Washington, DC [1/29/14] – Today, after voting in favor of the Farm Bill Conference Committee Report, Representative Tim Walz, a Farm Bill negotiator and Ranking Member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, released the following statement.
“After years of procedural hold-ups and opposition, we are finally passing a badly needed, new, five-year Farm Bill into law. With compromise, no one gets everything they want and this bill is not perfect. That being said, this bill saves taxpayers approximately $23 billion, creates jobs, works to help new farmers fulfill their dreams of working the land, conserves critical wildlife and hunting habitat, and works to give consumers certainty at the grocery store and producers certainty to make long-term planning decisions in order to feed, clothe, and fuel the world. I was proud to support this common sense compromise so we can finally get this bill signed into law.”
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:
- Provides $881 million in mandatory funding for renewable energy programs, including REAP.
- Provides $100 million for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers including adding a set aside of 5% for veterans.
- Expands sodsaver protection to 6 states including MT, ND, SD, MN, IA and NE.
- For the first time in history we tie crop insurance premiums to conservation compliance.
- Repeals the direct payment program and strengthens risk management tools.
- Repeals outdated programs and consolidates duplicative ones, eliminating nearly 100 programs or authorizations.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 agriculture.
- Strengthens conservation efforts to protect land, water, and wildlife for future generations.
- Maintains food assistance for families while addressing fraud and misuse in SNAP.
- Reduces the deficit by billions of dollars in mandatory spending.