The following statement regarding the House and Senate Ag Leaders’ announced “agreement in principle” on the 2018 Farm Bill conference report may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
“The 2018 farm bill emerging from the conference committee is good news for farmers amid a prolonged downturn in the agricultural economy. Chairmen Roberts and Conaway and Ranking Members Stabenow and Peterson made the bill a priority for this Congress, and all Americans—farmers and consumers—are better off for it.
“Continued access to risk management tools, assistance in foreign market development, and conservation and environmental stewardship programs within the legislation are especially important for farmers and ranchers. These programs will help provide certainty to rural America at a time when it is much needed given the financial headwinds so many family farms now face. Additionally, the bill continues to help low-income children, families, seniors and military veterans access the high-quality foods produced by farm families.
“Farmers and ranchers continue to face challenges outside of the farm bill. Every day we struggle to find the workers we need. Exports were once a backbone of U.S. agriculture, but we now face an uphill battle reclaiming our once robust market share. While the Administration is reviewing the cost and effectiveness of federal regulations, overregulation remains a burden that farmers and ranchers cannot afford, especially now. We urge Congress to continue working on these issues to maintain our nation’s food security and continue agriculture’s significant contributions to U.S. job creation and economic growth.
“The farm bill and ag policy broadly remain bipartisan matters and we encourage both houses of Congress to approve this bill once it is finalized by House and Senate Ag Leaders. We are thankful the Agriculture committees have stayed true to their mission to serve the American farmer and rancher and our nation’s consumers, and we look forward to working with the next Congress on all the issues facing agriculture.”