Bill Addressing Ag Inspector Shortage at Border Headed to President’s Desk

Every day, Senator Gary Peters, ranking member of the homeland security committee, works on securing our borders.

Earlier this week, his bipartisan bill, Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019, passed the House of Representatives, and will head to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

“Michigan’s farmers and producers work hard to grow crops and food that feed our states, but we also have to protect them from threats from harmful diseases, invasive species and pest that can enter our country through imported goods,” said Peters in a press conference.

With a shortage of roughly 700 border security professionals at points of entry into the U.S., this bill will help close the gap.

“It’ll allow us to hire more inspectors and have a higher support staff that will support those inspectors,” said Peters. “It’ll increase the number of canine teams to fill shortages because there’s nothing more sophisticated than a dog’s nose in helping our inspectors ensure they keep us safe.”

John Kran, Michigan Farm Bureau Legislative Council, expressed his support and appreciation for Sen. Peters’ bill. He says that since we live in a global marketplace, there are plenty of opportunities and challenges.

“Farmers face a lot of challenges from many directions, and making sure we can safeguard our ports of entry to the best of our abilities to help maintain our safe and affordable food supply for consumers, and also minimize the risk for farmers are really important,” said Kran.

Peters said he’s pleased that his bipartisan bill will be able to give border control the resources they need to keep protecting agriculture producers across the country.

“This authorizes up to 240 inspectors to be hired each year as well as 200 support personnel until they get to the 700 agricultural inspectors and authorizes up to 20 canine teams per year for three years,” said Peters.