The swift passage of the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill today brought shouts of support from the ag community. The Senate voted 86-11 to pass their $428 billion Farm Bill, which made no major changes to the SNAP program.
The passage was met by strong approval in the ag community.
“American Farmland Trust applauds the passage of the Senate Farm bill today and commends Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow for this bipartisan and expedient step towards a 2018 Farm Bill,” said John Piotti, president and CEO, American Farmland Trust. “AFT looks forward to a similar approach by the conferees for a timely bill that provides certainty for American farmers and ranchers and much-needed funds to protect the land they steward.”
National Sorghum Producers Chairman and sorghum farmer from Pawnee City, Nebraska, Don Bloss said the bill is the right step forward for sorghum producers.
“The bipartisan leadership demonstrated by Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow to bring this bill to its completion is heartily commended by National Sorghum Producers. We appreciate the Senators who showed support for agriculture today, bringing us one step closer to a final bill that provides the needed support and certainty for sorghum farmers and all of America’s farmers and ranchers.
“This is a solid bill for sorghum farmers with stability under the farm bill safety net, attention to resource conserving crops like sorghum in the conservation title, strong crop insurance that preserves the most important risk management tool we have with direction to improve sorghum policies, and a trade title that provides critical funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development.
“As Chairman Roberts has said so often, it is not the best possible bill but it is the best bill possible, and we are proud of his work. We are grateful to Senator Roberts and his staff for getting the bill across the Senate floor, putting it in a position to be conferenced with the House—a process we anxiously anticipate in July with leadership from both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.”
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA), representing over 120 specialty crop organizations across the United States, also applauded the bipartisan efforts of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, and members of the Senate in passing the Agriculture Improvement Act. The Alliance strongly supports the inclusion of a new research program for citrus producers, increased funds for nutrition programs and the extension of many of the specialty crop provisions that were included in the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow’s work over the past year produced a Farm Bill that is clearly committed to investing in specialty crop agriculture. Our coalition appreciates the value of these programs in supporting our industry and delivering nutritious specialty crops to consumers. Looking forward, we encourage leadership in both chambers to convene a conference committee in an expeditious manner. For agriculture and the jobs it creates, it’s critical that Congress completes its work before the current farm bill expires on Sept. 30. Our industry stands ready to work with members of the conference committee to ensure a bill that will help specialty crop agriculture stay strong and competitive.”
All eyes are now on the House and Senate to resolve major issues between their respective bills by September 30, the deadline for the expiration of the current Farm Bill.
“Passage today of the Senate Farm Bill reflects a hard fought victory, and I commend Chairman Roberts for his tireless efforts,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11). “I look forward to working together to send a strong, new farm bill to the president’s desk.”