U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, was one of nine senators appointed to the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee, which is tasked with reconciling differences between the Farm Bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.
“I am grateful to Majority Leader McConnell and Chairman Roberts for selecting me to serve on the Farm Bill Conference Committee. Farmers, ranchers and rural communities are the backbone of America’s economy, and we must provide them with the certainty and predictability they deserve. Finding common ground is imperative for producers and consumers across the country, and I am committed to working with my colleagues on a compromise agreement that ensures stability for our farmers,” said Senator Ernst.
The Senate Conference Committee includes: Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).
The bipartisan Senate Farm Bill includes many of Senator Ernst’s priorities including:
- 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 the 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;
- 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; and a
- 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.