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House Agriculture Committee Announces 2018 Farm Bill
- 04/13/2018

U.S. Representative Glenn 'GT' Thompson Thursday joined with Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and members of the House Agriculture Committee to introduce a new Farm Bill, H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.

Thompson is vice chair of the committee and Chairman of the Nutrition Subcommittee, which oversees federal nutrition programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly called food stamps. Thursday's legislation works to address the economic challenges facing the nation's farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments toward opportunities for SNAP recipients.

"Introduction of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 marks the culmination of years of hard work by the House Agriculture Committee, which has delivered a product that includes many important reforms," Thompson said. "Members of the Agriculture Committee have traveled to every corner of the country to host listening sessions and obtain vital input from our farmers, ranchers and growers. From voluntary insurance, to rural development and agriculture research, to conservation, this legislation will build upon the important policies that support American agriculture.

"As chairman of the Nutrition Subcommittee, I am particularly proud of the reforms put forth for the SNAP program," Thompson continued. "Since 2015, the subcommittee has hosted 21 hearings on SNAP and received testimony from more than 80 witnesses on how to strengthen the program, while working in earnest toward the goal of ending hunger in America. While the bill continues SNAP assistance to our most vulnerable, the legislation also provides new opportunities for individuals who have been marginalized by lack of education or gainful employment. Today's bill is about ensuring this critical safety net remains a viable program for years to come, especially for those who need it most."

The Farm Bill goes far beyond America's farms. Every five years, the Farm Bill sets policies that govern a broad array of programs, from crop support to conservation and from food assistance to forestry. The Farm Bill makes up only about 2 percent of all federal funding, but every American benefits from its provisions.

The largest portion of funds is spent on nutrition programs, which make up nearly 80 percent of the total authorization. The remainder supports America's farmers, ranchers, and consumers through initiatives that include commodity programs, agricultural research at land grant universities, trade, and rural development.

For more on this bill go to:

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement on the release of the 2018 Farm Bill:

"I applaud Chairman Conaway and the House Agriculture Committee for their diligence and hard work in crafting the 2018 Farm Bill. The trend of low commodity prices over recent years and headlines about trade disputes have caused anxiety among agricultural producers these days, so this legislation is critically important to give them some much-needed reassurance. In my travels across the country, I have found that farmers have confidence in President Trump's ability to negotiate strong trade deals with other nations, but they also want a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill that puts their needs above Washington, D.C. politics.

"While there is still much work to be done, I am pleased that this Farm Bill aligns with many of the principles USDA released in January. I look forward to working with the Agriculture Committees and members of Congress from both sides to pass a comprehensive Farm Bill in a timely fashion to provide the needed support and certainty to our farmers. The Trump Administration has made rural prosperity a priority for the country, and a Farm Bill that works for agriculture is a key component of the agenda."

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, also issued a statement:

"Congress made important improvements to the dairy safety net earlier this year, but as we have said repeatedly, there is more that must be done in the upcoming Farm Bill. That need is particularly urgent given the ongoing economic distress facing America's dairy farmers.

"As the House developed its Farm Bill, we have worked closely with the leaders of the Agriculture Committee, including Chairman Mike Conaway, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Vice Chairman Glenn Thompson and others to make further improvements to the Margin Protection Program and enhance farmers' ability to use the Livestock Gross Margin program and other risk management tools.

"The bill introduced today includes several changes we have advocated for, particularly in improving coverage levels and providing greater coverage flexibility for dairy producers. It also includes important language on price risk management, which NMPF has worked on closely alongside the International Dairy Foods Association. As the Farm Bill moves forward, we will continue to work with our allies in Congress on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to further strengthen the dairy safety net for producers of all sizes."

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