Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 7.15

Monday, July 15th, 2019


July 15, 2019

A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Marissa Dake

Big Picture Outlook

  • Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Reduce Ag Specialist Shortage- A bipartisan group of Senators, including Senate Ag Committee Leaders Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Peters (D-MI) and Sen. Coryn (R-TX), introduced the “Protecting America’s Food & Agriculture Act of 2019”. The act would authorize Customs & Border Patrol to hire 240 agricultural specialists a year until the estimated 700 inspector positions are filled. It would also authorize hiring 200 agricultural technicians to carry out administrative and support functions, as well as 20 canine teams each year. Inspectors are responsible for inspecting produce, meat and other agricultural goods that enter the United States. They work to ensure that pests and diseases do not enter the country and that the country’s food supply remains secure. With the current prevalence of certain diseases like African Swine Fever, these inspectors are all the more important in safeguarding agricultural production in the United States.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • There were no nominations or confirmations relating to agriculture or food this week.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
  • The House Ag Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture will hold a hearing on “Reviewing the State of the US Livestock and Poultry Economies”.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
  • The House Ag Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research will hold a hearing on “Assessing the Effectiveness of the National Organic Program”.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • The Senate Ag Committee will hold a hearing on “Agricultural Research and 2018 Farm Bill Implementation”.

MTA In Action

MTA at 2019 Hunger Leadership Awards- On Tuesday, Michael Torrey, Barbara Patterson, Andrew Jerome, Marissa Dake and Brooke Schafer attended the 2019 Hunger Leadership Awards hosted by the Congressional Hunger Center. Before heading into the reception and awards program, the team filled bags with food and drinks to be donated to children through the DC Central Kitchen as a part of PepsiCo’s Food for Good program.
Above: Michael Torrey and Barbara Patterson (right) with Barbara Hiden (ABA) (left) and Shannon Maynard (Congressional Hunger Center) (middle right).
Right: MTA team member Andrew Jerome with a bag for “Food for Good”.
Above: Michael Torrey preparing a bag of food to be donated to “Food for Good”.
Right: From left to right MTA team members: Brooke Schafer, Barbara Patterson, Marissa Dake and Michael Torrey, with Barbara Hiden (ABA).


MTA Leads Coalition Meeting in Fort Collins- Michael Torrey, Barbara Patterson, and Andrew Jerome were in Fort Collins, Colorado last week for the CERES Coalition meeting on Agricultural Biosecurity. CERES, the Coalition for Epi Response Engagement and Science, is a consortium of six leading land-grant universities that are teaming up to address gaps in the United States’ ability to respond to infectious disease outbreaks in agriculture. Members of the consortium include: Colorado State University, Kansas State University, University of California-Davis, Texas A&M University, Iowa State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
While in Colorado, they also met with executives at Ardent Mills.
Pictured from left to right are: Barbara Patterson, Dr. Edward Okoth of the International Livestock Research Institute, Alan Rudolph, VP of Research at Colorado State University, and Michael Torrey.


A Quick Look Back