Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska's economy. Our farmers and ranchers are some of the most efficient and productive in the world. They play an increasingly important role in our nation's energy security. It is an honor to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee and to continue working on behalf of our state's agricultural producers.
So much of what we do in the Senate affects agriculture - tax and trade policy, energy policy, environmental regulation, conservation initiatives, and rural development programs.
Having listened to farmers and ranchers at many farm bill forums across the country as Secretary of Agriculture, I have a unique understanding of how government can partner with agriculture to improve - not inhibit - productivity. I support a responsible approach to strengthen risk management tools for our producers, so they can continue to ensure an abundant food supply.
I will work to level the playing field for Nebraska products in the international marketplace. I believe Congress needs to provide the President with trade promotion authority, so that this administration and future administrations can negotiate trade agreements that increase international market access for our agricultural products.
Nebraska is a national leader in the production of ethanol and biodiesel, which are critical components to ending our dependence on foreign oil. I will continue to support research and development of alternative and renewable sources of energy. This will not only enhance our nation's energy security, but create new jobs at home - both on and off the farm.
I will continue to work with Nebraska's agricultural producers, and those across the nation, to provide the tools they need to continue feeding the world, competing in the global marketplace, and fueling our energy future.