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Across the Country, Ag Groups Hail the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report as a Win

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the House vote on the 2018 Farm Bill conference report, agriculture groups and organizations across the country have hailed the bill as a win for producers, rural communities and American consumers. Below is a sampling of what they’re saying about the bill:

American Farm Bureau Federation led letter with nearly 500 groups supporting the bill.

American Farm Bureau Federation- AFBF President Zippy Duvall

“This 2018 farm bill is a complete package – one that will serve all Americans. Farm and ranch families in particular will find a good degree of risk management support they need to help them weather the prolonged downturn in the agricultural economy that many of us are facing.”

“We are thankful the Agriculture committees have stayed true to their mission to serve the American farmer and rancher and our nation’s consumers. We call on Congress to pass the final bill, and we encourage President Trump to sign it.”

International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

“U.S. dairy products companies support nearly 3 million jobs, generate more than $39 billion in direct wages and have an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion,” Dykes added. “Our powerful engine for American jobs and economic stimulus will only continue to contribute and grow under this farm bill.”    

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives – Chuck Connor, President

“The 2018 farm bill process has entered the home stretch with the filing of the conference report last night. Getting to this point would have been impossible without the leadership and hard work of Senators Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow and Representatives Mike Conaway and Collin Peterson. In a time of continued low commodity prices and disruptions in overseas markets, they recognized that America’s farmers and ranchers need the certainty of a new farm bill before the new year. We urge the full House and Senate to meet that goal by passing the conference report as soon as possible.”

“The farm bill conference report will ensure a safety net for producers, maintain the strength of the federal crop insurance program and fund important priorities in conservation, rural development, trade promotion and nutrition.”

National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)

“Dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own are enduring a period of prolonged economic distress.”

“Timely reauthorization of the Farm Bill will provide effective, needed risk management tools to dairy producers across the country as we enter yet another year of uncertainty.”

“We commend you for your diligent work to complete this process this year, and we are thrilled to be on the cusp of enactment of a bipartisan, bicameral Farm Bill that will make significant improvements to dairy policy.  We urge all members to vote YES on the Conference Report to accompany H.R. 2 and thank you for your work on behalf of America’s dairy farmers.”

National Cotton Council- NCC Chairman Ron Craft, a ginner from Plains, Texas

“The NCC greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication of Chairmen Conaway (R-TX) and Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Members Peterson (D-MN) and Stabenow (D-MI) and their staff to develop a final farm bill that recognizes the unique policy needs for all crops and regions across the country. Our industry is especially thankful to Chairman Conaway and his team for their leadership in advancing and protecting cotton's priorities in the legislation. In addition to these House and Senate agriculture committee leaders, Cotton Belt Members of Congress helped develop and move the farm bill through the House and Senate, and our industry is extremely grateful for their ongoing support of the cotton industry."

National Association of Conservation Districts – Brent Van Dyke, President

“NACD welcomes the continued investment in the Conservation Title and appreciates the consideration given to the overall conservation delivery system. With the continued effects of a recession in the farm economy, strong agriculture policy ensures a safety-net for America’s producers. We appreciate the members of the conference committee and their staffs for their commitment to bringing this important process one step closer to completion.”

National Grain and Feed Association - Randy Gordon, President and CEO

"The NGFA thanks Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas; and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; and their staffs for their hard work and dedication to completing a farm bill.”

“The certainty that a farm bill will provide to our industry's farmer-customers, including preserving a strong federal crop insurance program, is extremely important, and the NGFA looks forward to working with lawmakers to support the bill's passage in Congress."

National Sorghum Producers – Dan Atkisson, NSP Chairman

“We commend the leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees for their relentless effort driving this process forward to an agreement,” NSP Chairman Dan Atkisson, a sorghum producer from Stockton, Kansas, said. “It cannot be overstated how important it is the farm bill makes it to the finish line this year, and we urge House and Senate members to vote yes in support of this legislation.”

Joint Statement: American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, and National Crop Insurance Services

“Farmers and ranchers have seen their fair share of challenges in 2018 – from hurricanes, drought and wildfires to depressed commodity prices. The farm bill conference committee took a huge step today in helping them cope with these challenges by releasing a bipartisan package. We urge Congress to pass the farm bill immediately.”

