Tuberville Honors National Agriculture Week, Continues to Stand Up for Farmers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Ranking Member of the Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee, continues to stand up for American farmers and agriculture workers. As the Biden administration insists on overregulating and crushing the agriculture industry, Senator Tuberville is standing up for farmers by cutting red tape, advocating for a strong Farm Bill, and putting American workers and products first on the world stage. In honor of National Agriculture Week, below are some of the recent actions Senator Tuberville has taken to boost American famers.

Senator Tuberville successfully pressured U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) into extending the poultry line speed waiver deadline to November 2024, boosting Alabama poultry farmers. USDA’s decision to move the deadline followed a hearing in February when Senator Tuberville urged USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to extend the poultry line speed waiver past the expiration date of March 31, 2024. This is big news for Alabama, as eight poultry plants in the state participate in the modified line speed waiver program to operate at up to 175 birds per minute, considerably higher than the previous maximum line speed of 140 birds per minute.

Yesterday, Senator Tuberville announced he was joining his colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, expressing concern with a regulation that could negatively impact U.S. paper and pulp producers. The regulation, called the European Union’s Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR), would impose costly reporting requirements for American companies in the forest products industry that export to the European Union (EU) and serve as a barrier to international business.

On Friday, Senator Tuberville announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce is reversing course on a preliminary decision that would have severe economic impact on U.S. catfish farmers. The decision follows a letter Sen. Tuberville sent to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo citing the harm this would cause for Alabama’s catfish industry. A Federal Register notice indicated that the administration is abandoning the preliminary decision which would have reduced the non-market economy (NME) anti-dumping duty from $2.39/kg to $0.14/kg for all producers controlled by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. According to data from USDA, Alabama is ranked 2nd nationally in farm-raised catfish production behind its western neighbor, Mississippi. Alabama is home to approximately 66 farm-raised catfish farms, predominantly across the Black Belt Region, that encompass approximately 15,000 acres of surface water area. The catfish industry employs over 2,400 individuals and contributes nearly $92 million in economic value to our state. 

Last week, Senator Tuberville cosponsored a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution pushing back against job-killing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Specifically, the legislation would prevent the EPA from enforcing a new rule tightening National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This action follows the letter Senator Tuberville led, signed by over thirty Senate colleagues, to the EPA demanding recission of the recently finalized NAAQS rule without readily available science and before the congressionally mandated review set for 2025. Alabama has 23.1 million acres of forest land, adding over $27 billion annually in economic output to the state and employing thousands of Alabamians. Without the forestry industry and subsequent manufacturing in the state, the rural communities and economy suffer as a result. Yet, the Biden administration’s onerous restrictions are pushing our industries out of business in the name of climate change – yet, as we know, forests and wood products sequester and store carbon, removing emissions from the atmosphere. 

Last week, Senator Tuberville joined his colleagues in urging USTR Katherine Tai and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to increase U.S. agricultural exports and improve the competitiveness of U.S. products abroad. Considering net farm income has fallen $70 billion in two years, the most rapid decline in U.S. history, and agricultural exports fell be over $17 billion in the last fiscal year, we need to prioritize securing additional markets for our producers.

Earlier in march, Senator Tuberville joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Katie Britt (R-AL) in introducing legislation to boost American fisherman and target illegally caught red snapper imports. The Illegal Red Snapper Enforcement Act would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a standard methodology for identifying the country of origin of red snapper imported into the United States. Snapper poaching continues to be an issue across the Gulf of Mexico, as Mexican fisherman illegally catch red snapper, smuggle it into their country, and then confuse American consumers by selling our fish back to us. Alabama lands 34% of all recreationally caught Red Snapper in the Gulf – and Sen. Tuberville is taking action to ensure that American fishermen are not being undermined by Mexican fishermen. 


As Alabama’s voice on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen. Tuberville is committed to supporting Alabama’s farmers and producers.

In a recent Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Senator Tuberville spoke about the need to support farmers struggling from inflation, the dire state of the agriculture economy, and burdensome regulations from Washington. Additionally, Senator Tuberville asked about what USDA is doing to address Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud and promote agricultural trade to keep competitors from having unfair advantages over domestic producers.

In February, Senator Tuberville joined a letter to the EPA calling for the Biden administration to appeal a recent court decision in order to protect farmers from losing certain dicamba-based crop protection tools largely used in no-till farming. Dicamba is an effective herbicide farmers use on cotton and soybean crops.

In January, Senator Tuberville joined Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and 10 other Senate colleagues in introducing the AFIDA Improvements Act of 2024 to collect more information about foreign ownership of American farmland. The legislation builds on Senator Tuberville’s efforts to secure America’s agriculture industry from foreign adversaries, including the Foreign Adversary Risk Management ActProtecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Actand Securing America’s Land from Foreign Interference Act.

