Select Page

González-Colón, Thompson host Farm Bill listening session in Puerto Rico

by | Sep 6, 2023 | Congress | 2 comments

United States Committee on Agriculture Chairman GT Thompson (R) of Pennsylvania joined Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP, R) of Puerto Rico on the islands to learn of the US territory’s needs related to the 2023 Farm Bill.   The Republican members hosted a Farm Bill listening session with a variety of stakeholders, including state officials and producers, and toured farms and research facilities across the main island.   
“I thank my friend, Chairman Thompson, for visiting the island and for his leadership leading to the 2023 Farm Bill. Agriculture is critical to Puerto Rico, and this visit provided an opportunity to understand our capabilities and challenges across all agriculture sectors and tie them to this important legislation. He also witnessed how the private sector, government, and other stakeholders support some of my proposals for potential inclusion in the Farm Bill, like the transition of the island from NAP to SNAP program,” said Rep. González-Colón.
“Feedback from producers and consumers is one of the most important processes of drafting a Farm Bill, and I appreciated the opportunity to be in Puerto Rico for this listening session. As I mention at every listening session, each proposal or issue will be evaluated through the lens of fiscal accountability and political viability. I want to thank Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colon and her staff for organizing this trip,” said Chairman Thompson.
Items discussed and shared by local stakeholders included priorities across multiple titles of the bill, including nutrition, research and education, and horticulture. 
González-Colón and Chair Thompson traveled to the western region of Puerto Rico, where they toured the Tropical Agricultural Research Service (TARS) farm in the Municipality of Isabela and a coffee plantation in Hacienda Los Eucaliptos in the Municipality of Lares.   
They met with TARS personnel and farmers to discuss ongoing work and research for multiple specialty crops found in tropical regions.   Other items on the agenda included a meeting with Puerto Rico’s Governor, Pedro Pierluisi (D), a visit to a regional office of the Puerto Rico Department of the Family, and a tour of a coffee roasting facility.   
The current Farm Bill expires at the end of the year. The House is expected to continue work on this legislation during the second week of September upon returning from August recess. 



William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-José Vélez González is a native from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate from Florida International University in biomedical engineering, engineering management, and international relations. A designer with a strong interest in science, policy, and innovation, he previously served as the national executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association. William-José lives in Washington, DC, where he works at the Children's National Research Institute and runs Opsin, a nonprofit design studio dedicated to making design more accessible. You can see him on Love is Blind as Lydia's brother. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Pasquines.


  1. Miguel Torres

    Brothers & Sisters please continue to educate and show our American Island residents that Puerto Rico has made an enormous contribution to America and that from this point forward we “ must “ continue to request to become the 51st State in equal footing as the rest of the 50 States because we have earned it. This time we have the backing of the house and 16 Republicans if we only convince about 50 more Republicans Puerto Rico could overwhelmingly become the next State. As a result Puerto Rico will always continue to progress and so will the entire USA.

  2. Duane

    It’s good to read the Farm Bill is taking PR into account. In the 20-year period between 1998-2018, the number of farms in Puerto Rico declined by more than 58%. Only 15% of the food consumed in PR is produced locally. Puerto Rico needs to regain it’s agricultural roots. My source is the USDA Agricultural Census.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.