Deputy Secretary Presser Pt 2

Deputy Secretary Presser Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Newly appointed Deputy Ag Secretary, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh spoke with Farm Broadcasters recently about the USDA’s $4-billion investment to strengthen the U.S. food system.

She says some funds will address food production, others will go to supply chain weaknesses exposed by the pandemic, and also the infrastructure to move the food to market …

BRONAUGH … “The fourth pot will be markets and consumers. We want to make sure that people have access to markets, to small and mid-sized farmers, how do they have better access to markets, and we want to create expanded access to more markets.”

And, Bronaugh says the recent cyberattack against meatpacker JBS also has farmers concerned …

BRONAUGH … “We house a lot of private and sensitive data at USDA regarding farmers and ranchers, and that’s both information we obtained from them and information we provide to them. And the JBS ransomware attack was just another, you mentioned the Colonial Pipeline, which really underscored the risk of a consolidated food system.”

Bronaugh says it opened a lot of eyes …

BRONAUGH … “So, we learned some lessons about how we need to invest to be better equipped for some of these challenges because we need to prepare for them. After all, it's not if the next attack occurs; it's when.”

Dr. Bronaugh says they will be working to make those funds available as quickly as possible.

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