Pulses on Policy: A Week Championing Sustainable Agriculture in Washington D.C.

Written by Nicole Atchison
on February 13, 2024  |  5 min. read

The week of February 5th was a whirlwind in Washington D.C., both literally (thanks to our collective 100,000+ steps!) andA white building with columns

Description automatically generated figuratively. I joined forces with our incredible Chief of Staff, Lauren Hoistad, and teams from USA Pulses and the Organic Trade Association to navigate the halls of Capitol Hill amidst a flurry of Senate votes and policy discussions.

Our mission: to champion sustainable agriculture, organic growth, and, of course, the mighty power of pulses! Think 42 meetings, enough elevator rides to make us "frequent flyer" contenders and testing out the plant-based options in the Senate mess hall. We connected with nearly every member of the Minnesota delegation, congressional members from key PURIS states, and even the USDA. 

While we aren’t experts at every vote and debate, the energy surrounding us was palpable. It was a week where the future of American policy was being actively shaped, and we were determined to ensure the voices of pulse growers and sustainable practices were heard loud and clear.  

Amongst the busy schedule, we prioritized three key areas: 

  • Defending fair trade for American pea protein: We secured crucial support for our antidumping petition against unfair competition, a win for American jobs and fair play. 
  • Planting the seeds for a brighter future: We advocated for the Organic Market Development Act and the Pulse Crop Health Initiative, game-changers for organic agriculture and pulse growers. 
  • Growing resilience for our farmers: We voiced concerns and advocated for policies that empower our farmers through crop insurance and research support. 

A group of women posing for a picture

Description automatically generatedCelebrating the ITC's preliminary duties announcement on our antidumping case was a highlight, marking a crucial step towards a level playing field. But the real win was the opportunity to connect with policymakers, share the power of pulses, and contribute to a more sustainable, equitable food system. 

This is just the beginning.

Want to join the movement? Learn more about PURIS, USA Pulses, and the Organic Trade Association, and let's keep the conversation going! Remember, your voice matters – speak up for the future of food you want to see. 

PURIS meets with Senator Klobuchar. Left to Right - Lauren Hoistad, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Nicole Atchison

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USA Pulses meets with Congressman Dan Newhouse of Washington. Left to Right - Todd Scholze, Nicole Atchison, Representative Dan Newhouse, Ian Clarke, and Tami Stubbs 

Together, we can turn our pulse-pounding steps into impactful strides for a healthier planet. 

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