Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) today joined his colleagues to pass the 2018 Farm Bill, which delivers key wins for Nebraskan farmers, ranchers, and consumers, as well as certainty and stability to the economies of Ag communities like Nebraska.
Four areas of concern to Rep. Bacon, addressed in the 2018 Farm Bill, include: trade promotion, a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Bank, an affordable crop insurance program, and continued research funding for universities such as the University of Nebraska.
The 2018 Farm Bill provides mandatory funding to the Foreign Market Development program, the Market Access Program, and other trade initiatives designed to promote U.S. agricultural exports, while streamlining the four existing trade promotion programs under one umbrella, the Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation.
“These measures will help Nebraska’s number one economy thrive,” said Rep. Bacon. “Our farmers, ranchers, financial services sector, meatpacking plants, etc. all rely on fair trade programs.”
Other issues addressed helps the ag economy of Nebraska thrive.
“Speaking with many members of Nebraska’s agricultural community, l learned a large concern was animal disease prevention and management efforts,” said Rep. Bacon. “This bill includes $300 million in funding for these efforts, including a priority of mine, a new U.S.-only vaccine bank stockpiling the FMD vaccine.
Rep. Bacon also stated he was glad that the farm safety net is strengthened with the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Crop insurance is protected in this legislation and it also makes several key improvements, including new insurance products and improvements to whole farm revenue coverage for specialty crop producers,” added Rep. Bacon. Certainty is provided to America’s farmers and ranchers with important policies like Price Loss Coverage, Agriculture Risk Coverage, Commodity Loans, Dairy Margin Coverage, Livestock Disaster Programs, and Crop Insurance.
Research, extension, and education is also vital to Nebraska’s ag economy, and the University of Nebraska is a front-runner in these areas.
“This bill provides over $600 million in funding for research and extension projects for land grant universities like the University of Nebraska, which helps keep Nebraska agriculture a leader of innovation,” said Rep. Bacon.
There are many wins for Nebraska in this bill.
“One out of every four jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture and the 2018 Farm Bill provides certainty not only to our farmers, ranchers and producers, but to so many other related industries in Nebraska,” added Rep. Bacon. “When our producers thrive, the processing, financial services and transportation industries on our state thrive meaning that more and more families in Nebraska are impacted by a successful farm bill.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Kevin Kester today issued the following statement regarding U.S. House and Senate passage of the 2018 Farm Bill conference report:
“America’s cattlemen and women want common sense and certainty from Congress this holiday season and throughout the year – today they received that through the passage of the Farm Bill. Certainty that a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank will be authorized and funded. Certainty that important conservation programs will be reauthorized and funded. And certainty that trade promotion and access to foreign markets will remain a priority in the years to come.
“On behalf of all of our producers, I want to sincerely thank every Member of Congress who supported the Farm Bill – especially U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, who all worked together across party lines for the past two-plus years. It wasn’t always easy, but we truly appreciate all your hard work.”