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Agriculture

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The agriculture industry across Chester and Berks counties employs over 7,000 of our community members and represents a key component of our economy. In fact, our community is home to the “Mushroom Capital of the World” – Kennett Square! And even as the national number of farms decreases, our district has seen our numbers rise.  

Recently, I have led the effort to tackle the infant formula shortage which is hurting families in our community and across the nation. I saw first-hand how new small businesses in our backyard are increasing the supply of this vital product when I visited the ByHeart baby formula production facility outside Reading with Governor Wolf. In Congress, I’ve championed policies that will support businesses like these, authoring an increase of $30 million in funding for this industry through the Appropriations process. I led members of the Pennsylvania delegation in calling for this funding and joined many of my colleagues across the country in urging the President to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase formula production and facilitate distribution.  

I understand that the needs of agricultural producers are unique and were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, I prioritized hearing from farmers in PA-06 and held multiple roundtables to hear from specialty crop and livestock producers. These roundtables allowed me to hear our producers' specific needs and bring them down to Washington as I fought for robust assistance for our farming community. Inspired by our dialogues, I was proud to vote for the CARES Act, which included direct funding for farmers—over $23.6 billion of which has already been paid to farmers across the nation. 

I also continue to work on our district’s other agricultural priorities. Since joining Congress, combatting the Spotted Lanternfly and other invasive species that plague our farms has been a top priority. During the Trump administration, I welcomed former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to our district hear in-person about the problems facing our family farms. I also led our PA delegation in urging Secretary Perdue to provide increased funding for this epidemic. He heard our request, and we were able to secure an additional $4 million to research and combat this invasive species. Each year, I have continued this fight for increased funding to address this pest through the House’s Appropriations process. I am also working with our current USDA Secretary – Tom Vilsack – on a bipartisan basis to tackle this challenge, and the others facing our farmers. I will continue to listen to producers and engage with businesses owners and workers to address trade policy concerns, labor needs, licensing delays, and more. Our agriculture industry still faces many unique obstacles. I have prioritized finding commonsense solutions for our community so our farmers and our workforce can thrive.  If you’d like to see coverage of my agriculture advocacy around our district, check out the links below.