WASHINGTON—Today, Senators Mike Braun, Jon Tester, Roger Marshall and Pete Ricketts introduced bipartisan legislation to enshrine a continued role for American farmers in the Food for Peace (FFP) program and increase accountability and transparency in FFP program functions. 

U.S. Representatives Tracey Mann (KS-01), John Garamendi (CA-08), Rick Crawford (AR-01), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19) introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives in June.

“American farmers have played a critical role in reducing hunger overseas for decades. The bipartisan American Farmers Feed the World Act would ensure that American-grown food is prioritized over foreign competitors for American aid programs around the world. It will also allow for more efficient use of funding so we can feed even more hungry people without any additional taxpayer dollars.” — Sen. Mike Braun

“As a third-generation farmer, I know first-hand that Montana farmers produce the very best food that feeds the world. This bill ensures American-grown crops are prioritized when it comes to international aid – and the bottom line is it’s a win for our farmers on years where they grow more than they can sell, and it’s a win for hungry families around the world.” — Sen. Jon Tester

“Helping people in need is in Kansas’ DNA. Seventy years ago, Peter O’Brien stood up in Cheyenne County, Kansas and declared that Kansas farmers could donate their grain as aid to struggling nations, and shortly after, the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act was signed into law by President Eisenhower. Back then, American farmers and lawmakers shared one common goal: send safe, nutritious commodities from American farms to countries in need in order to help them survive through trying times. Today, we proudly continue that mission through the America’s Farmers Feed The World Act.” — Sen. Roger Marshall

The American Farmers Feed the World Act would:

·         Reserve half of FFP dollars for purchasing commodities and shipping them overseas,

·         Reduce the maximum share for 202(e) spending in FFP from 20 percent to 10 percent

·         Move key decisionmaking points from USAID to USDA

·         Prohibit the use of food vouchers or cash transfers instead of food, and

·         Increase reporting requirements around any waivers granted under FFP.

Bill text here.

More information on the American Farmers Feed the World Act here.

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (Greg Regan, President): “The American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023 delivers mutually beneficial results here at home and abroad by restoring accountability, transparency, and a Made-in-America focus to our international food security programs. We must seize this opportunity to strengthen the state of our maritime and agricultural industries while maintaining our commitment to fighting global hunger.”

American Farm Bureau Federation (Zippy Duvall, President): “The United States leads the world in growing healthy affordable food, and America’s farmers are proud of their role in putting meals on the table for families at home and abroad. It’s crucial that the abundant food produced in the U.S. is prioritized to fight hunger through international food assistance programs.”

American Maritime Congress: “American Maritime Congress – a trade association representing U.S. flag shipping companies as well as the nation’s oldest maritime union – strongly supports the American Farmers Feed the World Act. For centuries, the U.S. flag commercial shipping fleet has proudly flown the Stars and Stripes throughout the world: a bold symbol of our nation’s values of equality, independence, and compassion. Those values are no better demonstrated than through a Food Aid program that ships the bounty of America’s heartland to those most in need across the globe. The AFFWA ensures that our country’s generosity continues intact – grown by the American Farmer and shipped by the American Mariner – in the fight to end world hunger.”

American Maritime Officers: “U.S.-flagged cargo preference applied to food aid exports (PL-480 and McGovern-Dole) serves a worthy humanitarian mission: feeding hungry families in poor countries worldwide. This moral imperative also keeps civilian American merchant mariners working and available for defense shipping and other military support services in national security emergencies. Cargo preference also promotes diplomatic good will — securing international friendships for the United States in an often hostile, unstable world.”

American Soybean Association (Monte Peterson, Chair of the Trade Policy & International Affairs Committee and North Dakota Soy Grower): “U.S. soy is a powerhouse for global food security. Soy is the only plant protein to offer all the essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition, and soy products such as corn-soy-blend and soy-based vegetable oil have served as staples for emergency response in at least 88 countries throughout the world. ASA is strongly supportive of the reforms proposed in the American Farmers Feed the World Act of 2023. These reforms will ensure the programs remain focused on in-kind food assistance and that high-quality, high-protein U.S. soy continues to play a role in addressing global hunger.”

Kip Tom, Hoosier Farmer and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture: “Food security is national security, so putting America first in the supply chain supporting our global humanitarian contributions of food aid strengthens America while feeding the world’s hungry.”

North American Millers’ Association (Kim Cooper, Senior Director of Government Affairs): “U.S. millers are proud of the role they play in alleviating world hunger through food aid. We applaud Senators Braun, Tester, Marshall, and Ricketts for championing this effort to bolster the Food for Peace program, enabling it to feed millions more people at no additional cost to the American taxpayer. These reforms are long overdue and, as we face an unprecedented hunger crisis, will ensure the longevity and effectiveness of this critical, life-saving program.”

USA Rice: “The U.S. rice industry has a long history of supporting both domestic and international feeding programs by providing a critical food staple. With the development of fortified rice, the industry’s role has grown even further in meeting nutritional needs for malnourished people around the world. This legislation is key to preserving the role of U.S. commodities, like rice, in U.S. international assistance programs.”

US Wheat Associates (Denise Conover, U.S. Wheat Associates Board Member and Montana Wheat Farmer): “As a Montana wheat farmer, I am incredibly proud of the role my farm plays in supporting international food aid programs. I am pleased to see Senators Braun and Tester leading this important bill to ensure that American farmers continue to play this vital role in the Food for Peace program, feeding more Montana wheat to more hungry people at no additional taxpayer cost.”

More than 60 organizations support the American Farmers Feed the World Act, including: 

AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, American Association of Port Authorities, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Maritime Congress, American Maritime Officers, American Maritime Officers Service, American Soybean Association, Apostleship of the Sea of the USA, Bunge, Cantera Partners, Colorado Association of Wheat Growers, Didion Milling Inc, Grain Millers, Idaho Grain Producers Association, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Inlandboatmen’s Union, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 23 (Tacoma), International Longshoremen’s Association, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, ILWU Washington Area District Council, International Org. of Masters, Mates & Pilots, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association, Kendall Packaging Corporation, LifeLine Foods, Liberty Maritime Corporation, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, Marine Firemen’s Union, Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development, Maryland Grain Producers Association, Montana Grain Growers Association, National Association of Waterfront Employers, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Sorghum Producers, Natural Enrichment Industries, Navy League of the United States, North American Millers’ Association, Oregon Wheat Growers League, Patriot Maritime, Port of Grays Harbor, Port of Kalama, Port of Lake Charles, Port of New Orleans, Port of Vancouver USA, REPCO, Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, Schuyler Line Navigation Company Seafarers International Union, SEMO Milling, South Dakota Wheat Growers Association , Texas Wheat Producers Association, Transportation Institute, TVS, USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, USA Maritime, USA Rice, US Ocean LLC, US Pea and Lentil Trade Association, US Wheat Associates, Washington Association of Wheat Growers, and Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

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