The Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance (NEAFA) congratulates Congress on the bipartisan passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill’s passage is a success for agriculture on the whole, and we support the prompt action taken by Congress to ensure the vote took place before the end of the 2018 session. We agree with Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts statement that “this is what happens when Congress works in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion. This is a good bill. It’s a good bill that accomplishes what we set out to do. Provide, again, provide certainty and predictability for farmers and families in rural communities.”
NEAFA commends the decision to extend the Dairy Foward Pricing Program to 2023, and the new inclusion of incentives for milk consumption in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These benefits, along with improvements to the renamed Dairy Margin Coverage Program (previously the Margin Protection Program), are a needed boon for an industry currently in flux.
NEAFA is also pleased that the continuance of risk management programs, including enhanced crop insurance programs, is such a strong aspect of the new legislation. “The Farm Bill’s role in managing financial risk on family farms is a critical part of this farm bill legislation” stated Andy Dugan, NEAFA President. “Farming is inherently filled with challenges and risk. Having crop insurance available to farmers allows them to focus on the job at hand, and not worry as much over a bad season due to circumstances outside of their control.”
Continued funding for environmental conservation programs, such as the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Animal Disease Preparedness, Local Agriculture Market Program, and particularly the boost of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to $2 billion, is key as well. NEAFA recognizes that conservation programs are necessary for the long term health of the industry.
Going forward, NEAFA continues to support bipartisan actions by Congress that support and promotes growth in the agricultural field.