As a father of four, ensuring that our kids receive a quality education is a top priority for me. From trade schools to four-year universities, our great state offers our students many opportunities to further their education, develop the skills they need to enter the workforce, and live fulfilling lives. I am also proud that Iowa – particularly the 4th Congressional District – is home to phenomenal community colleges that prepare our students for the whatever the future holds. These local institutions of academic excellence support our main streets, keep our young people in rural Iowa, and maintain the vibrancy of our tight-knit communities.
Ranked as the second largest agriculture-producing congressional district in the nation, our exceptional community colleges have an equally important role to play in expanding and promoting agriculture education in Iowa. From increasing crop yields to lowering input costs, there is a wealth of information available to new and beginning farmers as they prepare to plant their roots and begin their businesses in Iowa.
That’s why I recently helped introduce – alongside my colleague U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., – the Community College Agriculture Advancement Act, which will make vital investments in our farming community. This legislation will provide our community colleges with the resources they need to expand agriculture education programs and equip the next generation of farmers and producers with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed on the farm and beyond. More specifically, this bill allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer competitive grants to community and technical colleges to assist in maintaining and expanding their capacity to conduct workforce training, education, research, and outreach activities relating to agriculture and renewable resources, like ethanol and biodiesel.
Born and raised in rural Iowa, I will always be a strong advocate for agriculture education and its priceless benefits for our rural economy. I hope to see this legislation pass the Congress — either in the Farm Bill or independently — and be signed into law because agriculture education remains a vital investment for rural America and our farm economy.
We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.