In a significant move to protect the backbone of America's food supply, a new piece of bipartisan legislation, the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act, has been introduced by members of both the Senate and the House.
This act mandates the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a comprehensive study every two years on the cybersecurity threats looming over the agriculture and food sectors. The findings will be reported to Congress, aiming to fortify the defenses of these critical infrastructure sectors.
Cyber threats are not just digital—they can have tangible impacts on our daily lives, especially when they target the agriculture and food industries.
Recognizing this, the proposed legislation also includes an innovative approach to readiness: an annual simulation of cross-sector food-related cyber crises.
This simulation, a collaborative effort involving the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the Office of National Intelligence, is designed to prepare and protect against potential cyberattacks.
Spearheaded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Tom Cotton and Kristen Gillibrand, along with Reps. Brad Finstad and Elissa Slotkin, the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act is a testament to the urgency of addressing cyber vulnerabilities in sectors vital to national security.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has voiced strong support for the legislation, recognizing the paramount importance of cybersecurity in protecting the nation’s food supply chain and, by extension, American farmers.
As cyber threats continue to evolve, this legislation represents a proactive step towards ensuring the resilience and security of America's agriculture and food sectors.