Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate Passed June 28th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 86 Yea / 11 Nay
  • The house Passed June 21st, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 213 Yea / 211 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on Agriculture
    IntroducedApril 12th, 2018

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is it?

(Updated 6/28/18): After the House passed its version of the Farm Bill, this legislation was amended by the Senate to contain its version of the Farm Bill. In its current form, this bill — the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — would reauthorize numerous U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) programs through the 2023 crop year, reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in addition to making it easier for farmers and ranchers to access credit, crop insurance, and international markets. Detailed summaries of the 1,120 page bill’s various sections can be found below.

Commodities

This section would aim to maintain and strengthen the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs and allow participating farmers to make a new election between them. The programs provide farmers with protection against adverse changes in market conditions, and would be reauthorized through 2023. Payments under ARC would be based on the physical location of the farm.

Dairy policy would be maintained and strengthened through several provisions. The Margin Protection Program would be renamed the Dairy Risk Coverage program. Premiums under the program would vary, as dairy operations with a production history of less than 2 million pounds and between 2 & 10 million pounds would receive discounts.

The USDA’s marketing loan program, which helps farmers store their production so they can market their crops throughout the year rather than selling when commodity prices are low at harvest-time, would be reauthorized for the 2019 through 2023 crop years.

Nutrition

This section would maintain and reform nutrition assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps or SNAP). It would reform SNAP’s work requirement by directing states to consult with the state workforce development board or local employers to design the state’s employment and training program to meet local needs. States which include job search as a component of their program would be required to have at least one additional employment and training component.

State workforce agencies and the Secretary of Agriculture would be authorized to certify workforce partnerships operated by a private employer or nonprofit organization, which would serve as an additional means for individuals to satisfy employment and training requirements. Workforce partnerships wouldn’t receive funding under the Food and Nutrition Act. A process would be established for referral or reassessment of individuals determined to be ill-suited to the employment and training component to which they’d been referred.

Farmers’ markets and direct marketing farmers would be allowed to operate a point of sale EBT device at more than one location under the same SNAP retailer authorization, enabling them to expand access to their produce. The USDA would be required to review state EBT contract service agreements and the compatibility of those systems with USDA fraud monitoring systems.

Conservation

  • The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which provides annual rent payments for 10-15 year periods to farmers in exchange for not planting on environmentally-sensitive land, would be reauthorized through 2023. CRP acreage would be increased to 25 million acres over the life of the farm bill.

  • The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which provides payments to farms for optimizing their conservation efforts to improve yields and wildlife habitat, would be reauthorized through 2023. The CSP acreage enrollment limit would be set at 8.797 million acres at a national average rate of $18/acre.

  • The Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which provides financial assistance to farms for adopting conservation measures, would be reauthorized through 2023.

Trade

In-kind food aid would be retained as the foundation of U.S. food aid while oversight, monitoring, and program evaluation for food aid programs would be strengthened. Labeling requirements would appropriately convey the generosity of the American people. Among the programs maintained by the section are: Food for Peace, Food for Progress, McGovern-Dole, Farmer-to-Farmer, Local and Regional Procurement, the Cochran Fellowship Program, the Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.

Credit

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts Pilot Program would be maintained with matching funds for savings accounts, and reserves a portion of ownership and operating loans for beginning farmers and ranchers. Military and related experience would be allowed to count toward 3-years of experience required prior to an application for an ownership loan.

The Conservation Loan and Loan Guarantee program would be maintained to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation measures on their land. Loan limits for individual farmers and ranchers would be updated for the first time in 16 years, enabling producers to access the credit they need to produce their crops.

Rural Development

  • USDA programs aimed at expanding access to broadband in rural areas would be reauthorized with $150 million annually through 2023.

  • USDA loan programs related to electrification or telephone service in rural areas would be reauthorized through 2023.

Research

This section would provide full funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and eliminate  mandatory funding for citrus research. It’d increase funding for the Organic Agriculture Research & Extension Initiative to provide resources for combating fraudulent imports of organic products coming into the U.S. The farm bill would promote research on the development of mechanization and automation of labor-intensive tasks on farms and in packing facilities.

