FARMING in the 5th

FARMING in the 5th

I am the granddaughter of farmers and spent summers working in Carolina fields. I know that farming is the heart of America, and farmers in our district are the heart of many economies in the 5th District.

Small farmers have taken a hit in the name of repealing “job-killing regulations.” These changes favor large corporate farming interests. Here in the 5th District, we have cattle, hog, poultry, corn, soybean, and Christmas tree farms. I will fight to restore their protections, open and grow their markets and help keep small farms viable. I will also promote crop diversification to include industrial hemp, a product that could quickly replace tobacco in economic impact.

I know the importance of farming:

  • I’ve championed change through a community aquaponics facility that provides jobs, fresh food, and education and training opportunities.
  • I’ve been instrumental in bringing fresh foods to urban food deserts for six years. I fought to make sure families using EBT cards can use them at farmers’ markets.

My farming roots run deep in the 5th District, and I know that working together we can find a way to build a stronger economy through agriculture and energy initiatives.

  • I’ve championed change through a community aquaponics facility that provides jobs, fresh food, and education and training opportunities.
  • I’ve been instrumental in bringing fresh foods to urban food deserts for six years. I fought to make sure families using EBT cards can use them at farmers’ markets.
  • I support the growing and processing of industrial hemp. It is a cash crop that would add to farmer’s income, can be used for everything from textiles to food, and can grow manufacturing.
Farm

My farming roots run deep in the 5th District, and I know that working together we can find a way to build a stronger economy through agriculture and energy initiatives.

Trade tensions have resulted in extreme uncertainty for farmers who rely on international trade. The retaliatory tariffs (esp. soybean, pork, and tobacco) imposed on the U.S. by China, the E.U., Canada, Mexico, and others have disproportionately and severely affected the bottom line for farmers across the country and the district. The steel and aluminum tariffs are also negatively impacting the NC craft brewing industry. Congress needs to reassert their constitutional authority of Congress “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” (Art. 1, Sec. 8).

We also need a thoughtful, evidence-based renegotiation of NAFTA and re-engagement with the negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to expand our markets.

Farmers are dealing with a critical shortage of labor, which is exacerbated by the current administration’s restrictive immigration policies. Only ten percent of farm jobs are estimated to be filled through the H-2A program, while 55 percent of farm workers are estimated to be working without legal status. A comprehensive overhaul of our immigration system would bring justice to farm workers. We should:

  • Simplify the procedure for renewing agricultural worker visa status
  • Allow Secretary of Agriculture flexibility in establishing visa caps

Farmers are facing long-term threats from climate change such as increased water scarcity, more extreme weather, and reduced crop yields. As such, farmers will need to practice more sustainable agriculture, and everyone will need to consume food in a more sustainable manner. Among the actions I would promote are:

  • Taking a firm stance to address climate change and mitigate its effects on farmers
  • Investing in future-oriented infrastructure that helps farmers more effectively deal with the effects of climate change
  • Incentivizing farmers to practice more sustainable farming
  • Supporting public investment in biotechnology and genetic modification to make crops more productive, resilient, and sustainable.