National Farmers Union
Following a swearing-in ceremony held at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris today officially began their four-year terms as president and vice president of the United States.
Between a global pandemic, deep political divisions, high levels of economic inequality, and climate change, the new administration certainly has its work cut out for it. As National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew noted in a statement, the agriculture industry is also facing a separate set of issues: corporate consolidation, chronic overproduction, an overdependence on exports, crumbling rural infrastructure, and an aging farm population.
However, the fact that Biden and Harris have “surrounded themselves with highly qualified and diverse advisors and staff” and “issued comprehensive plans outlining how it will tackle many of the aforementioned problems” is a good sign that they are up to the task, according to Larew.
The pair certainly did not waste any time getting to work. Following the inauguration, President Biden took 17 executive actions covering a wide rage of issues. Of particular interest to National Farmers Union (NFU) is President Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. The organization, which has long advocated aggressive climate mitigation, called the previous administration’s move to withdraw from the pact a “shameful mistake.” Larew commended President Biden “for approaching climate change with the urgency it deserves and prioritizing solutions from day one” and urged him to “build on this effort with aggressive, economy-wide climate action and ongoing global leadership.”
The President also released the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a comprehensive plan for immigration reform that he plans to send to Congress next week. Among other things, the bill creates a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, fast-tracking “Dreamers” as well as farm workers and other essential workers. This approach aligns with Farmers Union’s official immigration policy, which supports bipartisan efforts that address the needs of businesses while protecting the interests of workers. Larew said he was “encouraged” by the plan, adding that immigrants are central to our food system and offering them a clear future in this country is “the very least we can do.”