National Pork Producers Council – NPPC President, Jim Heimerl

“This is a huge win for the livestock industry,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “The ability to respond to foreign animal disease emergencies is critical to safeguarding the well-being of our animals, our economy and the safety of our food supply.”

“NPPC supports the Farm Bill approved today by House and Senate conferees and looks forward to its swift passage in both chambers,” Heimerl said.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association- NCBA President Kevin Kester

“The release of the Farm Bill conference report is encouraging news for farmers and ranchers across the country. Now it is time for Congress to get the 2018 Farm Bill across the finish line. In these uncertain times, agricultural operations and rural communities depend on the certainty the Farm Bill provides.”

“We ask Members of Congress to vote ‘yes’ and get the bill across the finish line before Christmas.”

American Sheep Industry Association- ASI President Mike Corn

"U.S. sheep producers strongly support the farm bill conference report.”

"Timing is critical to finish the Farm Bill this month in order to provide certainty for sheep producers, and we applaud the House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership for producing a conference report this week." 

Federal Forest Research Coalition – Bill Imbergamo, Executive Director

“The 2018 Farm Bill extends important and needed forest management authorities, including those created by the 2014 bill and the Omnibus Appropriations bill that was passed in March of this year. Those critical authorities are needed and we strongly support their extension. The bill also makes important improvements to the Good Neighbor authority that has been so successful since the 2014 bill. It also includes key provisions to support development of innovative wood products that can help store carbon and improve markets in ways that can support forest restoration.”

National Alliance Forest Owners - Dave Tenny, founding President and CEO of NAFO

“The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) congratulates Congress on reaching agreement on a bipartisan Farm Bill that includes several important provisions for private forest owners. Together with our partners at the American Wood Council and the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, we applaud the inclusion of the Timber Innovation Act (H.R. 1380 / S. 538) which encourages research, development and support for building with wood – an abundant, renewable, and domestic building material.”

The Nature Conservancy- Kameran Onley, Director of U.S. Government Relations

“The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 is a win for the American farmer and the conservation of our country’s private lands. The bill’s much-needed boosts in funding for priority conservation programs, combined with important forestry provisions, will give farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners the tools to protect and conserve their land and their way of life. Lawmakers should be commended for their work to reach a compromise that will help keep our farms and rural communities productive and sustainable.”

Trout Unlimited - Steve Moyer, Vice President for Government Affairs

“Following months of hard work, we are delighted to see the conferees finish their work,” said Steve Moyer, vice president for Government Affairs. “We urge swift passage in the House and Senate in the final days of the lame duck session, so that President Trump can sign the bill before the holidays,” said Moyer. 

““Provisions in the bill will encourage more partnerships with agricultural producers that benefit ranch and farm operations, promote healthy watersheds, and make water supplies more secure for irrigation and streams nationwide.”  

“Now it is time to get the bill passed and signed into law," said Moyer. “We thank and commend the savvy leadership of the conferees, and we now urge leadership of both chambers to shepherd the bill through Congress and on to the President’s desk."

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association - Shirley Bloomfield, CEO

“NTCA congratulates the Agriculture Committee leaders and Farm Bill conference members for finishing the difficult work of reaching a compromise on the Farm Bill. After Congress made a significant investment in rural broadband in the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus, the Farm Bill conference report further demonstrates that elected officials appreciate the difficulty of delivering robust broadband in rural areas and will work to provide the necessary resources to promote and sustain deployment. The nearly 850 members of NTCA—all of whom offer fixed broadband in the nation’s highest-cost areas—especially appreciate the substantial new grant program in the bill and the pains drafters took to ensure those resources won’t duplicate the work of other federal programs and private deployment efforts.”

“NTCA strongly supports the Farm Bill conference report, appreciates the leadership shown on supporting rural broadband, and encourages Congress to pass the agreement as soon as possible so providers can begin putting the resources toward improving broadband service for rural Americans.”

