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Cattlemen pleased with Farm Bill provisions

South Dakota Ag Connection - April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - Farm and ranch ag groups around the country gave a universal thumbs up to the just released House Ag Committee's language for the 2018 Farm Bill text in the Ul.S. House of Representatives.

"We're pleased to see the House Agriculture Committee's language for the 2018 Farm Bill. and we're ready to see the bill move forward," said National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Kevin Kester. 

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) -- critical legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation's farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients.

"Rural America is hurting, said Conaway.  "Over the last five years, net farm income has been cut in half. Natural disasters and global markets distorted by predatory trade practices of foreign countries, including high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, have resulted in huge production losses and chronically depressed prices that are today jeopardizing the future of America's farm and ranch families."

He continued, "The farm bill keeps faith with our nation's farmers and ranchers through the current agriculture recession by providing certainty and helping producers manage the enormous risks that are inherent in agriculture. The farm bill also remains faithful to the American taxpayer and consumer. Under the farm bill, consumers will continue to enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world, and taxpayers will reap the more than $112 billion in budget savings projected under the current law.

NCBA President Conaway said, "We appreciate the Committee authorizing the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank, which is vitally important to the safety of our industry. However, we were hopeful for full funding levels, which this bill does not provide in years two through five. We'll continue fighting to secure that funding through all possible avenues."

He added, "We're also happy to see the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) bolstered in this bill, as well as funding for research, foreign market development, and market access program."

Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02), member of the House Agriculture Committee, said the Farm bill provides  farmers and ranchers the resources they need to expand the nation's robust agriculture economy. In Nebraska, one out of every four jobs are related to the agricultural sector. 

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that he has found that farmers and ranchers across the country have confidence in President Trump's ability to negotiate strong trade deals with other nations and that they also want a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill that puts their needs abouve Washington, D.C. 

For more on this bill go to: https://agriculture.house.gov/farmbill/

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