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Chair Antonio Delgado Opening Statement at Hearing “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Rural Development”

WASHINGTON - House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Chair Antonio Delgado delivered the following statement at today’s hearing “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Rural Development” with USDA Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small.

[As prepared for delivery]

Today’s hearing with USDA’s Under Secretary for Rural Development, Xochitl Torres Small, is an important opportunity for Members of this Subcommittee to evaluate the effectiveness of Rural Development programs and the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

First of all, I’d like to welcome Undersecretary Torres Small back to the Agriculture Committee. I think I speak for all of my colleagues when I say your presence on the Committee is missed, but we are grateful for your continued public service in your new role.

My district is the eighth most rural district in the country and my constituents know first-hand just how much resilience and ingenuity there is in rural communities. One of my goals for today’s hearing is to bring some of those strengths to light and dig deeper on how rural communities like the ones I and many others on this Committee represent.

One aspect of today’s discussion, and an integral part of the work of the Rural Development team at USDA, is that Americans should be able to choose where they want to live without having to make concessions on access to clean water, affordable health care, or fast and affordable broadband internet.

Additionally, it is important that our rural communities have the tools to thrive in a 21st century economy. We must work together to help strengthen local supply chains and ensure efficient distribution of commodities.

Ultimately, rural America knows best how to invest in their communities. In this subcommittee over the past year, we have heard from rural stakeholders and residents about the problems they face and the resources they need most.

Under Secretary Torres Small, thank you for accepting our invitation to speak before us today as we conduct important oversight work in preparation for the 2023 Farm Bill. I value the experience and insight you bring, and I look forward to hearing your testimony.

I would now like to welcome the distinguished Ranking Member from Minnesota, Ms. Fischbach, for any opening remarks she would like to give.

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