The Senate unanimously approved bipartisan legislation designed to address the shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and agricultural industries at the border.
The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 would ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across the nation’s borders. It authorizes the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors, support staff, and even canine teams to fully staff American airports, seaports, and land ports of entry.
“Agriculture is a critical economic driver across the country, but longstanding shortages of agricultural inspectors limit Customs and Border Protection’s ability to prevent pests, diseases, and other dangers from entering our country and putting production agriculture at risk,” says Michigan Democrat Gary Peters, one of four senators who introduced the legislation
. Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Robers says, “By strengthening the agricultural inspector workforce at the border, American agriculture and our entire food system will be safer.”