Bipartisan Legislation to Help Specialty Crops
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) joined Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) to introduce the Specialty Crop Security Act. The bipartisan legislation seeks to expand and enhance the current Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), which provides dedicated federal assistance grants to specialty crop growers through state agriculture departments for a wide array of projects.
“Over 170 different specialty crops are grown in Oregon’s vibrant Willamette Valley, and I’m honored to represent many of these producers. They are responsible for growing a variety of healthy and nutritious food that feeds families across the country and around the world. Unfortunately, specialty crop growers often face a number of unique and challenging conditions that make it more difficult to remain competitive in the global marketplace. That’s why I’m joining Congresswoman Slotkin to introduce the Specialty Crop Security Act, which will help bolster Oregon’s robust specialty crop industry,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
“From apples, to asparagus, to cherries, Michigan farmers grow much of the delicious and nutritious produce Americans love and depend on,” said Slotkin. “By expanding grant opportunities for specialty crop growers, this legislation will benefit Michigan agriculture and consumers. Expanding specialty crop markets and ensuring the long-term success of producers will pay serious dividends, which is why this bill has been endorsed by 11 different Michigan agriculture organizations from across the state and industry.”
Since it was first authorized in 2004, the SCBGP has funded 11,331 projects totaling nearly $1 billion. Its operations have supported the long-term success of U.S. producers and broadened the market for specialty crops at home and abroad. As the specialty crop industry confronts new and existing challenges, increased funding for the SCPBG would strengthen the program to the benefit of growers in Oregon and across the country.
Earlier this year, Chavez-DeRemer questioned U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack on the department’s plans to support crop insurance for specialty crop growers. She has identified expanding market access for these growers as one of her top Farm Bill priorities.