Key Points
  • The proper role of government involvement in agriculture should be to limit and remove barriers for agricultural production, trade and consumption through our innovative food system.
  • Processes for safety regulations should incorporate a least restrictive approach for ensuring public safety and confidence, economics, definitive risk data, and food security.
  • Our modern, high-tech and high-yield agriculture system, a product of the 20th Century’s “Green Revolution,” is critical in providing food to billions while minimizing damage to natural habitats and biodiversity.

In a 1787 letter to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “[a]griculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” Agriculture, perhaps more so than any other vocation or enterprise, is indelibly American. Defined as the cultivation of plants, animals and other life forms for food, medicine and other products necessary for both sustaining and enhancing our lives, agriculture will only continue to play a large role in the modern American economy.

The U.S. currently boasts what is undoubtedly the safest, highest quality and most innovative food system in the world. Meanwhile, global demand for agricultural and forest products is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades. Policymakers should seek solutions that remove barriers for production, trade and consumption, thereby allowing the modern agriculture system to flourish and meet this growing demand.

Most would probably be surprised to learn that 97 percent of U.S. farms are family-owned and run by small farmers and ranchers. Great care should be taken to avoid unnecessary rules and bureaucratic hurdles for producers competing in our global agriculture environment. As Senator Barry Goldwater once said: “[farmers] have a more intimate knowledge than most of us of the consequences of unlimited government power, and so, it would seem, a greater interest than most in returning agriculture to freedom and economic sanity.

Publications

+ All Agriculture Publications

Model Policies

  • Resolution on Country of Origin Labeling

    Resolution on Country of Origin Labeling Whereas, Free markets are one of ALEC’s core guiding principles and we have much model policy that supports the enhancement of free markets and international trade; and Whereas, Canada and Mexico are the United States’ first and second largest trading partners respectively …

  • Pre-emption of Local Agriculture Laws Act

    Pre-emption of Local Agriculture Laws Act Summary Makes legislative finding and declaration that regulation of agricultural seed, flower seed and vegetable seed and products of agricultural seed, flower seed and vegetable seed be reserved to state. Prohibits enactment or enforcement of local measures to regulate …

  • Resolution in Support of Agriculture Research Charities

    Resolution in Support of Agriculture Research Charities Whereas, federal spending on agricultural research has already recently been trending downward, and further needed spending reform is likely to result in further cuts, Whereas, agriculture will be called upon to feed a world population approaching 9.3 …

  • Right to Farm Act

    Summary An Act to define certain farm uses, operations, practices, and products; to provide certain disclosures; to provide for circumstances under which a farm shall not be found to be a public or private nuisance; to provide for certain powers and duties for certain state agencies and departments; and to …

  • State Pesticide Preemption Act

    Summary ALEC’s model State Pesticide Preemption Act is designed to ensure the safety of America’s food supply through the preemption of city, town, county, etc. pesticide ordinances. Model Legislation Section 1. {Short Title.} This Act shall be known and may be cited as the State Pesticide Preemption Act. Section 2.

  • State-Based Healthy Forest Plan

     Purpose:  The purpose of this act is to create healthier forests and reduce the risk of catastrophic forest fires for communities by: creating a state urban-wildland fire safety committees; authorizing municipalities and counties to using zoning based on wildfire risks; create an office of the state forester to improve forest …

+ All Agriculture Model Policies

Task Forces

Energy, Environment and Agriculture

The Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force operates under the principles of free-market environmentalism, that is to promote the mutually …