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Reaction to Senate Passing Farm Bill | Rural Radio Network

Reaction to Senate Passing Farm Bill

The Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill Thursday, sending the legislation to conference so the House and Senate can mend their differences. The vote, 86 to 11, capped off a day of consideration on the Senate floor…

Kevin Kester, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

“Today’s successful Senate vote is another step forward for the Farm Bill, but much work remains to address the priorities of American cattlemen and women. While the Senate version includes permanent authorization of the Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, zero dollars are provided. The Senate version also left out important changes to the Conservation Title that were included in the House version of the bill.  We appreciate all the Senate’s work on behalf of cattle producers, but the House bill includes provisions of critical importance to NCBA members.”  

Ken McCauley, President of the Kansas Corn Growers Association

“We are lucky to have Senator Roberts at the helm of the farm bill. “He was able to get quick passage of the bill with an 86-11 vote. Senator Roberts and Senator Moran both worked to protect the crop insurance program, which is a top priority for us. We need to look at some of the amendments, but the bill is positive overall. With our strong Kansas ag leadership in the Senate as well as the House, we are hopeful we can get final passage of the 2018 Farm Bill before it expires in September.”

Anna Johnson, Center for Rural Affairs Senior Policy Associate

“For years, Sen. Grassley has championed closing loopholes in farm programs that allow millions of dollars of subsidy payments to go to individuals who are not doing the hard work of farming,” Johnson said. “We were very pleased the final Senate bill includes these long-needed fixes to subsidy payments that level the playing field for family farms.  Currently, there are no limits placed on farmers’ access to crop insurance subsidies, which provides a competitive advantage to the largest operations,” she said. “This payment structure continues to drive farm consolidation, increase land prices, and undermine rural communities. The Senate missed an important opportunity to address this issue in crop insurance today.”

North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association

“Today’s vote is a welcome step to providing much-needed certainty for farmers facing increasingly challenging times. NCGA would like to thank Senate Republicans and Democrats for working together to get this bi-partisan bill passed and recognizing the importance and effectiveness of the farm bill’s risk management tools, including a robust federal crop insurance program. With the combined threat of retaliatory trade tariffs and an EPA seemingly intent on dismantling the RFS, farmers need a strong farm bill now more than ever. NCGA urges members of the House and Senate to come together quickly and find common ground to strengthen the farm safety net and adequately meet the needs of American consumers and our rural communities across our nation.”

Steve Nelson, President Nebraska Farm Bureau

“Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers scored a big victory tonight with the Senate’s passage of their version of the 2018 Farm Bill. In keeping with our principals, the Senate has put together a bill which protects federal crop insurance, provides a series of risk management tools for farmers and ranchers, improves conservation programs and provides funding for trade promotion and livestock disaster programs.  We want to thank Senator Fischer for all of her outstanding work in getting this bill through the Senate Ag Committee and Senator Sasse for his support of this important legislation. We must now keep this forward momentum and put together a final conferenced bill which includes the best pieces of both the House and Senate versions. In these uncertain economic times for our nations farm and ranch families, it is vital for Congress to do everything they can to get a final farm bill to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.”

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran

“With the ongoing low commodity prices and uncertainty in export markets that our farmers and ranchers experience today, passing a strong Farm Bill is more important than ever,” said Sen. Moran. “One of the primary ways I judge a Farm Bill is if the policies it contains will encourage more young people to live in rural America, to go back to the communities in which they grew up and to take over family farming and ranching operations. This legislation will provide stability for producers by protecting crop insurance, strengthening the farm safety net and encouraging responsible land stewardship through conservation programs. This Farm Bill supports key rural development initiatives, including a pilot program within USDA to bolster broadband deployment. I was also pleased my amendments were included to allow Emergency Conservation Program payments for fences to be made in advance in times of disaster and to increase the accuracy of the ARC commodity program for mixed irrigated/dryland counties. Thanks to Senator Roberts for leading the Ag Committee and the Senate through this process – I look forward to continuing to work on this important bill as it heads to conference and eventually to the president’s desk.”  

Jimmie Musick, President of NAWG

“NAWG commends the Senate for working together in a bipartisan fashion to move the Farm Bill forward, out of the chamber and on to conference. It’s vital for a final Farm Bill to be reauthorized before the September 30th deadline, so that farmers can have certainty that a safety net and strong risk management tools will continue to be in place during these uncertain economic times in farm country. Crop insurance is a unique risk management tool available for farmers and ranchers.  NAWG continues to advocate for a strong crop insurance program and continued choice between ARC and PLC in the final version of the bill.”

Jim Mulhern, NMPF President

“Sens. Roberts and Stabenow have crafted a bipartisan Farm Bill that includes important dairy policy improvements at a time when many farmers are facing a very tough economic time.  We are pleased that the two chambers now have the opportunity to harmonize their versions to produce a final bipartisan, bicameral bill that can be signed into law by Sept. 30.”

Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer

“The Nebraskans who feed the world deserve stability and predictability so they can do their jobs. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’m proud of the bipartisan policies the Senate advanced today, which protect crop insurance, improve critical trade promotion programs, and expand broadband deployment capabilities in rural America. I take my role as a leading voice for Nebraska agriculture very seriously, and I will continue to work hard and deliver for our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.”  

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse

“Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers work hard to feed the world and the last thing they need from Washington is even more uncertainty when the threat of a trade war has already made things unpredictable. Nebraskans want a Farm Bill that understands that and brings predictability to risk programs. Today’s vote is a step toward making that a reality.”

Don Bloss, NSP Chairman and sorghum farmer from Pawnee City, Nebraska

“The bipartisan leadership demonstrated by Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow to bring this bill to its completion is heartily commended by National Sorghum Producers. We appreciate the Senators who showed support for agriculture today, bringing us one step closer to a final bill that provides the needed support and certainty for sorghum farmers and all of America’s farmers and ranchers.  This is a solid bill for sorghum farmers with stability under the farm bill safety net, attention to resource conserving crops like sorghum in the conservation title, strong crop insurance that preserves the most important risk management tool we have with direction to improve sorghum policies, and a trade title that provides critical funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development.”

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway 

“Passage today of the Senate Farm Bill reflects a hard fought victory, and I commend Chairman Roberts for his tireless efforts. I look forward to working together to send a strong, new farm bill to the president’s desk.” 



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