Research / Agriculture

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Virtual Program
Webinar | July 2020

Implications of Recent Trade Agreements for the American Farm / Addressing Mental Health in Rural Communities

Nick Bowman

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Virtual Program

Let's Make a Deal: Implications of Recent Trade Agreements for the American Farm

Many in the agriculture sector have heralded the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the Phase-One Agreement with China as unparalleled opportunities to provide their products to growing consumer bases and to promote free and fair trade. This program provides a briefing on these two important trade deals and explores how they could impact the U.S. agricultural sector, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Max Moncaster, Director of Public Policy, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Virginia

Seeds of Despair: Addressing Mental Health in Rural Communities

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides among farmers are 1.5 times higher than the national average. Experts warn that rising farm debt, limited access to mental health resources, harvests impacted by extreme weather, and the lingering impacts of a long-running trade war with China—and now the COVID-19 pandemic—all are contributing to significant stress among those in the agriculture community. This program examines initiatives aimed at increasing awareness of rural stress issues and warning signs; identifying ways to communicate and cope with stress; and accessing local resources and support systems.


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Policy Analysis | June 2020

Federal Assistance To Farms Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

Nick Bowman

As of June 29, 2020, the coronavirus has infected 8 million and contributed to 440,000 deaths worldwide; including 2.2 million cases and nearly 120,000 deaths in the United States.1 For more on the virus, see the SLC policy analyses, Unemployment in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Spread of COVID-19 within Regions of the United States, Coronavirus Impacts on State Legislatures and Elections and Coronavirus Response at State Unemployment Agencies.

The agriculture sector has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus and accompanying quarantine policies. Many of the largest buyers of agricultural products—including restaurants, schools and hotels—have closed or operated at limited capacity for months due to the pandemic. With a supply chain built around these buyers, many farmers have been forced to destroy crops, dairy and dairy-related products, and livestock. Dairy farmers have been dumping millions of gallons of milk; chicken processors are destroying hundreds of thousands of eggs; and vegetable farmers are plowing acres of fields.2 Meanwhile, coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants have created a backlog of pigs to be slaughtered, forcing some farmers to euthanize tens of thousands of their pigs.3

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SLC Regional Resource | January 2020

The Netherlands Model: Flood Resilience in Southern States

Anne Roberts Brody

In recent years, Southern states have been inundated by major flooding events. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), annual flood records are expected to be broken again in 2020 and beyond. Taken together, these repeated flood events can create a significant and long-term strain on states’ economies, both in terms of tangible losses and damages, as well as lost productivity. This SLC Regional Resource reviews recent flooding data in Southern states and explores how the Netherlands’ model of “living with water” may help states strengthen their resilience while reducing the cost of recovery for future flood-related disasters.

Senator Casey Murdock

Casey Murdock


Vice Chair
Senator Tyler Harper

Tyler Harper


Past Chair

Daniel B. Verdin III

South Carolina

Nick Bowman

Nick Bowman
Policy Analyst

Originally formed in 1961, the SLC Agriculture & Rural Development Committee’s agenda focuses on issues critical to the future of farming and farm communities, such as the distribution of water and other natural resources – critical for the agricultural sector – and new opportunities for the export of agricultural commodities to international markets. Several reports prepared by the committee have measured the economic impact of agricultural sector, often considered the “engine of the economy” in most Southern states. The committee's work also centers on the continued development of rural communities, highlighting access to healthcare and transportation; integration with the global economy; the many differences and surprising similarities between rural and urban America; and how to begin to bridge the infrastructure challenges that divide these communities.

More SLC Research into Agriculture

Other | December 2019

Issues to Watch - 2020

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

Policy Analysis | October 2018

CDL Waivers for the Agriculture Industry

Policy Analysis | April 2018

Apiculture and Land Use Valuation

SLC Regional Resource | December 2016

The Case for Cuba

Policy Analysis | September 2016

Agricultural Exports to Cuba

Webinar | October 2014

Food Safety Modernization Act

Policy Analysis | September 2014

Feral Hog Containment

SLC Issue Alert | June 2014

U.S. Agriculture Exports: Latest Trends

SLC Regional Resource | July 2011

Food Safety: Building an Integrated System

Policy Analysis | October 2010

Agricultural Land Assessments

SLC Regional Resource | June 2006

2007 Farm Bill in Context (Summer 2006 Update)

SLC Regional Resource | April 2006

Farm to School

SLC Regional Resource | July 2005

2007 Farm Bill in Context

SLC Regional Resource | January 2005

The Tobacco Buyout

SLC Regional Resource | September 2002

Finally, the Farm Bill

SLC Special Series Report | February 2002

Tobacco in Transition

SLC Regional Resource | July 2001

Contracting in Tobacco

SLC Regional Resource | August 2000

International Trade and Agriculture

SLC Regional Resource | March 2000

Agriculture and Biotechnology