National Young Farmers Coalition Celebrates Bipartisan Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, DC - A bipartisan bill was submitted by the Senate Agriculture Committee is hearing rave reviews, particularly from the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). The coalition celebrated the bill, which consisted of funding for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, investments, and reforms to preserve farmland for the next generations.
In addition to these goals, the bill aims to expand local and regional food programs, according to a NYFC press release, in which the organization applauded the bill’s inclusion of several provisions explored in its very own Young Farmer Agenda platform.
“Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow are listening our nation's young farmers. Despite a challenging budget and political climate, we’re thrilled to see program investments that will support the next generation and the inclusion of policy changes that will make programs better-suited for all farmers. We are also pleased to see additional funding for programs targeting socially disadvantaged farmers, conservation partnerships, and concrete steps to make farmers more resilient in the face of climate change,” NYFC’s Co-Founder and Executive Director Lindsey Lusher Shute expressed in the press release.
Lusher Shute continued, “Like every bipartisan compromise, today’s draft bill isn’t perfect. As we move forward and conduct a full analysis, NYFC looks forward to collaborating with the Committee and every Member of the Senate to make this a farm bill for the future. We thank Senators Roberts and Stabenow for putting ideology and partisanship aside, and working to address the urgent needs of America's farmers and the communities they feed. In stark contrast to the House process, this is how a farm bill should be done.”
Called the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the bill, released by U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., will be marked up on June 13th at 9:30 a.m.
"I’m pleased that today marks a big step in the process to get a Farm Bill reauthorized on time,” Chairman Roberts expressed, according to a press release from the Committee. “Whether it’s low prices, over-burdensome regulations, or unpredictable trade markets, it’s no secret that farmers and ranchers are struggling. That’s why we need a Farm Bill that works for all producers across all regions. Simply put, our producers need predictability–and that’s just what our bill provides.”
As stated in the Committee’s press release, the following will be addressed in in the bill to create certainty and predictability:
Providing Certainty for Farmers, Ranchers, and Growers
- Preserving and strengthening crop insurance and other risk management tools for commodity, dairy, livestock, and other producers
- Providing flexibility for producers during times of natural disasters
- Continuing and strengthening export and trade-related programs
- Supporting agriculture research and encouraging research partnerships that make farmers more productive and profitable
Strengthening Integrity and Food Access for Families
- Strengthening the integrity of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Building on successful public-private partnerships and job training to improve SNAP participants’ path to sustainable employment
- Protecting food assistance for families and expanding access to healthy foods
- Reducing burdensome paperwork for seniors in need of assistance
Strengthening Voluntary Conservation and Forest Management
- Investing in voluntary conservation on working lands and expanding regional partnerships that leverage private funds to address natural resource concerns and improve water quality
- Providing forest management reforms to federal land managers and protecting against wildfires
- Securing opportunities for outdoor recreation by adding 1 million new acres to the Conservation Reserve Program and strengthening voluntary public access
Investing in Rural America
- Connecting rural America by expanding high-speed internet
- Fighting the opioid epidemic with prevention and treatment efforts
- Investing in water infrastructure for rural communities
- Preserving renewable energy investments that lower utility bills and support energy installation jobs
Growing the Diversity of the American Agricultural Economy
- Supporting farmer veterans and new farmers beginning careers in agriculture
- Strengthening local food economies that enable farmers to sell their products to their neighbors
- Growing emerging opportunities in organic production and urban agriculture
- Bolstering biodefense preparedness efforts to protect United States agriculture and food.
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