all dairy farmers
Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Historic Investment in Minnesota Climate-Smart Commodities and Rural Projects
WASHINGTON [9.27.22] – Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced historic federal funding that will expand climate-friendly agriculture in Minnesota and around the country. “Our farmers and agricultural communities are critical to our state economy,” said Klobuchar. “These investments will help create new markets for our agricultural products and encourage voluntary farming practices that help protect our environment.” “From educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies and producer groups to technology startups, a broad range of Minnesota organizations are at the cutting edge of research into climate-smart agriculture,” said Sen. Smith. “These investments will accelerate the growth of
WASHINGTON, D.C. [9/16/22] — Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) – Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development (HTCD) – announced she will be leading a hearing on rural housing programs. Members of the committee will hear from several stakeholders including Elizabeth Glidden, the Deputy Executive Director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership, about ways to improve the availability of rural housing, help keep rural seniors afford their homes, and reduce red tape for home owners and renters. The hearing will take place on September 20, 2022 at 2:30 pm ET. “Without access to housing nothing else in your life
Washington, D.C. [09/14/22] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), announced that $400,000 in federal grants have been awarded to Minnesota meat producers as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG). The funding will help strengthen food supply chains, develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors, and generate economic opportunity for farmers in Minnesota. “I’m thrilled to see this grant program, created through my bipartisan RAMP-UP Act, is delivering for local meat processors across Minnesota,” said Klobuchar. “These critical investments will help strengthen our food