Trump Signs Farm Bill Agreement, Industry Responds
“Today I am making good on my promise to defend our farmers and ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations,” President Trump said via Twitter on Monday. “I have authorized Secretary Perdue to implement the 2nd round of Market Facilitation Payments. Our economy is stronger than ever—we stand with our Farmers!”
According to a report from Bloomberg, this round of payments from the U.S. Agriculture Department amounts to $9.57 billion. The first round of payments amounted to $4.7 billion.
“I am happy to see President Trump sign the Farm Bill into law today, especially considering the challenges our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face,” said House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson in a statement. “The law contains programs that will help provide much-needed certainty to producers. The law now provides expanded, affordable risk management options for dairy farmers, as well as permanent, mandatory funding for priorities like the Local Food & Farmers Market Promotion Program, Value-Added Producer Grants, the BFRDP Program, Organic Research, and the Section 2501 Outreach Program. I look forward to working with USDA in the coming Congress to ensure these programs are implemented as quickly as possible and to their full effectiveness.”
Voices from the industry were likewise positive in their support of the bill.
“The 2018 Farm Bill is a major victory for fresh produce,“ said Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for United Fresh. “Despite differences between the House and Senate, Congress has once again shown that when legislation is dealt with in a bipartisan manner, the American people will benefit. We would like to thank the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Agricultural Committee for their leadership in passing a Farm Bill that is good for both the fresh produce industry and consumers.
He continued, stating that, “We look forward to working with USDA and other industry partners to ensure a smooth implementation process. By approving this legislation, both Congress and the President have affirmed the increasing importance of fresh produce and specialty crops in both our economy and our food supply.”
AndNowUKnow will continue to report on the latest news as it affects the produce industry.