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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
ֱRegional NewsJohnson’s Ag Priorities Included in Farm Bill

Johnson’s Ag Priorities Included in Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Agriculture Committee published draft text of the, which includes several of U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson’s (R-S.D.) priorities for farmers, ranchers, and rural Americans.

“This Farm Bill is strong and provides real, tangible updates to farm country,”said Johnson. “I’ve been working with the Ag Committee on the bill for a while, and I’m proud to see some of my bills and priorities included. I look forward to Committee’s consideration of the bill soon.”

Johnson’s bills included in the Farm Bill:

  • ճto safeguard U.S. exports from unfair trade practices.
  • ճto ensure uniform labeling standards for pesticides nationwide.
  • ճtoensure dogs coming in to the country are in good health and have received proper vaccines and medical treatment.
  • ճto increase investment in small meat packers.
  • ճto assist new and expanding livestock or meat processors.
  • Reauthorizes the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program at $150 million as seen in the.
  • Allows the Secretary to enter into self-determination contracts with Tribes to operate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as seen in the, which Johnson cosponsors.

Johnson’s crop and conservation priorities included in the Farm Bill:

  • Increases support for the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs to account for persistent inflation and rising costs of production.
  • Provides historic, long-term investments in working lands conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Reserve Program.
  • Clarifies the treatment of losses to honeybees under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) program to ensure beekeepers are properly compensated for losses.

Johnson’s rural development priorities included in the Farm Bill:

  • Updates and modernizes USDA broadband programs, providing faster buildout speeds and strengthening connectivity to rural communities.
  • Mirrors language in theFiscal Responsibility Act, excluding USDA Rural Development programs from certain requirements under NEPA, keeping rural infrastructure projects from being wrapped up in red tape.
  • Codifies the Circuit Rider Program, which provides technical assistance for rural water systems.
  • Allows the Secretary to issue zero-interest loans and forgive principal for distressed water systems.
  • Broadens the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program to support new investments in food infrastructure for a more resilient and diverse U.S. food supply chain.
  • Reauthorizes the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program and permits awardees the ability to provide other forms of collateral to secure loans.

Johnson’s agriculture priorities included in the Farm Bill:

  • Reauthorizes the New Beginnings for Tribal Students Program, pioneered by South Dakota State University, and removes the cap on funding each State can receive under the program.
  • Reauthorizes the Sun Grant Program, expands its scope to include bioproducts, and allows participating universities to better utilize grant funding.
  • Reauthorizes the Wood Innovation Grant Program, reduces the non-Federal match, and authorizes grants for hauling materials to locations that can utilize it.
  • Directs additional resources toward the “three-legged stool” to protect the livestock and poultry industry in the U.S. from catastrophic foreign animal diseases, through the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, and the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank.
  • Emphasizes health outcomes and opportunities for work in nutrition programs such as SNAP.
  • Doubles authorization funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program, better enabling market access and trade promotion.
  • Reforms reporting requirements under theAgricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Actto ensure accuracy and transparency of data on farmland owned by foreign persons, such as those with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
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