"I am proud of our efforts to finish a farm bill conference
report with significant savings and reforms," said Rep. Frank
Lucas, R-Okla., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. "We
are putting in place sound policy that is good for farmers,
ranchers, consumers and those who have hit difficult times. I
appreciate the work of everyone who helped in this process. We
never lost sight of the goal; we never wavered in our commitment
to enacting a five-year, comprehensive farm bill. I ask my
colleagues to join me in supporting its passage."
bipartisan agreement puts us on the verge of enacting a
five-year farm bill that saves taxpayers billions, eliminates
unnecessary subsidies, creates a more effective farm safety-net,
and helps farmers and businesses create jobs," said Sen. Debbie
Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture
Committee. "This bill proves that by working across party lines,
we can reform programs to save taxpayer money while
strengthening efforts to grow our economy. Agriculture is a
bright spot in our economy and is helping to drive our recovery.
It's time for Congress to finish this farm bill and give the 16
million Americans working in agriculture the certainty they need
"I am pleased that we were able to work together, putting
aside partisanship to finally advance a five-year farm bill,"
said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., ranking member of the House
Agriculture Committee. "Compromise is rare in Washington these
days, but it's what is needed to actually get things done. While
it's no secret that I do not support some of the final bill's
provisions, I believe my reservations are outweighed by the need
to provide long-term certainty for agriculture and nutrition
programs. This process has been going on far too long; I urge my
colleagues to support this bill and the president to quickly
sign it into law."
"This bill reflects a lot of hard work and conscientious
effort to help strengthen American agriculture and assure
consumers of food and fiber that it is nutritious and
affordable," said Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., ranking member of
the Senate Agriculture Committee. "The reforms, savings and
other significant changes in this agreement will provide greater
certainty to producers and rural communities, as well as
American consumers. It deserves to be considered and enacted as
soon as possible."
Enacting the Agricultural Act of 2014 will reform agriculture
programs, reduce the deficit, and help farmers, ranchers and
business owners grow the economy. The legislation:
direct payment program and strengthens risk management
outdated programs and consolidates duplicative ones,
eliminating nearly 100 programs or authorizations.
and ranchers create jobs and provides certainty for the 16
million Americans working in agricultures.
conservation efforts to protect land, water and wildlife for
assistance for families while addressing fraud and misuse in
the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Reduces the deficit by billions of
dollars in mandatory spending.
Ends direct payments, strengthens risk management
The Agricultural Act of 2014 reforms farm programs and saves
taxpayer dollars by ending direct payments and other farm
programs. The bill provides risk management tools that help
American farmers and ranchers survive weather disasters and
The bill also strengthens crop insurance, which is an
essential, cost-effective risk management tool. With crop
insurance, farmers invest in their own risk management by
purchasing insurance policies so they are protected in difficult
times. Crop insurance also helps protect Americans from spikes
in food prices. Without crop insurance, farmers would have no
way to recover from disaster unless the government steps in and
provides unplanned disaster assistance. The effectiveness of
crop insurance was underscored during the historic droughts of
2012, which affected more than 80 percent of the country. Crop
insurance protected farmers without the need for an emergency
disaster relief bill.
[to top of second column]
Additionally, the bill provides a permanent livestock disaster assistance
program for producers affected by natural disasters and also covers producers
who were affected by recent droughts, winter storms that hit the northern Plains
last year and spring freezes that affected fruit growers in the Midwest.
Streamlines programs, strengthens conservation
The Agricultural Act of 2014 consolidates 23 existing
conservation programs into 13 programs while strengthening tools to
protect and conserve land, water and wildlife. By streamlining
programs, the farm bill provides added flexibility and ensures
conservation programs are working for producers in the most
effective and efficient way — an approach supported by nearly 650
conservation organizations from all 50 states.
Protects SNAP for families, reduces fraud and misuse
The bipartisan farm bill conference agreement maintains critical
assistance for families, while stopping fraud and misuse, to achieve
savings in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as
SNAP. The farm bill agreement closes a loophole being used by some
states to artificially inflate benefits for a small number of
recipients. Additionally, the bipartisan agreement stops lottery
winners from continuing to receive assistance, increases program
efficiency, cracks down on trafficking, fraud and misuse, and
invests in new pilot programs to help people secure employment
through job training and other services. Savings in this section are
reached without removing anyone from the SNAP program and will
ensure that every person receives the benefits they are intended to
get under the current rules of the program.
Grows the agricultural economy
The Agricultural Act of 2014 reduces the deficit while
strengthening top priorities that help to grow the agricultural
economy. The bill:
to help farmers find new global markets for
investments to meet growing consumer demand for fresh fruits and
vegetables, local foods, and organics by helping family
farmers sell locally, increasing support for farmers markets and
connecting farmers to schools and other community-based
farmers and ranchers with training and access to capital.
assistance for food banks.
state-run pilot projects to encourage and incentivize employment
and training opportunities for families in need.
start agriculture businesses.
initiatives to help veterans
— manufacturing processes using raw
agricultural products grown in America.
, supporting non-food-based advanced biomass
energy production such as cellulosic ethanol and woody biomass
to promote productivity and new agricultural
to help rural communities upgrade
infrastructure and create a better environment for small
news release from the
U.S. House Committee on Agriculture]