U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, applauded today’s final passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States Senate. The bipartisan legislation includes many of Senator Ernst’s priorities to bring certainty and predictability to Iowa’s farmers and ranchers, and ensure the needs of rural communities are met.
“Farmers, ranchers and rural communities are the people that Americans rely on, day in and day out, to put food on our tables, clothes on our backs and fuel in our cars. And, in trying times, it is essential that we provide farmers and ranchers with the certainty and predictability they need and deserve.”
“Low commodity prices, trade tensions and unpredictable weather have taken a toll on many folks back home. Several pieces of my legislation, including reforms to conservation and commodity programs, were incorporated in the Farm Bill. Additionally, I was glad to see my bipartisan measure to increase support and access to mental health resources for farmers and ranchers was included in the Farm Bill. I look forward to working with members of the House of Representatives to send a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill across the finish line and to the President’s desk in short order.”
Several Ernst measures were included in the 2018 Farm Bill, including her:
- Bipartisan legislation with Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) to strengthen and improve the Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Level program;
- Bipartisan Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Act of 2018, introduced with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Bob Casey (D-PA) to revise and strengthen the current provisions of CRP, the Conservation Stewardship Program and Environmental Quality Incentives Program;
- Bipartisan Regional Conservation Partnership Program Improvement Act, introduced with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), which will strengthen the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and incentivize rural and urban partnerships for conservation; and the
- Bipartisan Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental Health and Encouraging Rural Solutions For Immediate Response to Stressful Times (FARMERS FIRST) Act, introduced with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), to provide our nation’s agricultural community with critical mental health support and resources.
- Proposal for a pilot program that would encourage Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase more milk to improve participants diets, especially lower-income families with children.
Members of the U.S. House and Senate will now negotiate their approved versions of the 2018 Farm Bill in Conference Committee.