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.

As Chair of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, she will advocate for provisions that benefit Minnesota farmers and use the platform to promote the importance of agriculture exports, which account for over 1/3 of Minnesota’s total exports. Additionally, she will push for more open foreign markets and strong crop insurance and commodity programs that help farmers in Minnesota and around the country manage uncertainties in the market.

You can learn more about Senator Smith’s efforts to make economic development in rural America a priority here.

Latest Releases

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce New Regional Food Business Center to Support Farmers in Minnesota

WASHINGTON [5.10.23] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced the creation of a new Regional Food Business Center in Minnesota that will help farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state, and local resources. The new center, which will be located in Staples, MN, is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass. “Our farmers are an essential part of the fabric of our state. We need to make sure they have the necessary resources to continue to feed and fuel the world,” said Klobuchar. “The new Regional Food Business Center will provide critical support to help farmers expand their businesses and reach new markets.” “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy and I want to make sure our farmers have every opportunity to sell their products and stay competitive,” said Smith. “This new Regional Food Business Center will provide tailored guidance for farmers while helping them grow their business and access new markets. It will be a great resource made possible by the American Rescue Plan and I encourage Minnesota farmers to take advantage of it.” As part of the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced funding for 12 Regional Food Business Centers, including the North Central location in Staples, MN. The Region Five Development Commission was selected to lead the North Central location, which will serve Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.  The Regional Food Business Centers will

Senator Smith, Grassley Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Research the Impact of Consolidation on Livestock Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), introduced bipartisan legislation to support research into the impact of livestock market consolidation on farmers, ranchers, and consumers in an effort to better understand the problem and craft effective solutions. “Just a handful of large companies have come to dominate the meat and poultry processing industry, which means higher prices for consumers and shrinking earnings for farmers,” said Sen. Smith. “This bipartisan bill would uncover the impact of this consolidation on farmers and consumers and help us create the best possible solutions to fix the problem. I look forward to working with Senator Grassley and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation as part of the Farm Bill.” “This type of measure is long overdue. Iowa producers are well aware of the downsides of consolidation in the meat industry,” said Sen. Grassley. “Their returns on hard work are getting squeezed more every year all consumers pay more at the grocery stores. I’m glad to work in a bipartisan way with Senator Smith as we continue trying to address this problem.” “Farmers Union launched the Fairness for Farmers campaign to call attention to the increasingly consolidated agricultural marketplace where the four largest beef packers control 85 percent of beef packing and the farmer’s share of the food dollar has dropped from 50 percent in 1952 to less than 16 percent today,” said Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish. “Sen. Smith’s bill will help

U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Funding Available for Climate-Smart Agriculture Programs

WASHINGTON [2.22.23] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced new funding is available for voluntary, incentive-based climate-smart agricultural and conservation programs. The funding is made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year.   “Our farmers should have the tools and resources they need to conserve and improve soil, strengthen water quality, and preserve wildlife habitat,” said Klobuchar. “By providing Minnesota farmers with better access to critical, voluntary conservation programs, these investments will boost productivity and increase economic opportunities for our agricultural communities while protecting the environment.” “Climate friendly farming and

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Named Chair of Key Agriculture Subcommittee

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/16/23]— Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced she will serve as Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade, which oversees commodities, crop insurance and trade. “When I first got to the Senate, I fought hard for a spot on the Ag Committee so that I could represent and advocate for Minnesota’s diverse ag sector. I take that role very seriously,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m excited about my new role as chair of this subcommittee, which oversees critically important issues to the agriculture industry in Minnesota from crop insurance to trade. As we begin the legislative

Senator Smith, Colleagues Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Grow Foreign Sales of American Agricultural Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) continued her fight to open new international markets for Minnesota farm products by throwing her support behind bipartisan legislation to help farmers, rural cooperatives, and small businesses sell more exports abroad. The Expanding Agricultural Exports Act is estimated to increase agricultural exports by $7.4 billion by doubling funding for the advertising programs of agricultural goods in foreign countries. In addition to Senator Smith, The bipartisan, bicameral legislation was reintroduced by Senator Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA). “I fought for a spot on the Agriculture Committee

U.S. Senators Smith, Klobuchar Announce Major Investments to Expand Renewable Energy, Lower Energy Bills for Minnesotans

WASHINGTON [12/22/22] – U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (both D-Minn.) announced over $21.6 million in federal funding to lower energy costs, combat climate change, and expand access to clean energy for Minnesotans. The funding – made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act– is based on Senator Smith’s legislation to help rural communities install renewable energy systems and will be distributed across nearly 150 projects throughout the state. The projects will save Minnesota businesses and families thousands of dollars a year in energy costs while reducing harmful greenhouse emissions.      “The transition to clean energy is happening, the question