A recent roundtable discussion with USDA officials on filling staffing shortages included 5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. She says current staff vacancies are derailing important work and effecting farmers.
Hayes believes Connecticut students could be the answer. She wants investments in Vo-Ag programs and more agricultural centered education/technical programs to infuse the jobs pipeline.
For the third time Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has proposed eliminating SNAP benefits for nearly half of the eligible participants and replacing them with "Harvest Boxes." But Hayes says there has been zero forethought or plan for implementation.
According to the budget language, the food boxes would ensure that Americans in need would have access to a nutritious diet while reducing costs to taxpayers. The food would be grown in the United States and delivered to the participant’s doorstep, according to the USDA.