Standing up for Delaware’s hard-working farmers
Our nation has long been sustained by the hard work and spirit of its farmers. Delaware in particular has a long history as an agricultural state, and the quality of our produce, poultry, and dairy products are known regionally and globally. In fact, agriculture contributes $8 billion a year to Delaware's economy and accounts for 30,000 jobs in the state. Senator Coons is standing up for Delaware’s farmers and ensure that our state’s agricultural sector thrives in the years to come.
Senator Coons’ agriculture priorities include:
- Reauthorizing the farm bill. Senator Coons believes we need a comprehensive approach to agriculture policy, and that requires reauthorizing the farm bill. Twice, he has supported the Senate version of the farm bill, which passed each time by a broad bipartisan majority. This legislation would protect the 16 million American jobs supported by agriculture and reduce our deficit by $23 billion. The current extension of the 2008 farm bill expires on September 30, 2013.
- Fighting for Delaware poultry. Senator Coons is working hard to support the poultry industry in Delaware, which supports 13,000 jobs in Delaware and contributes more than $3.2 billion to the state economy. He sponsored a bipartisan provision in the farm bill to commission a pair of studies on the feasibility of insurance programs to protect America’s poultry growers from catastrophic loss, such as disease outbreaks, and from bankruptcies of poultry integrators. He also cosponsored an amendment to the FY 2013 continuing resolution to ensure that the meat and poultry inspectors that keep Delaware’s processing facilities running were not furloughed as a result of the sequester.
- Expanding trade opportunities. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Coons is committed to expanding and opening new export markets for Delaware’s agricultural products around the world, including two markets of growing importance, Asia and Africa. The Senator is actively working with U.S. trade officials to address market barriers, including antidumping duties, tariffs, and non-scientific-based health bans that affect Delaware’s agricultural producers and companies.
- Developing next generation biofuels. Senator Coons knows that biofuels play an important role in meeting our economic, national security, and environmental goals. He is a leading advocate for advanced, next generation biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, and drop-in fuels like bio-butanol, and is actively working to support the research, development, and deployment of these advanced biofuels in order to grow this nascent industry.
- Promoting conservation and farmland preservation. Senator Coons is a leading advocate for agricultural conservation and farmland preservation. He supports conservation programs authorized in the farm bill to help farmers and ranchers achieve their goals to be good stewards of that land. These programs support voluntary, cooperative efforts to protect water quality, conserve soil, enhance wildlife habitat, and protect farmland.