Agriculture

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.

Latest Releases

Klobuchar, Smith Announce USDA Disaster Assistance for Impacted Commodity and Specialty Crop Producers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $418 million in emergency relief payment for Minnesota commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. The relief assistance, offered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA)’s new Emergency Relief Program (ERP) is intended to help impacted producers offset crop yields and value losses. “Recent natural disasters  – including last year’s extreme drought and wildfires – have created enormous challenges for our state’s farmers,” said Klobuchar. “These resources will be a critical step toward making sure that producers who suffered losses can continue to recover, and I encourage all eligible producers to work with their local FSA county office to apply. As recent storms have caused further damage and crop losses, I will continue working to ensure that Minnesotans have access to much needed relief.” “Widespread drought, wildfires and other climate-fueled extreme weather continues to strain farmers in Minnesota and around the country,” said Smith. “These disasters have challenged farmers in Minnesota and hurt our state’s economy.  I encourage anyone who suffered losses in 2021 and 2020 as a result of natural disasters to contact your local FSA office and apply for this assistance as soon as possible.” ERP covers losses to crops due to qualifying natural disasters, including wildfires, drought and smoke exposure, in 2020 and 2021.  All crops where crop insurance or NAP coverage was available are eligible, except for crops

Sens. Klobuchar, Smith Announce Expanded Potato Export Opportunities to Mexico

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced that the United States has significantly expanded opportunities for potato exports to Mexico after 15 years of negotiations. The development comes after the two countries reached an agreement following a letter from Senators Klobuchar, Smith, and several of their colleagues pressing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work with their Mexican counterparts to honor a trade deal expanding American potato access into Mexico.   The U.S. potato industry estimates this increased access to Mexico will provide a market potential of approximately $200 million per year. This represents an increase of $150 million from the current export value of $50 million. “Minnesota ranks among the nation’s top potato producers, and our potato farmers are a key part of our state’s economy,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This announcement will help our potato exports reach new markets and customers. I’ll keep pushing to eliminate export barriers and create more trade opportunities for our farmers.” “Until now, American potato farmers and exporters have had limited access to the Mexican marketplace,” said Sen. Smith. “This breakthrough is a huge win for Minnesota farmers who will finally have full access to the Mexican market and be able to sell their products to our southern neighbors without burdensome restrictions.” Before this agreement, American potatoes could not be sold outside of a 16-mile zone across the Mexican border. Last year, after 15 years of negotiations, the Mexican and American governments came to an agreement that would allow American farmers and exporters to sell fresh

Senate Unanimously Passes Sens. Smith, Ernst’s “National Women in Agriculture Day” Resolution

WASHINGTON [3.30.22]—Last night, during Women’s History Month, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan measure from U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)—both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee—designating March 24, 2022 as “National Women in Agriculture Day” to honor “the countless women who help agriculture prosper both at home and abroad.” Every single female senator joined Ernst and Smith on their resolution. “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy,” said Senator Tina Smith. “Women have always played an essential role in this sector, and I’m proud we have passed this bipartisan effort to set aside a

Every Female Senator Joins Smith, Ernst Resolution Designating Today National Women in Agriculture Day

WASHINGTON – During Women’s History Month and National Agriculture Week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)—both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee—have just received the support of every single female senator for their resolution designating today, March 24, as “National Women in Agriculture Day” to honor “the countless women who help agriculture prosper both at home and abroad.” Today, the senators are pushing the Senate to unanimously adopt their bipartisan measure, a process known as “hotlining.” The senators introduced the resolution earlier this week. Now, their bipartisan resolution has the support of every female senator and a

Senators Smith, Ernst Call for National Women in Agriculture Day

WASHINGTON – During Women’s History Month and National Agriculture Week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)—both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee—are calling for this upcoming Thursday, March 24, to be designated as “National Women in Agriculture Day,” honoring “the countless women who help agriculture prosper both at home and abroad.” The senators are introducing a bipartisan resolution that has the support of 55 fellow senators. “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy,” said Senator Smith. “Women have always played an essential role in this sector, and I’m proud to support this bipartisan effort to set

Klobuchar, Smith, Stauber Secure Significant Federal Funding for Agricultural Workforce Development in the Central Lakes Region

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN) announced that they have secured $2 million in federal funding for meat processing workforce development in the Central Lakes region. Specifically, this funding will facilitate an increase in meat cutting and butchery career pathways for students by enabling the Minnesota State Northern Agricultural Center to expand its training facilities and purchase new processing equipment at Central Lakes College in Staples.  “A healthy meat processing industry is critical to the economic success of Central Minnesota,” said Klobuchar. “This funding will help diversify local meat processing

en_USEnglish