Kuster Signs Farm Bill Conference Committee Report
Congresswoman Kuster signing House Farm Bill Conference Committee Report
A high resolution version of the photo is available here.
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Agriculture Committee and a Conferee on the House Farm Bill Conference Committee, joined her Conference colleagues in signing the Farm Bill. The Conference Committee had the task of reconciling the House-passed and Senate-passed Farm Bills that reauthorize federal farm and nutrition policy. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 includes a number of key provisions that will support Granite State agriculture, bolster rural development, and protect nutrition assistance for thousands of New Hampshire families.
- Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC): Authorized annual funding of $33 million, which is an increase of $3 million per year for 5 years. NBRC’s territory is expanded to include Cheshire and Belknap counties. Includes reauthorization language from Rep. Kuster’s bipartisan legislation, Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act.
- Strengthens Dairy Safety Net: The Conference Report repeals the flawed Margin Protection Program, and replaces it with a revamped Dairy Margin Coverage that offers flexible options and lower costs for dairy producers.
- Supports Veteran Farming: The Conference Report includes language from Kuster’s bill Veteran and Beginning Farmers Assistance Act, which helps fund “Armed to Farm” programs in New Hampshire.
- Supports Small Organic Farms: The Conference report includes policies advanced in Rep. Kuster’s Homegrown Organic Act that will support farmers that are transitioning to organic agriculture.
- Boosts Rural Development: Combats the opioid epidemic by authorizing USDA-Rural Development funding and authorizes $350 million per year for new broadband infrastructure.
- Protects Nutrition Assistance : Mandates no cuts to nutrition assistance while creating $1 billion in savings from administrative changes to avoid enrollment duplication.
“The Farm Bill is an opportunity to support our small family farmers, rural communities, and consumers,” said Kuster. “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work together across the aisle to produce this Conference Report, which provides critical investments for American agriculture and rural economic development for our communities. This legislation will provide long-term certainty for producers who are dealing with low commodity prices and a volatile trade market. The bill also revamps the safety net for New Hampshire dairy farmers and protects access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than 90,000 Granite Staters. I’m excited that we’ve included provisions to strengthen and expand the Northern Border Regional Commission and increase funding for rural development, including new broadband infrastructure and opioid treatment and recovery. From the beginning, I urged my colleagues to work in a bipartisan manner to pass a five-year Farm Bill, and I am encouraged that we have fulfilled that obligation by working hard to find common ground.”
The Farm Bill, which is reauthorized every five years by Congress, covers programs related to agriculture, such as nutrition, conservation, forestry, and rural development. The Farm Bill expired on September 30.