Less than a week after being formally introduced to the House Committee on Agriculture, the next farm bill was voted out of committee April 18 and could soon head to a full vote on the House floor in the coming weeks.
The bill, legislatively known as H.R. 2 – The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, is a comprehensive bill focused on food security through policies focused on crop insurance, conservation, dairy, agricultural trade promotion and nutrition, to name a few.
“The 2018 Farm Bill is ready for debate and amendments a mere six days after its introduction,” said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “A vote by the full House of Representatives is expected to soon follow. This is great news for farmers and ranchers everywhere. (The legislation) takes us one step closer to bringing certainty to families who face the toughest farm economy in more than a decade.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, H.R. 2 closely aligns with the department’s Farm Bill Principles released in January and is nearly identical to the legislation first introduced last week.
“We are encouraged that the Committee heard the voices of their constituents, who want to preserve and enhance programs contained in the 2014 Farm Bill,” said USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue. “As the bill heads to the floor, I hope the House recognizes the long-term certainty it provides for America’s farmers, just as it preserves nutrition programs for people who need help feeding themselves and their families.”
While the rapid turnaround in House committee is a good sign, OFBF Senior Director of State and National Affairs Jack Irvin cautioned that there still is a long way to go. The farm bill still has to pass the House and Senate, and also be signed by President Trump, to become law.
“This is big step forward, but a long process still awaits to getting a farm bill passed,” Irvin said. “We will continue to focus on sharing what is important to Ohio’s farmers with our legislative leaders and strive to see the best bill possible through to completion.”