Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin will serve as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture during this Congress. She said one of her top goals is helping the farming community recover from COVID-19.

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“There were a lot of underlying challenges to dairy and agriculture prior to the pandemic but the pandemic, as we know, wreaks havoc on our economy, and particularly in agriculture issues like food supply chain disruptions and responding to food insecurity in the general population as people lost jobs and needed to perhaps the first time in their lives, go to a food bank or sign up for the SNAP program. So, a lot of those pandemic related issues are top of mind.”

From there, Baldwin said she would like to build a more resilient agricultural economy, deploying broadband to underserved communities and getting full funding for things like the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative. When it comes to broadband, she noted the federal government needs a plan.

“Part of the challenge of course is not only the piecemeal approach but that there's three different entities that provide funding to build the last mile or increase the speeds, etc. There's the Federal Communications Commission there's the NTIA, and then there's USDA Rural Development funds, all of which go to expanding access to broadband, but I think, don't coordinate with each other as much as they need to. We need a master plan we need to treat this as though it were rural electrification.”

Baldwin noted her other priorities include enforcement of labeling rules for plant-based imitation products, and focusing on rural hospitals.

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