Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, has been appointed to serve as the Chairwoman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee.
The Congresswoman released the following statement Thursday:
“Today I was appointed as Chairwoman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee. This important Subcommittee has jurisdiction over policies, statutes, and markets relating to horticulture, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and ornamentals – issues very important to the residents and farmers of the Virgin Islands. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to since coming to Washington to serve as a voice for Virgin Island farmers, fisherman and livestock owners on the House Agriculture Committee. Agriculture has the potential to be a great economic driver and job creator in the Virgin Islands – feeding our people and visitors here at home but also around the world as well. Ensuring that the Virgin Islands agriculture industry thrives is not only beneficial for the Virgin Islands economy, but the entire country. I intend in my position as Chair to support my colleagues from around our country who represent the multiple facets of the agriculture industry.
“Selected programs under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee that are extremely important in the Virgin Islands are the (1) Specialty Crop Block Grant program which solely enhances the competitiveness of specialty crops (fruits, vegetables etc.); (2) the Farmer’s Market and Local Food Promotion Program which increases domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and serves to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities; (3) the Value-Added Agricultural Market Development Grants which helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products whose goals are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income; and finally (4) the University Research and Extension Program that promotes understanding and use of the cooperatives to market and distribute agricultural products.
“I want to thank Chairman Collin Peterson for his confidence in me and my colleagues for appointing me to this position as we tackle the challenges faced by our farmers, livestock owners, rural communities and working families. Our Committee has a good cross-section of the diversity of crops grown in this country and the regions that grow them, as well as great representation of the variety of issues of jurisdiction on the Committee. As Chairwoman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee I look forward to highlighting the importance of Agriculture as an economic driver for our nation. As the Chair of what will be the largest subcommittee on the House Agriculture Committee I intend to use my position as a platform for the needs of the Virgin Islands, as well as maintain robust support for nutrition assistance programs for Virgin Islanders who rely on those programs to put food on the table.”