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, and Trade 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

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce Funding for Meat Processing Facility in Waseca

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, announced federal funding to increase the meat processing capacity of Morgan’s Meat Market LLC in Waseca. The grant funding will go towards adding a smokehouse and vacuum stuffer, which will increase worker safety, reduce cleaning time from 3 days to only 4 hours, and increase processing capacity while saving time. “Agriculture is key to our state’s economy and to stay ahead, we must continue investing in our farms and food businesses,” said Klobuchar. “This federal grant will go toward bolstering capacity, improving worker safety, and upgrading efficiency at Morgan’s Meat Market in Waseca.” “A strong meat processing industry is critical to maintaining a stable economy in Minnesota, especially for Minnesota’s poultry and livestock farmers,” said Senator Smith. “By increasing capacity at Morgan’s Meat Market, producers will have another processing option. This helps farmers get a fair value for animals and also helps keep prices down for consumers at the grocery story.” The funding comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Local Meat Capacity grant program and will give Morgan’s Meat Market LLC in Waseca $250,000 for these upgrades. ###

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce USDA Partnership to Expand, Bolster Minnesota’s Food Supply Chain

WASHINGTON [2/7/2024] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced federal funding to strengthen the middle portions of Minnesota’s food supply chain. These funds will help small farms and small food businesses access more customers and help consumers find more locally-grown goods – oftentimes at lower cost. The funding is made possible through the American Rescue Plan, legislation both Klobuchar and Smith supported.  “To keep prices low at the grocery store, we need to invest in our food supply chain to make it resilient from disruptions and bottlenecks,” said Klobuchar. “These grants will strengthen the infrastructure needed to bring food from farm to table, support farmers as they expand into new markets, and deliver technical skills training for local food businesses.” “Farmers in Minnesota know firsthand the vulnerabilities of our food supply chain and the importance of making it more resilient in the long term,” said Smith. “This funding will help strengthen our food supply system and also expand opportunity for farmers in Minnesota and around the country by creating new and better markets for their products.”  This funding is one of many actions taken under the Biden Administration to expand processing capacity and increase competition in agriculture, making markets more accessible, fair, competitive and resilient for producers.   The four-year partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and United States Department of Agriculture will bolster the middle of Minnesota’s food supply chain, meaning more opportunities for producers to sell their goods, better infrastructure for food businesses to operate with, and

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Todd Young Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Farmers, Combat Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7.11.23] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation that will help combat climate change and improve agricultural resilience and productivity. Experts estimate that American farmers could store up to 220 billion pounds of carbon annually across all US croplands. The Advancing Research on Agricultural Climate Impacts Act will bolster our understanding of soil carbon sequestration and help farmers enhance soil health, make their operations more resilient, and combat climate change. “Farmers in Minnesota don’t need to be told climate change is happening, they see it every year in the form of

Senators Tina Smith, Joni Ernst Push USDA to Allow More Milk Options in Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6.16.23] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the Department to continue allowing non-fat and low-fat flavored milk in schools.  The letter is in response to a proposed rule from the USDA that could limit flavored milk options in schools. However, school nutritionists have reported that dairy in the school meals is often the only or one of the only ways that many children consume nutrients like calcium and protein. “Each day during the academic year, over 15.5 million kids receive

Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect U.S. Agricultural Exports

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Senators John Thune (R-SD), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) in introducing bipartisan legislation to protect American food products from unfair trade practices by foreign countries. Common food and drink names such as parmesan, asiago, romano, and bologna are used around the world to describe products to consumers. However, due to geographic indication to European locations, the European Union has begun using economic and political influence to implement unfair trade practices under the guise of protecting geographic indicators. These unfair trade practices have the potential to block United States

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.