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

With Farm Bill on the Horizon, U.S. Senator Tina Smith Introduces Slate of Legislation to Help Farmers and Address Workforce Shortages

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7.20.23] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to help address workforce shortages in farming and boost economic growth and development in rural communities. The bills are set to be included as part of this year’s Farm Bill, a package of legislation passed every five years that is critically important for farmers, rural communities, and the environment. Specifically, Smith’s legislation will help increase access to capital for under-served farmers, boost training and economic opportunity for beginner farmers, and help make land more affordable for historically disadvantaged farmers.  “The Farm Bill touches the lives of virtually every American and is vital to our state’s economy,” said Sen. Smith. “The bills that I am introducing today will help beginning farmers access land and develop markets for their products, two of the biggest issues I have heard during my Farm Bill listening sessions around the state. I will continue working to get them across the finish line and make this year’s Farm Bill as strong as possible.”  Senator Smith’s bills include: “With millions of acres of agricultural land anticipated to change hands over the next decade, now is the moment for Congress to take action and ensure that the 2023 Farm Bill delivers material benefits for historically underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest owners striving to establish and grow their operations,” said Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Policy Director with the National Young Farmers Coalition. “Land access is the top challenge that young farmers across the country face. We are grateful for

With New Farm Bill on the Horizon, U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Rep. Brad Finstad Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Invest in Ag’s Next Generation

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7.18.23] – This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced legislation investing in agriculture’s next generation. Despite the need for young people to get into farming, the reality is they face barriers like access to capital, rising farm land prices, difficulty getting operating loans, and a lack of opportunities for hands-on experience. The Agriculture Skills Preparation for Industry Recruitment Efforts (ASPIRE) Act, which was introduced in the House by Representative Brad Finstad (R-MN 1), would address some of these barriers to entry and make it easier for young farmers to join the workforce. “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy,” said Sen. Smith. “With food shortages, supply chain snags and a tight labor market around the world, it’s vital we support and grow our farming sector here at home. This legislation will provide work-based training programs to support a new generation of farmers and ranchers in Minnesota and around the country.” “As a farmer, and as a father raising the fifth generation on our family farm, I know firsthand how important it is to make sure our future ag leaders are adequately equipped with the tools they need to succeed,” said Rep. Finstad. “I’m proud to help introduce the ASPIRE Act with Senator Smith and Congresswoman Pingree, which will help give those starting in the agricultural profession a solid foundation by facilitating relationships between local agricultural businesses and the next generation of industry leaders through work-based training programs.” Between the years of 2020

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Reintroduces Bill to Forgive Student Loan Debt for Beginning Farmers

WASHINGTON [12/20/22] – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, helped reintroduce legislation she co-sponsors to create a loan forgiveness program for beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women, veteran, and minority farmers. The Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act, which is led by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and also cosponsored by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), would serve as an incentive for farmers to enter – and stay – in the agricultural industry and boost opportunities to grow successful businesses. “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Significant Investment to Help Minnesota Veterans Pursue Careers in Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/19/22] — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced $750,000 in federal funding to support training, mentorship and other opportunities for veterans looking to transition into agricultural careers. The investments will create jobs and strengthen Minnesota’s agricultural workforce by providing hands-on training and mentorship for veterans pursuing opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness. “The men and women who serve our country deserve our utmost respect. That means when they come home, they get the benefits and care they earned and have the opportunities and training they need to pursue good jobs,” said Sen.

Senators Klobuchar, Smith, and Representative Craig Announce Deadline Extension for Enrollment in 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/12/22] — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, and U.S. Representative Angie Craig (all D-MN) announced that the deadline for eligible farmers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage (SDMC) programs has been extended. Eligible producers will now have until January 31, 2023 to enroll in the program. These programs help dairy producers manage the volatility of milk and feed price disparities. “The Dairy Margin Coverage program helps provide Minnesota’s dairy farmers with important stability and risk management tools that benefit our rural communities,” said Klobuchar. “This extended sign-up period will allow

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Encourage Minnesota Farmers to Sign Up for Key Safety Net Programs

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