Laurel Lee Calls for American Crop Farmers to Receive 'Advanced Technology' in Farm Bill

Laurel Lee Calls for American Crop Farmers to Receive 'Advanced Technology' in Farm Bill

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
February 27, 2024

Representative Laurel Lee (R-FL) alongside 29 fellow Members of the House Committee on Agriculture sent a letter to the committee leaders – Chairman Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Ranking Member David Scott (D-GA) – to ensure farmers receive access to “advanced technology” in the latest Farm Bill.

The Florida congresswoman and the lawmakers wrote, “As the committee continues its work to reauthorize the Farm Bill, we write to elevate the importance of supporting the competitiveness and longevity of our U.S. specialty crop industry. The need for agricultural technology and innovation has never been greater, and we urge that any multi-year Farm Bill bolster federal support and financial resources for mechanization and automation research and development.”

The letter mentions that manual labor is still the driving force in the crop sector. Due to this, 40-70% of the labor costs make up the total expenses for crop farms compared to under 15% for all of agriculture.

Because of this, Rep. Lee and the committee members said that providing accessible technology is “more critical than ever” for crop farms.

“The development and incorporation of innovative and accessible technology is therefore more critical than ever, both to bridge the gaps left by the shortage of human hands and equip the existing workforce with modern solutions to enhance their skill sets,” said Rep. Lee and her colleagues. “With dedicated federal funding and attention, we can better attract the private investment and ingenuity necessary to accelerate breakthroughs and commercialization. Such efforts will not only provide for the long-term viability of homegrown farming operations, but also ensure our current and next-generation agricultural workforce can be supported and successful in our own communities.”

The Farm Bill was delayed earlier this month.

Lawmakers were trying to figure out how to fund the agriculture measure, an actual legislative bill could be far off in the horizon for House Republicans.

Both Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives are “hopeful” that a Farm bill will be presented and voted on sometime during the 2024 calendar year.

While Florida’s Rep. Kat Cammack believes that a deal will get done, her Democratic colleague, Rep. Darren Soto, told The Floridian that he was “hopeful” the measure would get to committee before July.

“It’s a hard bill to pass, it takes a big coalition,” said Rep. Soto.

Rep. Soto also stated the little-known fact outside of Florida that agriculture was the “second largest industry” in the state,” and emphasized how important the legislature was for Floridians.

“It’s very important for Florida, it’s our second largest industry,” said Soto.

Related Posts

Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Thank you for your interest in receiving the The Floridian newsletter. To subscribe, please submit your email address below.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.