In a rapid-fire sequence of events, the U.S. Senate moved quickly this afternoon to approve the final, budget-neutral 2018 Farm Bill proposal, 87 to 13. The compromise package had been recommended and released by the Farm Bill Conference Committee just hours earlier today.
The American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) board of directors had voted unanimously to endorse the Farm Bill Conference Committee package, citing its comprehensive provisions that support production agriculture through risk management, crop insurance, programs that facilitate market development, and nutrition assistance.
“The proposed 2018 farm bill is a complete package,” said Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski, who also serves on the AFBF board. “Farmers in particular will find a good degree of risk-management support they need to help them weather the prolonged downturn in the agricultural economy.”
According to Bednarski, the AFBF board expressed its appreciation to House and Senate agricultural leaders – Senators Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow and Representatives Michael Conaway and Collin Peterson — for the months of hard work they invested in crafting the bill.
“We are grateful for Sen. Stabenow’s commitment and leadership in drafting a truly bipartisan farm bill that serves the needs of all Michigan farmers and consumers,” Bednarski said, adding that the U.S. House of Representatives needs to follow suit and act quickly to pass the package as well.
According to AFBF, the U.S. House could be voting on the farm bill conference committee legislation as soon as Wednesday, following Senate approval today. Preliminary indications are that USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is supporting the measure and is encouraging President Donald Trump to approve the measure after it clears both chambers.
Stabenow, as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, praised the Farm Bill conference report, saying the bipartisan bill strongly supports Michigan’s farmers and agricultural economy.
“The 2018 Farm Bill is a bipartisan victory that has Michigan on every page,” Stabenow said. “This is a strong bill that will grow Michigan’s diverse agricultural economy and support our farmers, families, and rural communities. I’m committed to getting this bill across the finish line by the end of the year.”
According to Stabenow, the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill equips Michigan farmers with risk management tools, including:
Additional Farm Bill provision highlights: