Rosen, Cortez Masto, Bipartisan Colleagues Urge Ag Committee Leadership to Address Long-Term Drought in Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) joined a letter led by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and 15 bipartisan Senate colleagues calling on U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry leaders to address long-term drought in the upcoming Farm Bill.

“Agriculture is the economic backbone for rural communities in our states. However, severe,  long-term drought is devastating these rural areas. During periods of droughts, our farmers and ranchers face diminishing crop and livestock outputs. These negative effects reverberate through the community, affecting not just individual producers, but the broader local economy and food system,” wrote the senators. 

The natural patterns of droughts have become more frequent, severe, and longer because of our changing climate. Since 2000, the American West has experienced some of the driest conditions on record, and the American Southwest continues to suffer an unprecedented period of extreme drought.

“We urge the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee under your leadership to consider these risks as you draft the upcoming Farm Bill. The farmers and ranchers in our states are counting on a multi-year Farm Bill that provides support to conserve water, improve watershed scale planning, upgrade water infrastructure, protect land from erosion, and create long-term resiliency on changing landscapes for growers in drought-affected regions,” concluded the senators. 

The text of the letter is available HERE.

Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto have been leaders in the Senate working to combat drought. Cortez Masto fought to deliver $4 billion to combat drought in the states bordering the Colorado River in the Inflation Reduction Act that Senator Rosen also supported. They both helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will continue to make a historic amount of funding available for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country over five years. Cortez Masto also introduced legislation, supported by Rosen, to establish a $450 million competitive grant program for large-scale water recycling projects across the Western U.S.