NRECA – Jim Matheson, CEO

“Connecting rural economies and modernizing local communities are two priorities for electric cooperatives,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. “We are glad to see House and Senate negotiators take meaningful steps in both areas by working to advance rural broadband deployment and promoting strong rural development programs. The compromise bill is a strong proposal that advances the interests of rural America and stops short of abruptly changing the rural electrification loan program. The bill’s strong rural development provisions will enable co-ops to invest in modernizing the electric grid and continue key economic development activities in the communities they serve.”

Farm Credit Council – President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council Todd Van Hoose

“Farm Credit is deeply grateful to Senator Roberts, Senator Stabenow, Representative Conaway and Representative Peterson for their leadership in forging a strong, bi-partisan Farm Bill that will provide certainty for U.S. farm and ranch families. This Farm Bill strengthens the safety net for our farmers and ranchers, boosts jobs in rural communities and helps deliver a safe, affordable, abundant food supply to families in the U.S. and around the world.

We urge Congress to pass this bill immediately, and we urge President Trump to sign it without delay.”

Agriculture Energy Coalition

“The Agriculture Energy Coalition congratulates and thanks the four principal negotiators, members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and House and Senate leadership on bringing the Farm Bill to completion. We greatly appreciate the continuation of the jobs producing, innovative energy title’s suite of programs.”

National Farmers Union- NFU President Roger Johnson

“Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill cannot come soon enough for American family farmers and ranchers, who need the certainty of the Farm Bill safety net to continue to weather the worst farm economy decline in more than thirty years.”

“Senate and House agriculture leaders and their staff have worked tirelessly to resolve differences in the chambers’ respective farm bills, and they’ve produced a bill that represents a critical step toward providing the relief and certainty farmers need amidst struggling markets due to oversupply and trade volatility.”

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) - NASDA President and New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte

“We encourage House and Senate leadership to quickly prioritize a vote on this important food, farms, and jobs bill before the end of the 115th Congress,” said Jeff Witte NASDA President and New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture.

“NASDA’s resounding message to Congress this year was, ‘We need a Farm Bill!’ so we are thrilled to see the Farm Bill Conference Committee deliver on this call to action. As the end of 2018 looms, this new Farm Bill is critically important to ensure farmers, ranchers, and consumers don’t lose access to critical programs provided by the Farm Bill.”

U.S. Hemp Roundtable – General Counsel Jonathan Miller

“The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, the industry’s leading business trade association, strongly endorses the 2018 Farm Bill Conference report released today, and we urge the full Congress to pass this critical bill as soon as possible.”

Western Growers - Tom Nassif, President and CEO

“We are pleased that the farm bill negotiators have completed their task as the 2018 Farm Bill acknowledges the growing importance of the specialty crop industry to American agriculture and offers real progress on many of our top priorities, including funding for mechanization research and development, as well as improved access to crop insurance tools.”

“All in all, we applaud the committee leaders, conferees and staff for their diligence in producing a strong, bi-partisan farm bill, and we urge swift passage and enactment before the end of the year.”

American Society for Horticultural Scientists – Dr. Carl E. Sams, Chair of the Board of Directors

“The American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), the world’s premier organization for research science on specialty crops, urges Members to proceed expeditiously and approve the conference report from House and Senate conferees for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). This omnibus measure funds vital research programs that maintain the quality, affordability, and accessibility of specialty crops and ornamental plants, along with programs that promote and educate the general public about healthy diets and environmental stewardship.”

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) – Ian Maw, Ph.D., Vice President for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources at APLU

“The Board on Agriculture Assembly of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities strongly supports passage of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference report which makes vital investments in agricultural research, extension, and education.   Such investments and policies provided in the bill  are crucial to being able to meet our future challenges and provide solutions to the myriad of problems facing agriculture.” -

National Rural Lenders Association – Jeremy Gilpin, Chairman of the Board & Jerry Spruill, Chairman of Government Relations

“The National Rural Lenders Association (NRLA) is proud to support the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and urge its adoption. We firmly believe that it will result in an increase in availability of vital credit to our nation’s rural communities in economic need. American farmers, ranchers and rural economies are struggling in the face of successive years of declining commodity prices, high and rising foreign tariffs and subsidies, and the unpredictability of Mother Nature. This legislation helps address these and countless other issues to help ensure rural America can survive these difficult times.”