MINNEAPOLIS – State and federal officials on Thursday, November 4, thanked the farmers and food industry workers in Minnesota who kept supply chains buzzing amid the pandemic.
Returning in person for the first Agrigrowth Ag and Food summit since COVID-19 befell the state, Governor Tim Walz looked back on the early days of the pandemic, when experts warned of the slowdown of the food chain. Despite these dire predictions, the state’s producers have found ways to adapt and continue even as they face challenges, he said.
And Walz told industry leaders that their resilience could help solve future challenges related to access to food, climate change and other pressing issues.
âEvery time a door closed, people in that room were finding new and innovative ways to solve the problems we were seeing,â Walz said. “The success of keeping the supply chain open, the production of food was nothing less than reasons to stop and celebrate and so many people in this room helped make that happen. “
Jennifer Lester Moffitt, Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the US Department of Agriculture, also thanked the group and said the Biden administration was working to approve multibillion-dollar funding for address vulnerabilities in the food supply chain.
âIn case no one has told you yet, thank you for everything you have done over the past 19 months to provide food to the people who need it,â Moffitt said.
Moffitt said the measures proposed in the Build Back Better plan would help small and medium-sized sourcing facilities compete, more clearly value American beef and dairy, and strengthen the country’s protein processing capacity. The funding could help create a level playing field for small businesses and increase equity in agriculture and food processing.