The House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees, have produced an agriculture appropriations bill that sends a clear message about their commitment to the sustainability of our food and farm system,” said Greg Fogel, Policy Director at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). “We thank Congress for delivering a bill that provides increased funding for programs that help farmers and ranchers start careers in agriculture, stay profitable and sustainable over the long-term, protect our shared natural resources, support their communities, and conduct from cutting edge agricultural research.”
The final funding package provides robust funding levels for each of NSAC’s top appropriations priorities for FY 2018:
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program: $35 million appropriated; a 30 percent increase and the highest funding level in the program’s 30-year history. Farm Bill conservation programs: This the first time in a decade that funding for farm bill conservation programs has been left intact in an appropriations bill. Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers program: $3 million in appropriations for outreach and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers of color and military veteran farmers, in addition to the program’s $10 million in farm bill funding. Outreach Program: $7 million appropriated; a $2 million (40 percent) in funding for farmer food safety training Value-Added Producer Grant Program: $15 million appropriated; this funding level represents a maintenance of the increase this program to support producer entrepreneurship received in FY 2017. Conservation Operations and Technical Assistance: $874 million appropriated, an increase of $10 million to provide land users with the conservation delivery system needed to achieve the benefits of a healthy and productive landscape. Farm Service Agency direct farm ownership and operating loans: $3 billion, an amount that should be sufficient to meet the anticipated increase in farmer demand.
“Despite the delays and political challenges, Congress has come away with a bill that will give much-needed and deserved support to sustainable agriculture priorities. We urge the House and Senate to move quickly to pass the omnibus as soon as possible,” Fogel said.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net