Delivering on their promise, U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., were pleased to announce today the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was favorably reported out of the Committee with bipartisan support. Commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, the bipartisan 5-year legislation encompasses a broad array of agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policy.
“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill process is a reminder of how things should work in Washington – listening to the folks back home, working through issues with the other side of the aisle, then writing a good bill,” said Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow. “Today marks another important step in the road to getting an on-time Farm Bill enacted into law. We urge our colleagues to support this bill.”
Click here to read the legislation, summaries, and amendments.
The legislation has the support of more than 115 agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry groups, including the National Corn Growers Association.
North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, and president of the NCGA, made the following statement following the vote:
“Today’s Committee action marks another step forward in getting a new farm bill passed and signed into law before the current bill expires, providing some certainty to farmers facing declining commodity prices and the uncertainty caused by trade tariffs and ethanol market disruptions. NCGA commends Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for working together to write a bipartisan bill.
“NCGA is pleased to see the bipartisan bill maintains support for a robust crop insurance program, our organization’s top farm bill priority. At the same time, it is very disappointing that provisions attempting to secure a more regionally equitable commodity title and improve the ARC-county program to ensure producers have a viable, market-oriented risk management option were not included in the final bill. We hope there will be opportunities to improve these areas as the bill moves forward.”
The National Young Farmers Coalition also celebrated the vote. Before sending the bill to the floor for consideration by the full Senate, the Committee adopted amendments to add additional proposals for young and beginning farmers and ranchers.
“Today, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are thinking like real farmers— with purpose, seriousness, and a deadline. They recognize the stakes and consequences of this Farm bill, and they’re looking beyond politics to get the job done,” said Lindsey Lusher Shute, NYFC’s co-founder and Executive Director. “This bipartisan farm bill meets the urgency of the moment. We thank Chairman Roberts, Ranking Member Stabenow, and our other champions on the Committee for listening to the nation’s young farmers. Today’s proceedings further underscore the importance of defeating the divisive House Farm Bill and delivering a bipartisan bill to the President’s desk on time.”
The legislation now heads to the full U.S. Senate for consideration.