Biden, Vilsack and Regan celebrate National Agriculture Day

By Erin Voegele | March 21, 2023

President Joe Biden today proclaimed March 21 as National Agriculture Day. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan issued comments recognizing the ag community for it work to provide the U.S. with food, fuel and fiber.

“American farms remind us of the beauty and generosity of our Nation,” Biden said in his proclamation. “They feed the country and the world, and with each new planting season, they embody that most American of things — possibilities.  On National Agriculture Day, we celebrate all the farmers, farmworkers, ranchers, fishers, foresters, and other agricultural workers who do so much to make our Nation strong, fuel our economy, and steward our lands.  America owes them.”

Vilsack called rural America the backbone of our nation and discussed the agency’s efforts to expand market opportunities for U.S. ag products. "On this 50th National Ag Day, we recognize the contributions of American farmers, farmworkers, ranchers, forest landowners, and all agricultural producers in providing our nation – and this world – with its food, fuel, and fiber,” he said.

“Throughout our history, Americans have faced unprecedented challenges, but we have always been able to endure thanks in large part to the unwavering efforts of those who work the land,” Vilsack continued. “Because of the efforts of our agricultural communities, here in America we all benefit from a rich abundance of safe and nutritious food, which allows us to thrive as one of the few nations on earth that is food secure and not dependent on any other nation for basic food needs. American agriculture is able to lead the world into a climate-smart future as farmers, ranchers and producers take seriously their responsibility to be stewards of our land and water and take part in every day climate smart practices that improve soil health and water quality.

“Rural America is the backbone of this country, and the strength of our agricultural and rural communities supports the vitality and prosperity of our entire country while bolstering our national security and competitive edge,” he added. “Last year marked record export numbers for the agricultural sector, showing that there is a global desire for the high-quality foods produced here at home and that our agricultural industry understands their role in feeding the world, with productivity and with compassion.

“At USDA, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding market opportunities, ensuring an agricultural economy that benefits the many and not just the few, and meeting the moment for the opportunities before us,” Vilsack continued.  As we look toward another year of agricultural leadership, innovation, and growth, let us shine a light on all that our agricultural and rural communities do for our great country.”

Regan stressed that the ag community is at the frontlines of the climate crisis and discussed ways in which his agency is supporting agricultural producers. “On this National Agriculture Day, just like every day, I’m grateful for the farmers, ranchers, and laborers who work tirelessly to produce the food, fuel and fiber that powers our Nation’s economy,” he said. “The agricultural community is the backbone of this country, and remains a vital partner in EPA’s mission to ensure clean air and clean water for all. 

“We know that farmers, ranchers, and laborers, are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and recently, the newly appointed members of EPA’s Farm, Ranch & Rural Communities Advisory Committee, held its first in-person meeting since 2016. The committee provides independent advice and recommendations on environmental issues essential to our agriculture and rural communities, and reviews the agency’s policies and programs concerning agriculture and climate change,” Regan said. “I’m looking forward to hearing from the committee over the next year about how EPA can support the agricultural community in reaching its climate mitigation and adaptation goals to ensure a more resilient food and agricultural system.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to show its commitment to strengthening the agricultural community,” he continued. “Both the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have contributed billions of dollars to support climate-smart agriculture, provide relief to stressed borrowers, and bolster conservation. EPA is committed to working hand-in-hand with farmers and ranchers to protect public health and the environment.”