Agriculture & Rural Prosperity
From soybeans to catfish and poultry to peanuts, Alabama is home to diverse farming and production industries. Alabama’s farmers, foresters, and producers can count on me to be a strong voice for them in Washington.
Family farms have benefitted from reduced burdensome regulations, and my goal is to get big government out of the way so the people who earn a living off the land can do what they do best: feed, fuel, and clothe America.
As we look toward the next Farm Bill, my priority will be to listen to the needs of Alabama’s farmers. My office will focus on ways to support Alabama’s top commodities, drive forward key initiatives like rural development and broadband, and promote conservation efforts and forestry programs to benefit Alabama’s rural communities both today and in the future.
Making a Difference
As a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee, I work with my colleagues on common-sense legislation to set Alabama and America’s farmers, foresters, and producers up for success.
I serve on important subcommittees that position me well to advocate for Alabama:
- The Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade focuses on production agriculture, including commodity programs, crop insurance, commodity exchanges, agriculture trade, international food assistance, and credit.
- The Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy oversees the many programs in USDA’s Rural Development mission area, including facilities, utilities, loans, and renewable energy.
- Subcommittee on Conservation, Climate, Forestry, and Natural Resources works on conservation and protection of natural resources, the regulation of pesticides and agriculture biotechnology, and forestry.
I pressed the U.S. Agriculture Secretary about family farmers’ concerns with President Biden’s proposed tax hikes and how higher taxes will seriously impact their operations.
- “95% of farmers indicat[ed] they are concerned that these changes in tax policy would impact their ability to pass their family farms down to future generations.”
- Read what we said here.
I joined with Senators from the top catfish producing states to introduce a bill to allow private landowners and catfish farmers to better protect their lands and ponds from predatory birds.
- “Catfish farmers should have the ability to address the damage these predators cause without federal regulations tying their hands and limiting what they can do to protect their business. I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting our catfish farmers against this predatory bird.”
- Read more on S. 1050 – The Cormorant Relief Act here.
Listening to the concerns of rural America is important to me. That is why I proudly cosponsored the Sunshine Protection Act to permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time (DST), which would give Americans longer days and more daylight for our farmers to work in the fields.
- The Sunshine Protection Act would permanently adopt DST, doing away with the outdated practice of adjusting clocks twice a year.
- This bill passed the U.S. Senate by Unanimous Consent on March 15, 2022. I spoke in support of Senate passage.
- Alabama and 17 other state legislatures have passed similar legislation to permanently adopt DST if enacted at the federal level.
- Read more on S. 623—The Sunshine Protection Act here.
Alabama is home to many farmers that contribute to our national peanut industry. I led my colleagues in pushing for reduction of restrictive trade barriers to increase international access of our peanut exports.
I introduced the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act to bring more transparency and oversight to foreign businesses involved with our domestic agriculture industry and ensure America’s food security is not uprooted by foreign investments.
- Food security is national security, and those in our agriculture industry ensure the shelves in our grocery stores remain stocked. The American agriculture industry has changed drastically due to rising foreign investment and consolidation in our domestic food supply.
- The FARM Act would add the Secretary of Agriculture to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), giving the agriculture community greater say in the vetting process for foreign investments.
- It would also recognize agricultural supply chains as critical infrastructure and critical technologies, and add language to protect the U.S. agriculture industry from foreign control through transactions, mergers, acquisitions, or agreements.
Rural farms are the heart of our local communities. We must ensure there are incentives in place that allow them and our communities to thrive. I cosponsored legislation to allow banks to more easily and affordably lend capital to farmers, landowners, and other Americans living in rural communities.
I helped introduce legislation to codify existing rules related to water regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so that the Biden administration cannot overburden land owners with stringent water rules. I joined my colleagues in a letter to push back against EPA overreach of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to ensure stakeholders are not bogged down in economic red tape.
- “Given the severe financial penalties stakeholders could face for conducting standard agricultural or other land development practices under the proposed rule, family farmers and ranchers are understandably alarmed by the administration’s attempted land grab,” my colleagues and I wrote.
I also urged the EPA to maintain an exemption of air emission from animal waste at farms under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).