Every day, constant innovation and advancements in technology are making it easier and more affordable for Americans to access the food our families need to stay happy and healthy. America's farmers and ranchers are feeding more people with fewer resources than ever before, and are making conscious decisions to keep agriculture sustainable for generations to come.
None of this is by accident. Our nation's food security depends on strong agricultural policy that provides stability for America's farmers and ranchers; protects our land and natural resources; develops new trade opportunities while leveling the playing field for our producers; strengthens rural communities; and helps Americans of all stripes access the nutritious foods they need to keep their families healthy. This is America's food policy. This is the Farm Bill.
Rural America is hurting. Now, more than ever, we need a farm bill to address the concerns facing production agriculture and all rural America.
Farmers and ranchers understand the need to budget and save for hard times. Agriculture policy in the U.S. must continue to reflect the need for fiscal responsibility.
We're crafting a Farm Bill that works for all Americans to ensure our nation continues delivering the safest, most abundant, most affordable food and fiber supply in the world.
The Need in Rural AmericaRural America is hurting. With net-farm income dropping by 50 percent over the past four years, the agricultural economy has experienced the largest four-year percentage drop since the Great Depression.
Between natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and low commodity prices across the country, producers' backs are against the wall and rural communities have felt the weight of sluggish growth.
While other sectors in larger communities across our nation are beginning to experience economic improvements under the leadership of a Republican administration and Congress; now, more than ever, we need a farm bill to address the concerns facing production agriculture and all rural America.
Fiscal ResponsibilityFarmers and ranchers understand the need to budget and save for hard times. So too has agriculture policy in the U.S. reflect the need for fiscal responsibility in Washington. The current (2014) Farm Bill was expected to save $23 billion over 10 years, but the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections show that the 2014 Farm Bill is now on target to save $104 billion—more than four times what was anticipated.
It’s worth noting that farm policy constitutes a mere 0.26 percent of the entire federal budget. While it is a mere drop in the overall bucket, for producers struggling with collapsing crop prices and major crop losses, these programs are the life preserver needed to keep their farms and ranches afloat.
Farm Bill for All AmericansWe’re crafting a farm bill that:
- Streamlines government. Streamlines government programs, eliminates redundancy and rolls back heavy-handed federal regulations on our nation’s farmers, ranchers and foresters.
- Restores Fiscal Responsibly. Alters existing programs to maximize efficiency, reduce waste and ensure fiscally responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
- Improves Anti-Hunger Programs. Includes improvements to the nation’s largest anti-hunger program (SNAP) to create a ladder of opportunity that rewards employment and avoids trapping people in poverty.
- Secures Rural America. Strengthens rural communities through infrastructure development initiatives to ensure rural families and businesses continue helping fuel the nation’s economy.
- Preserves our Farm & Forestlands. Keeps our land and resources sustainable for our children and grandchildren through voluntary, incentive-based conservation practices that protect our farmland and forests alike.
- Strengthens the Farm Safety Net. Provides stability for America’s farmers and ranchers through improvements to the farm safety net, ensuring we have defensible programs that meet the needs of all producers.
- Encourages Agricultural Trade Exports. Supports the development of new international markets for agricultural exports, helping grow the economy and create jobs.