A grant program would be established for each 1890 land grant university to award scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in food and agricultural sciences.

Forestry

  • A $20 million annual grant program would enable state foresters to carry out hazardous fuel reduction projects across landscapes on federal and non-federal land to prevent wildfires. State foresters would be required to consult with owners of state, county, tribal, and private land to carryout cross-boundary hazardous fuels reduction projects.

  • The Forest Service’s authority to dispose of small parcels of land (40 acres or less) in a manner to enhance the respective National Forest through new recreational access or acquisitions. Funds obtained through such sales could be used for the acquisition of land or interest in the state from which the sale originated.

  • The Forest Service would be allowed to conduct research and provide technical assistance and grants to facilitate the use of innovative wood products.

Horticulture

  • States would be allowed to regulate industrial hemp production based on a state or tribal plan that includes information on hemp production locations, THC concentration tests, disposal of out of compliance plants, and negligence or other violations. The USDA & Dept. of Justice would establish a plan to monitor and regulate hemp production in states without USDA approved plans.

  • The USDA would be required to issue regulations to limit the type of foreign operations that are excluded from organic certification

  • The Local Agriculture Market Program would support partnerships to plan and develop a local or regional food system through $60 million in annual grants.

Miscellaneous

  • A new National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program would be designed to protect the health of the nation’s livestock sector.

  • The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant Program and the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Rancher and Veteran Farmer and Rancher Program would all be merged into the Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach Program and funded with $50 million annually.
  • A new U.S.-only vaccine bank would be established with priority for stockpiling Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine.

Impact

Farmers and ranchers; people receiving food assistance under SNAP; state agriculture and forestry agencies; and the USDA.

Cost

$27.50 Billion
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost $24.3 billion over the 2019-2023 period to fund USDA programs. It would also increase direct spending by $3.2 billion over the 2019-2023 period and $500 million over the 2019-2028 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced this bipartisan Farm Bill to reauthorize and reform USDA programs:

“When Ranking Member Stabenow and I started this journey in Manhattan, Kansas, last year, we made a commitment to make tough choices and produce a good, bipartisan Farm Bill… Whether it’s low prices, over burdensome regulations, or unpredictable trade markets, it’s no secret that farmers and ranchers are struggling. That’s why we need a Farm Bill that works for all producers across all regions. Simply put, our producers need predictability -- and that’s just what this bill provides.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) added:

“From day one, Chairman Roberts and I agreed we would craft a bipartisan bill that works for farmers, families, and rural communities. The bipartisan Senate Farm Bill goes above and beyond to provide certainty for rural America and our diverse agricultural economy in MIchigan and throughout the country. From revitalizing small towns, to promoting good stewardship of our land and water, to expanding local food economies, this Farm Bill is a major bipartisan victory.”
The Senate Agriculture Committee passed this bill unanimously.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Slavica / iStock)

AKA

Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

Official Title

To provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2023, and for other purposes.

