CEA Alliance applauds bipartisan amendment
The CEA Alliance applauded the inclusion of a bipartisan amendment led by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to restore funding to the USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production as part of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2024 “minibus” appropriations bill, which passed late yesterday.
“We appreciate the steadfast leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow and the bipartisan co-sponsors of her amendment for ensuring that USDA has the resources it needs to support controlled environment agriculture,” said Tom Stenzel, Executive Director of the CEA Alliance. “Continued funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is important to the success of U.S. high-tech greenhouses and indoor vertical farms. Countries around the world are investing in indoor farming, and the U.S. has an opportunity to lead innovation in this rapidly growing sector of agriculture.”
The bipartisan amendment passed by voice vote as the Senate considered amendments to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill.
“We applaud Chairwoman Stabenow, Senator Bill Cassidy and the other Senate champions for fighting to ensure that funding for USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was included in the Senate’s ‘minibus’ appropriations bill,” said Colin O’Neil, director of public policy and social impact for Bowery and chair of the CEA Alliance’s Public Policy Working Group. “The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production remains a critical lifeline for the CEA industry at USDA. The bipartisan support for Chairwoman Stabenow’s amendment should send a strong signal about how important this office has been since it was created in the 2018 Farm Bill.”
The CEA Alliance works in close collaboration with the entire fresh produce industry and agriculture groups to ensure that final FY24 appropriations legislation for USDA includes funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, while building support for policies in the upcoming farm bill and other legislation that will support the growth and success of controlled environment agriculture in the U.S.