CONGRESSWOMAN STACEY E. PLASKETT APPOINTED CHAIRWOMAN OF THE BIOTECHNOLOGY, HORTICULTURE, AND RESEARCH SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Washington, D.C. –Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI), has been appointed to serve as the Chairwoman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture. The Congresswoman released the following statement:
“Today I was appointed as Chairwoman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee. This important Subcommittee has jurisdiction over policies, statutes, and markets relating to horticulture, which includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and ornamentals – issues very important to the residents and farmers of the Virgin Islands. I am humbled to have been selected as the chair of a subcommittee that allows me to serve as a voice for farmers, fisherman and livestock owners in the Virgin Islands. Agriculture has the potential to be a great economic driver and job creator in the Virgin Islands – feeding our people and visitors here at home but also around the world. Ensuring that the Virgin Islands agriculture industry thrives is not only beneficial for the economic development of the Virgin Islands, but the entire country.
I want to thank Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Collin Peterson for his confidence in me and my colleagues to lead in tackling the challenges faced by our farmers, livestock owners, rural communities and working families. This committee has a good cross-section of the diversity of crops grown in this country and the regions that grow them, as well as the variety of issues over which the committee has jurisdiction. As chairwoman of the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture, I look forward to highlighting the importance of Agriculture as an economic driver for our nation. As the chair of what will be the largest subcommittee on the House Committee on Agriculture, I intend to use my position as a platform for the needs of the Virgin Islands, maintain robust support for nutrition assistance programs for Virgin Islanders who rely on those programs to put food on the table, as well as represent multiple facets of the agriculture industry.”
The Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research has jurisdiction over the following:
(1) Specialty Crop Block Grant program which solely enhances the competitiveness of specialty crops (fruits, vegetables etc.)
(2) the Farmer's Market and Local Food Promotion Program which increases domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and serves to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities
(3) the Value-Added Agricultural Market Development Grants which helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products whose goals are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income
(4) the University Research and Extension Program that promotes understanding and use of the cooperatives to market and distribute agricultural products.