Tuberville ensures the state’s ag industry has seat at the table as Alabama’s voice on the Senate AG Committee
WASHINGTON — As Alabama’s representation on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) yesterday attended the first hearing on the drafting of the 2023 Farm Bill. During the hearing, Senator Tuberville raised issues that he’s heard about from Alabama farmers in his recent meetings and from his staff’s recent farm tour.
Throughout the Farm Bill review process, Senator Tuberville plans to seek input from Alabama’s agriculture industry to ensure the real needs of Alabama farmers are met and that they have a seat at the table for these important discussions. Senator Tuberville previously outlined his four legislative priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill based on his conversations with those in Alabama’s agriculture industry: ensuring funds for rural development projects reach their destination, expanding access to broadband for rural areas, protecting our farm safety net and crop insurance, and addressing rising input costs which affect our farmers’ bottom lines.
Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s line of questioning can be found below and the full video can be found here.
ON PRESERVING FAMILY FARMS
TUBERVILLE: “Agriculture in my state of Alabama is the number one industry, and we’re proud of it. The problem we’re having is [what] we had through COVID, we’ve lost a lot of family farms in our state, and I would hope doing this Farm Bill we’d really keep in mind of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it for all farmers, but especially try to keep as many family farms intact as we can.”
ON SUPPORTING COTTON PRODUCERS
TUBERVILLE: “Our cotton producers in Alabama and across the Southeast export most of their cotton overseas in one form or another. You know what MAP [USDA’s Market Access Program] is and FMD [USDA’s Foreign Market Development Program]. Do you have any new plans for these two programs?”
UNDER SECRETARY TAYLOR: “I will look forward to working with Congress on any changes that you all might be seeking, but from our perspective they are highly effective programs.”
ON CONTAINING INVASIVE PESTS
TUBERVILLE: “I understand that our nurseries face the emerging threat of the box tree moth, a serious pest of boxwoods that has begun to spread into the U.S. from Canada. Boxwoods are the number one evergreen shrub crop grown in the U.S, and very important to our state in Alabama. I’m told the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service began working well with the horticulture industry to combat this pest. Do you have any comments on this?”
UNDER SECRETARY MOFFITT: “Yes, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been working with the industry and making sure that we have movement control so that we’re containing the pest where it is currently, and then also working to eradicate it.”
TUBERVILLE: “Cogongrass is an invasive perennial weed covering over 200,000 acres in Alabama, of which 75% is infested land in our forests. The weed damages crops and reduces forest productivity. What research is APHIS working on to combat this?”
UNDER SECRETARY MOFFITT: “I can talk to APHIS and get some more information and we can make sure we get back to you.”
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.