WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), critical legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making significant investments in opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Upon passage, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11)kissued the following remarks:
“Today’s vote was about keeping faith with the men and women of rural America and about the enduring promise of the dignity of a day’s work. It was about providing certainty to farmers and ranchers who have been struggling under the weight of a five-year recession and about providing our neighbors in need with more than just a hand out, but a hand up. I’m proud of what this body has accomplished, and now look forward to working with the Senate and the president to deliver a farm bill on time to the American people.”
In response to the Farm Bill's passage by the House, Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater commented, "“Sound agricultural policy promotes a strong farm economy and a strong U.S. manufacturing sector. This includes 320,000 agricultural equipment manufacturing jobs across America. That’s why we are glad to see the House of Representatives pass a Farm Bill that recognizes the importance of crop insurance to our overall economy. We also applaud the inclusion of the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 as it will help prepare our farms and ranches for the 21st century. AEM encourages the Senate to act swiftly by passing their own version of the Farm Bill so we can provide America’s farmers and ranchers with a robust safety net.”
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 includes policies that support production agriculture, crop insurance, conservation programs, research, and expansion of foreign markets critical to providing farmers with consistent policy for the next five years. Crop insurance helps protect up to 298 million acres of farmland a year.
320,000 U.S. jobs are supported by agriculture equipment manufacturers and up to $102 billion in sales activity a year is generated by the industry to the U.S. economy. The agricultural equipment sector has been hit hard by a continuing slump in farm income. According to a 2012 IHS Global Insights study, 375,000 Americans were employed in the agricultural equipment industry. In 2017, an updated study showed a loss of 55,000 jobs.
The Senate Ag Committee passed its version of the bill on June 13, and it is currently awaiting vote by the full Senate.