Tuberville Questions Nominee for Ag Deputy Secretary on Support for Rural Communities and Family Farms

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today in a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing questioned the nominee for United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh, about the Department’s plans to support the continued prosperity of family farms and rural communities. Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s line of questioning can be found below and the full video can be found here.

On the Importance of Family Farms:

TUBERVILLE: “From the fields of our commodity producers to the school cafeterias and all the rural development needs, including broadband development– your job with the USDA is across a vast area of policy, but it also includes direct access to citizens across the country. Diversified family farms crisscross all over my home state of Alabama, and we must ensure they continue for decades to come. Most of these small businesses have been in the family for generations, and we cannot allow any government policies to drive them out of business. Farmers already have it tough enough competing against mother nature and world market prices… how will you implement policy and develop strategies that keep our rural communities and family farms thriving for the future?”

On USDA’s Commitment to Necessary Staffing Levels for Alabama’s FSA Offices:

TUBERVILLE: “…Alabama has suffered in the past with [understaffed] and deficient offices in county offices around the state. In your testimony, you talked about the hands-on approach with visiting county offices and State Directors – I hope your experience in seeing these offices and their needs can assist you as you will now have nationwide exposure to FSA offices. How will you maintain FSA offices, and specifically, will you commit to using all hiring authorities to keep Alabama FSA offices fully staffed and trained because we have terrible storms and have had terrible storms, and we need to be fully staffed.”

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.