U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D-Mich.), new chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, last week pledged to support agriculture in her new role.

Speaking at the Michigan Agri-Business Association’s Winter Conference, Stabenow said she will work very closely with agricultural businesses in a bipartisan way to strengthen policies, especially the 2012 Farm Bill.

With a growing global population, more mouths to feed and shortages in other parts of the world, the chairwoman said she is committed to helping agriculture meet growing demand and seizing new opportunities while ensuring sound science drives agriculture policies.

“With almost 7 billion mouths to feed around the globe, we need American leadership in innovation, biotechnology, and increased efficiency to make it possible to feed the world,” Stabenow said. “To foster that innovation, we need a regulatory system that is science-based and efficient, and we also need to open up markets.”

Stabenow is set to lead bipartisan efforts in Congress to update the farm bill, which covers issues ranging from agriculture and trade to nutrition, energy and rural development. She invited agri-businesses to help her and her committee by giving their input and making their voices heard, saying, “I need your help.”

“My job is to help you be successful, to support you, to make sure government is out of the way when it should be, and a partner when it should be,” she said. “Frankly, it’s the farmer that’s the steward of our land and it's why you’re on the front lines – and people need to understand that.”

Source: Michigan Agri-Business Association