FARMFEST: Sen. Smith Delivered For Farmers In 2018 Farm Bill

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2020

Senator Tina Smith has always been a strong advocate for Minnesota agriculture. When she first arrived in the Senate, Sen. Smith successfully fought to be a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, as she knows how crucial farming is to Minnesota’s economy.

As a key author of the bipartisan Farm Bill, Sen. Smith put together a Farm Bill working group to make sure Minnesotans’ voices were a part of the process during crafting of the legislation. Advisors from across the state such as corn growers, foresters, farm groups and unions, and clean energy advocates helped Sen. Smith identify key priorities for the crucial legislation. Sen. Smith secured crucial mental health legislation that expanded access to services in the public school system, nonprofits, and to homes in need–especially in rural communities.


Pioneer Press: Sen. Tina Smith Gets Her Wish: She’s Appointed To The Agriculture Committee. [Pioneer Press, 1/11/18]

Agweek: Sen. Tina Smith Announces Ag Working Group Ahead Of Upcoming Farm Bill Debate [Agweek, 2/08/18]

Crop Life: The Farm Bill Funded Smith’s Efforts To Help Younger And Non-Traditional Farmers Get Started In The Business. “Smith authored and championed several measures in the Senate Farm Bill, including her legislative roadmap for the energy title of the Farm Bill, her provision to expand access to much-needed broadband in rural communities and tribal areas across the country, and a provision to create a U.S. Department of Agriculture ‘Rural Health Liaison’ who will work with other federal health officials to address rural America’s unique health care needs. The bill also funds Smith’s efforts to help younger and non-traditional farmers get started in the business, and it responds to her call to preserve the Sugar Program which supports thousands of jobs across the Red River Valley in Northwest Minnesota.” [Crop Life, 10/25/18]

  • Brainerd Dispatch: “Smith Urges Vets, Non-Traditional Farmers Use USDA Grants To Get Into Farming.” [Brainerd Dispatch, 7/18/19]

Duluth News-Tribune: Smith’s Bill To Deploy Broadband To Rural And Tribal Communities Through The Community Connect Grant Program Was Included In The Farm Bill And Signed Into Law. “Congress is approaching the end of this year’s session and the farm bill is still being discussed, but Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., is confident it will be passed.  ‘Getting a final farm bill passed before the end of the year is so important. Minnesota farmers need the certainty this bill is going to provide. I’m optimistic we’re going to get that done,’ Smith said.  One feature of the bill is a Community Connect Program that would help spread broadband access to rural and tribal communities, according to Smith.  ‘It will help to get funding to rural parts of the country to expand broadband. It’s a really important step and we need to do a lot more to expand broadband,’ Smith said.” [Duluth News-Tribune, 12/6/18; S. 2654, 4/12/18; H.R. 2, 12/20/18]

Detroit Lakes Tribune: Smith’s Bill To Create A “Rural Health Liaison” At USDA, Whose Job Will Be To Focus Federal Health Efforts On The Needs Of Rural America, Was Included In The Farm Bill And Signed Into Law. “On healthcare, Smith has focused on rural needs. She has taken a leadership role on the bipartisan Senate Rural Health Caucus, meeting with rural hospital CEOs, health providers and patients in Minnesota about their challenges. She worked with Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota to create in the Senate Farm Bill a ‘Rural Health Liaison’ at USDA whose job will be to focus federal health efforts on the needs of rural America.” [S. 2894, 5/22/18; H.R. 2, 12/20/18; DL-Online, 11/1/18]

Star Tribune: Sen. Smith’s Legislation Improving Access To Mental Health Services Act, Which Was Included In The Opioid Package. “U.S. Sen. Tina Smith has had to master many things quickly in the months since she was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to fill the seat of former Sen. Al Franken after his resignation last December.  Smith wasted little time, producing a flurry of lower-profile but substantive legislative proposals and forming relationships with senators in both parties. She teamed up with Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski on a measure to expand student and community mental health services as part of a larger opioid package.” [CQ, 9/17/18; H.R. 6, Roll Call 210, 10/24/18; S. 2533, 3/12/18; Star Tribune, 10/19/18]

  • The Bill Expanded Access To Mental Health Services In The Public School System, Nonprofits And In The Homes Of Families Who Needed Services. “Sen. Lisa  Murkowski, R-Alaska, has teamed up with U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, to expand mental health services in the public school system, according to a news release. The Improving Access to Mental Health Services Act would bring mental health professionals from the National Health Service Corps into schools, nonprofits and homes of families who need services. Currently, providers at the health service corps are limited with what services can be provided outside of approved clinics.  The bill is aimed at improving treatment options for children, particularly in rural areas.” [Daily News-Miner, 3/13/18]

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