San Angelo Congressman August Pfluger recently introduced the Food and Agriculture Industry Cybersecurity Act earlier this week. Democrats Marc Veasey of Texas and Doris Matsui of California cosponsored Pfluger's bipartisan bill along with Republican John Curtis of Utah.
The bill, which has the support of the Texas Farm Bureau, Plains Cotton Growers, and American Soybean Association, among others, will create a clearinghouse for the food and agriculture industry within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that will offer cybersecurity advice tailored to those in agricultural business. In a statement released by his press office, Congressman Pfluger said, "We must protect our critical agriculture producers and food supply from bad actors and cyberattacks as the industry becomes increasingly digitalized." The bill will also require the NTIA to bring both public and private stakeholders to collaborate on items relating to cybersecurity in the agricultural field. Lastly, the bill will require the Comptroller to conduct and submit a report rating the efficacy of current federal programs in their ability to improve the agriculture industry.
In a statement applauding the move, Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening commended Pfluger by saying, "As technology in agriculture continues to advance, exposure to cybersecurity threats is increasing making our national food service vulnerable...We look forward to working with Congressman Pfluger to pass bipartisan legislation to help ensure the future of our national food security."