In December 2023, Senator Tuberville joined colleagues in sending two letters opposing the slow rollout of the Biden administration’s Emergency Relief Program (ERP 2022), which implemented payment limits that unfairly harm producers who have undergone significant losses. Sen. Tuberville joined Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) and colleagues in sending a bicameral letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack expressing their concerns about USDA’s methodology and implementation of ERP. Additionally, Sen. Tuberville joined Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) in sending a letter to Comptroller General Dodaro requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) review of USDA’s ERP 2022 program.

Sen. Tuberville has led the charge in calling out the Biden administration for a proposed rule that would allow unions to coerce and pressure temporary foreign agriculture workers into unionization. Sen. Tuberville submitted a comment letter in November 2023 expressing strong opposition to the Biden administration’s proposed H-2A regulation. In the letter, he outlined how the proposed rule would hurt farmers and producers who rely on seasonal workers through the H-2A program for farm labor. Sen. Tuberville also joined Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) in sending another letter in November requesting an extension of the comment period for the proposed rule, but the request for the extension was denied by DOL.

In November 2023, Sen. Tuberville’s office encouraged crop and livestock producers in Alabama to consider the USDA emergency loan and disaster assistance programs to help them recover financially from the prolonged drought affecting the state.

Sen. Tuberville introduced the Black Vulture Relief Act in November 2023 to allow farmers and ranchers to protect their newborn livestock from black vultures without burdensome government interference.

During 2023 Farm Bill listening sessions throughout Alabama, Sen. Tuberville heard the concerns of peanut, cotton, and soybean farmers who are struggling in Joe Biden’s economy.

In September 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced the Farmers’ Market Expansion Act to add tree nuts, including pecans, to USDA’s Seniors’ Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. This would provide a new market for pecan producers and allow seniors increased access to nutritious, locally-sourced pecan products.

In July 2023, Senator Tuberville introduced two pieces of legislation—the Farm Board Act and the Mid-South Oilseed Double Cropping Study Act of 2023—to improve opportunities and representation for Alabama’s agriculture community.

The Farm Board Act, which Senator Tuberville introduced with Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) would make changes to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation’s (FCIC) ten-member Board of Directors. The FCIC is a government-owned corporation that finances the federal crop insurance program’s (FCIP’s) operations.  There are currently four seats for agricultural producers on the board, of which one must be a producer of specialty crops. This bill designates two of the remaining three open seats for farmers on the FCIC Board as (1) a producer of livestock and crops, and (2) an underserved producer, respectively.

The Mid-South Oilseed Double Cropping Study Act of 2023, led by Sen. Tuberville and several of his colleagues, would request a study from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) on the gap in crop insurance coverage for certain winter oilseed crops, specifically canola and rapeseed, and double cropping policies. For farmers to take advantage of opportunities in renewable diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel, they need the assurance that crop insurance—such as Catastrophic Risk Protection, Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, or Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion—will be eligible in their counties for these crops and practices.  To address crop insurance gaps that may exist, RMA and FCIC need analysis of winter oilseed crop and double-cropping production practices and opportunities.

These bills build on Senator Tuberville’s legislation to address issues facing our agriculture community such as the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act, which would establish safeguards against foreign purchases of American farmland. Alabama is one of the most susceptible states to foreign agriculture influence, with our state having the third-highest amount of foreign-owned land in the country. 

Senator Tuberville is also concerned with rising input costs continuing to cut into farmers’ bottom lines and making it difficult to do what they do best: farm. That’s why he helped introduce legislation to eliminate the federal Estate Tax, often called the Death Tax, to prevent any more family farms from going out of business due to this burdensome regulation. Instead of inhibiting production, the federal government needs to focus on creating an economic environment that preserves small businesses and family farms and incentivizes the next generation to enter the industry to continue feeding and fueling our nation. 

Senator Tuberville also helped introduce the Feral Swine Eradication Act to extend and make permanent the pilot program established in the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation would continue to safeguard public health, agriculture, and local ecosystems against the threat of feral swine. Feral swine impede farmers’ livelihoods and our national food supply, causing more than $1.5 billion in damages annually. Over the last five years, feral swine have impacted more than 173,000 acres in Alabama.

Last year, Senator Tuberville was named the top Republican of the AG Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, which enables him to build on his work to expand broadband access for rural communities. In December 2023, Sen. Tuberville advocated for increased access to capital, tools to hedge risk, rural broadband, and the needs of rural communities during a Senate Ag Committee hearing.

Senator Tuberville’s first hearing as Ranking Member of Rural Development and Energy—titled “Rural Broadband: Connecting our Communities to the Digital Economy”—focused on ways to expand broadband access in rural communities and incorporate these programs in the 2023 Farm Bill. Senator Tuberville invited Rainsville native and CEO of Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Inc. (FTC), Frank Johnson, to testify before the subcommittee about successful broadband expansion technologies he’s seen through his work to increase service speeds for rural areas. 

In addition to the Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, Senator Tuberville serves on the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, and Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research. 

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.