One of the recent Farmfest 2020 Virtual Sessions included a roundtable on the state of the agricultural economy. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was one of the panelists, and she said agriculture has taken several hits in recent years.

“One of the hardest things is after years of challenges, whether it is ethanol waivers for our biofuels, whether it is some of the trade problems that we’ve seen, whether it is commodity prices, then we have the pandemic. We know that one, we have coronavirus in the rural areas. Between June 13 and July 12, the number of new cases in rural counties increased by 150 percent. We know that’s getting under control now, but we know that’s a fact.”

Klobuchar, who is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said not addressing the challenges in rural America could have dire consequences.

“II don’t think there’s been enough attention paid to rural issues and the economic challenges. Congress needs to take action now to ensure the continuity of our country’s food supply. One of the things we’ve learned is we see what happened when people are trying to get medical supplies, as well as protective equipment, when all of a sudden, they realize we’re dependent on foreign countries and they’re keeping that stuff. We don’t want to have that happen with food. It gives a really strong case to make about why it’s so important that we have producers and growers in our own country.”

The former presidential candidate says addressing these challenges will take a strong Farm Bill, expanded broadband coverage, and unity.

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