On September 8th, twelve agricultural organizations sent a letter to President Biden requesting a seat at the table during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Since the White House launched the conference in early May, many in agriculture have participated in the listening session and provided public comments on the five pillars outlined by the Administration. As we look forward to the conference on September 28, our members constitute the literal base of the food supply chain and should be included in any conversation that seeks to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030. Our organizations look forward to participating in the upcoming conference, just as agriculture did in the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health.
The National Association of Wheat Growers, American Soybean Association and USA Rice leaders made the following statements:
“Wheat is a staple whole grain that accounts for roughly 20 percent of calories consumed globally,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President and Washington State wheat farmer, Nicole Berg. “U.S. wheat farmers produce the best, highest quality wheat that helps feed the world and should be a part of any discussions to address hunger and food security. It is important that farmers and ranchers have a seat at the table when crafting a national strategy that aims to overcome hunger-related challenges, and we encourage the Administration to include the agriculture community in any policy or conversations that might impact our livelihood and leverage our expertise as we explore ways to overcome these challenges.”
“Soy is a critical ingredient in the American diet. Whether used to feed millions of animals that provide protein and dairy, as a heart healthy vegetable cooking oil, or as the leading ingredient in plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, soy fills a nutritious and versatile place on consumers’ plates” said Brad Doyle, American Soybean Association president and Arkansas farmer. “America’s food security depends on the farmers and ranchers who produce commodities like soy; it’s essential that they are well represented at the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to connect all stakeholders in the food chain who strive to eliminate hunger.”
“USA Rice commends the administration for holding this historic summit to address hunger and nutrition insecurity issues. U.S. agriculture commodities, like rice, that provide accessible, affordable, and culturally accepted healthy food options must be part of the equation to combat those issues,” said Kirk Satterfield, USA Rice Chairman and Mississippi Rice Farmer. “As the industry growing the food that feeds us all, we believe the agriculture sector has a key role to play in developing practical solutions and ask that the industry is properly represented at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.”
The agriculture production sector should be invited to the Conference to share our experience with the attendees. Our members form the foundation of the food chain supplying Americans of all backgrounds with a healthy diet.