Outgoing House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson has concerns regarding President-elect Joe Biden’s transition as it relates to agriculture. In a letter to the General Services Administration, the Minnesota Democrat says, “I write to express my concerns about the impacts to farmers, ranchers and consumers from the lack of a timely Presidential transition process.”
While the delayed transition is now underway, the impacts of the delay persist. Specific issues mentioned by Peterson include the Department of Agriculture’s ongoing work with meat and poultry plants amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the risk of African swine fever entering the United States.
Other issues include outbreaks of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza across Europe and Asia, and a shortage of CO2 production, impacting meatpacking plants. Peterson states, “Dedicated civil service staff in the USDA Office of Homeland Security and throughout the Department are monitoring these and other crucial situations, but it will take high-level leadership and the ability to muster funding to address them.”