Kelly, Bipartisan Colleagues Call on Agriculture Committee Leadership to Address Long-Term Drought in Farm Bill

Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) joined Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), and 14 bipartisan Senate colleagues, calling on Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry leaders to address long-term drought in the upcoming Farm Bill. 

“Agriculture is the economic backbone for rural communities in our states. However, severe, long-term drought is devastating these rural areas. During periods of droughts, our farmers and ranchers face diminishing crop and livestock outputs. These negative effects reverberate through the community, affecting not just individual producers, but the broader local economy and food system,” wrote the senators.  

The natural patterns of droughts have become more frequent, severe, and longer because of our changing climate. Since 2000, the American West has experienced some of the driest conditions on record, and the American Southwest continues to suffer an unprecedented period of extreme drought. 

“We urge the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee under your leadership to consider these risks as you draft the upcoming Farm Bill. The farmers and ranchers in our states are counting on a multi-year Farm Bill that provides support to conserve water, improve watershed scale planning, upgrade water infrastructure, protect land from erosion, and create long-term resiliency on changing landscapes for growers in drought-affected regions,” concluded the senators.  

In addition to Kelly, Bennet, and Fischer, Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), James E. Risch (R-ID), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) also signed the letter.  

You can read the letter here