America’s farmers and ranchers provide us with the world’s most abundant and most affordable food supply. America’s food independence is an invaluable strategic asset and one that we absolutely cannot take for granted. It’s critical to our national security.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently put it into simple terms.
Voters agree. A survey conducted by National Crop Insurance Services found that 78% of Americans believe a strong and thriving farming industry is critical to national security.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of American agriculture. America’s farmers and ranchers raise the crops and livestock that are essential to feeding America. Our grocery store shelves would be bare without the crops and livestock grown by American farmers.
Yet, America is losing farmers as farming becomes too difficult, too expensive, and too uncertain. According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture data, America lost 200,000 farms in the past 15 years. For America’s remaining farmers, the 0.2% of the federal budget dedicated to the farm safety net is falling woefully short.
|In Congress’ Own Words|
|Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle agree: Food security is national security. The importance of agriculture is an issue that unites us. As Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) said, “ag is that one thing that while most people may think that it is only rural, it affects all of us. It is rural, it is urban, it is who we are in this country.”|
However, it is not enough to simply recognize the countless contributions of America’s farmers and ranchers. The next Farm Bill must strengthen national security by investing in our farmers and providing a robust farm safety net.
Food security does not happen by accident. It is a blessing that is fostered by smart policy.