"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."
"Today's 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 and deserve."
"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:
Repeals the direct
payment program and strengthens risk management tools.
programs and consolidates duplicative ones, eliminating nearly
100 programs or authorizations.
Helps farmers 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 market volatility.
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.
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.
[to top of second column]
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
with training and access to capital.
farmers and ranchers
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]