    As a Senior Citien I have worked for over 40 years and we should be getting a supplement of SNAp so that we won't have to choose getting food or our medicines. Why should the Seniors have to suffer and beg for food when our taxpapers money is taking care of everyone else. It;s our turn to be be taken care of.
    Like (141)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to OPPOSE this bill. Some examples of the harm this bill would do: 1) encouraging profligate pesticide use by preempting state pesticide laws, weakening federal protections for wildlife and endangered species from pesticides, exempting pesticides from the Clean Water Act, expediting EPA approval of pesticides without agreed-to protections, and delaying EPA pesticide protections; 2) adding work requirements to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), targeting food access for struggling families; 3) weakening low-income children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools, allowing schools to instead buy junk food with no restrictions on added sugar, salt or fats; 4) eliminating the Conservation Stewardship Program, leaving farmers with fewer resources and options to implement conservation on their farms; 5) allowing mining and oil and gas drilling on agricultural conservation lands; and 6) weakening protection of endangered species from logging.
    Like (319)
    Follow
    Share
    Most of what this terrible bill does is cut SNAP—another travesty to starve poor people— destroy environmental protections to poison the earth and kill more helpless animals assuming them, like poor people, to be things. This is misnamed. It is the Evil Destruction bill.
    Like (197)
    Follow
    Share
    My two major concerns with this bill are the major cuts proposed to the food stamp program along side major funding cuts for our local farmers. Plenty of people who work unfortunately are still depending on food stamps but taking them away is not going to help anyone receive more pay in order to afford food. If wages would be raised in order to meet up with inflation, not so many people would be dependent on the program. As for our local farmers if their funding gets cut then think about the cost of shipping food from non-local Farms and it’s going to increase everyone’s cost share including in the grocery store. If we would fund local farms, prices in grocery stores may decrease.
    Like (122)
    Follow
    Share
    Just as the benefactors of the tax budget, the benefactors of this bill will be the big corporations, not the farmers. So far, only the lobbyists have had your ear and have lined your pockets. I urge our representatives to bring forth farmers and their families for their opinion. I believe their testimony and voice carries all the weight in addressing this bill.
    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
    When the GOP 'reforms' anything be very afraid. It means taking a meat ax to regulations and social programs like SNAP that serve the public good, all so their corporate donors, who are already doing phenomenally well, can literally and financially make a killing.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    Cuts to SNAP, deregulation of pesticides, gutting protections for farmers... just STOP! This bill is made of hate and stupidity. This is just another example of the Profit over People mentality. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS.
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    It is hardly fair to require one to work in order for them to be able to eat--being able to provide for oneself is a fundamental human right, regardless of whether or not we have fallen on hard times. Of course, we really should be transitioning to a universal basic income anyways.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Stop this “other issues” and work on GUN CONTROL. More children killed today and still no action from Congress. If you do not address this issue will be voting everybody out. The good, the bad and the ugly.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    I know my representatives will vote no ! This bill is disastrous to the environment protections sustainability water air everything important to life on earth . Please vote no ! No to donors
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    So many provisions in this bill promote unhealthy eating, from the broken SNAP system to subsidized corn.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Has Dow chemical paid Michael Cohen or another lobbyist to make sure they wrote this bill? Hmmmm maybe we should have the house members work a minimum wage job 60 hours a week and then have to apply for food stamps to feed their families for a month. Let’s have these Congressmen and Congresswomen take care of their children, aged parents and have time to work for minimum wage and see how they feel at the end of the month. Right to work only helps corporations pay lower wages and take food out of the mouths of the poor. Shame on all of you who vote yes on this bill.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    SNAP-is all important in itself! Therefore SNAP deserves to be treated alone, and not Hidden in the bulk of this Bill. Here, SNAP is lost and recipients ‘screwed’, to put it politely. Do your job...Fairly.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Shame on the Democrats who are opposing everything good for this country because they don't want any successes for President Trump. There's a special place in hell for these Legislators who care nothing about the people they represent.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill does not reform SNAP. It simply prays on the most vulnerable in society. Forcing people to work for welfare is more akin to slavery. Most people on SNAP are already working anyway.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    This farm bill will make life much harder on animals!
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    SNAP regulations/laws should be separate from this bill and CLEARLY written. EPA needs to have a say in this (long term scientist employees- not politically appointed department heads). More protections for the farmer - especially the small farmer. Bills need to be separate because when lumped together they hide many negative aspects of a bill.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Don’t cut snap. Keep food stamps/snap. Don’t offer cheap ineffective insurance plans. It undercuts the law of the land. - - There are things in this bill that are unacceptable.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    The farm bill should not be passed, it will only strengthen big business and wear down small-time farmers. Even in the overview it shows just how much money is going to huge industrial farms and the decontamination of cattle and crops. Millions of dollars will be spent to make sure that we don’t wind up feeding the country bacteria and disease-infested produce. This process that factory farms use to slaughter and mass-produce their meat can be seen in many documentaries such as “food inc”. The truth is that if we just improve health regulations in industrial farms, we won’t have to spend so much money on making the produce sanitary after the fact.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Any bill that makes it harder for the working poor to access food assistance should be REJECTED. If our nation can afford to give half it's budget to the military, it can afford to feed vulnerable citizens.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE