Members of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Alliance met with more than 25 Congressional, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and State Departments of Agriculture leaders January 24-25 to advance the importance of CEA production in the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill and other legislation.
Alliance members met with the Chairs and Ranking Members of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, as well as Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. The group also met with USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie and the USDA team leading the Office of Urban and Innovative Agriculture.
“These top-level meetings were extraordinary in showing the excitement about indoor agriculture among our nation’s leaders who will be shaping the future of ag policy,” said CEA Alliance Executive Director Tom Stenzel. “We have CEA farms in the home districts and states of almost everyone we met with, establishing a strong local presence that Members of Congress appreciate.”
“Our members found bipartisan support and interest on Capitol Hill this week for how CEA producers are leveraging science, technology and innovation,” said Colin O’Neil, Director of Public Policy & Social Impact for Bowery Farming, and Chair of the CEA Alliance Public Policy Working Group. “We are hopeful that federal policy can be a catalyst for driving further innovation in U.S. agriculture and the specialty crop industry.”
CEA Alliance member companies participating in meeting included 80 Acres, AeroFarms, Area2Farms, Bowery, Bright Farms, Cox Enterprises, Crop One, Kubo Greenhouses, Plenty, and Square Roots. This was the first, but not the last, time for CEA producers to come together with national leaders in common purpose to help shape the future of the industry.
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The Controlled Environment Agriculture Alliance (CEA Alliance) is a membership trade association representing and serving vertical farms and greenhouse producers growing fruits and vegetables in a highly controlled indoor production environment. Controlled environment growers employ a variety of agricultural production methods and technology to create optimal growing conditions with rigorous environmental controls. Growers utilize innovative technologies such as hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and soil-based systems to grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. For more information, please contact Tom Stenzel, Executive Director, at Tom@CEAAlliance.com.