Jan 21, 2021
Agriculture groups respond to inauguration of President Joe Biden

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall commented Jan. 20 on the inauguration of President Joe Biden, who was sworn-in as the 46th president of the United States.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation congratulates President Joe Biden as he begins his term as 46th president of the United States. We also congratulate Vice President Kamala Harris as she makes history as the first woman to serve as America’s vice president,” Duvall said.

“The past several weeks have been difficult for all of America. We were saddened by the violence that threatened a peaceful transfer of power, but what we witnessed today is a hallmark of what has made this country an example for the rest of the world. We have peacefully ushered in new leaders and with them new appreciation for the resilience of our democracy. Today, we turn the page, learn the lessons, and look to the future with the hope and optimism that are core to who we are as Americans.

“Addressing the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities is important, including strengthening the farm bill, expanding trade and finding a fair solution to the farm labor shortage. We must extend broadband coverage to ensure rural families, businesses, schools and health care facilities can compete in today’s digital reality. We are also looking for partners in our efforts to achieve sustainability goals while ensuring climate policies remain market-based and voluntary. We have been meeting with President Biden’s nominees to discuss priority issues and today we shift into high gear to achieve these goals.

“All of this can be done if we commit ourselves to working together for a better America. Agriculture is traditionally divided more by regional differences than by political parties. We urge our elected leaders to continue that tradition of bipartisanship in the agriculture committees and throughout our government. Our country faces some big challenges. Let’s get to work on solutions.”

Statement of Tom Stenzel, President & CEO of United Fresh Produce 

“We congratulate President Biden and Vice President Harris on their swearing in today. Given the many challenges facing our country, we are grateful that the President immediately moved to address the need for immigration reform, sending a new legislative proposal to Congress.,” Stenzel said.

“We strongly support President Biden’s proposal to create a pathway to legal status for America’s immigrant population, including some 1 million farmworkers critical to feeding the nation. We also call on the President and Congress to include a future agricultural guest worker program which will be required to secure an adequate workforce to harvest, pack and ship our products. The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed by the House of Representatives in the last Congress charts a clear path forward to a long-term, bipartisan solution to these challenges.

We stand ready to work with the Biden Administration and the Congress to move this legislation forward.”

Statement by Jim Bair, president and CEO, U.S. Apple Association

“As President-elect Joseph Biden is sworn in today as the 46th President of the United States, the U.S. Apple Association looks forward to working with the Biden Administration on our top advocacy priorities. We applaud the Biden team for meetings with USApple and other farm organizations since last fall, which laid the groundwork for a strong working relationship with the agriculture sector. It is also a pleasure to welcome back Agriculture Secretary-nominee Tom Vilsack, who knows and understands agriculture. We are glad to have renewed our relationship with the Secretary and his office. We are pleased with the nominations of Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative and Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security Secretary. We look forward to working with them and their teams once confirmed.

“Although we usher in a new administration, USApple’s policy objectives remain the same: securing agriculture labor reform, regaining and growing lost international markets, and urging full funding for crop research and protection. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Biden Administration on these top objectives and more. Come January 21, we intend to hit the ground running.”

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FGN February 2021
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