Rep. David Scott opens hearing on U.S. food supply chain

headshot of Representative David ScottRepresentative David Scott (official Congressional photo)

Rep. David Scott of Georgia’s 13th Congressional District and the chairperson of the House Agriculture Committee opened a hearing entitled 21st Century Food Systems: Controlled Environment Agriculture’s Role in Protecting Domestic Food Supply Chains and Infrastructure.”

Scott’s district covers the southern portion of Cobb County, and along with the 6th and 11th, is one of the three congressional districts overlapping into Cobb.

Here are Rep. Scott’s opening remarks to the hearing.

Good morning and welcome to all of the Members and witnesses we have here today.

Today’s hearing is one that comes at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and is one that I am sure will provide critical insight on an important segment of our food supply system.

Recently, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made an excellent point – he said, “In the pandemic, we found that our food system and our food supply system, while it is incredibly efficient, is not resilient.”.

That exact point is something I hope we can cover today. I want to examine how we can better balance efficiency and resiliency and ensure that our food supply system is as abundant, affordable, and safe as possible.

Today’s panel of witnesses are experts and entrepreneurs in an exciting area of agriculture that this Committee has not spent a lot of time discussing. These witnesses specialize in controlled environment agriculture, and I look forward to them educating the Committee about their industry.

While a global pandemic certainly magnified our food supply chain issues, one of the issues we can cover today is how to ensure a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables from all sources. Controlled environment agriculture has the ability to fill in gaps where there are food deserts, reduce emissions from transportation of produce, and very importantly, limit our reliance on imports to fill our needs to fresh produce.

We have an opportunity today to be on the cutting edge of technologies and the ability to provide affordable food to more households that need it – something I hope we can all agree on.

For more information and a list of witnesses at the hearing follow this link.