Senate Passes Farm Bill; Helps Kentucky Farmers
"Kentucky farmers will benefit greatly from the many important programs that are promoted and preserved in this bill"
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday the Senate passed the Farm Bill conference report, which contains several important provisions to benefit the hard-working farm families of Kentucky.
"Kentucky farmers will benefit greatly from the many important programs that are promoted and preserved in this bill," McConnell said. "I was pleased to support it on behalf of Kentucky's farmers and their families who do so much for our commonwealth and the nation."
Agriculture generates $4 billion for Kentucky's economy every year. The commonwealth is the largest beef-cattle producing state east of the Mississippi, produces a diverse array of crops, and ranks fourth in the nation in the number of farms per state. In fact, 54 percent of Kentucky's acreage is farmland.
The conference report contains a wide array of conservation efforts which will lead to improved air quality, cleaner drinking water, and less soil erosion, among other environmental benefits to our commonwealth.
It also includes a provision authored by Senator McConnell calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to survey what schools are serving to our children. This information will help USDA provide guidance to schools to serve healthier meals. This provision is sorely needed because USDA's most recent data on this question is over a decade old.
"Educating our kids about the food they eat has been a top priority for me," McConnell said. "In the last 30 years, the childhood obesity rate has more than tripled. Today over 4.5 million American children are facing a lifetime of all the increased health risks that obesity causes. This nutrition provision can be the first step towards reversing that unfortunate trend."
The conference report also contains a provision authored by Senator McConnell to support Kentucky's largest agricultural product, the horse industry. It would ensure that all race horses are depreciated over 3 years for tax purposes - regardless of when the horses start training. The current tax code does not accurately reflect the length of a horse's racing life.
"The horse industry employs 50,000 Kentuckians and contributes $3.5 billion to our economy year-round," McConnell said. "By adding this provision to the bill, we have ensured that this important part of our farm economy is treated fairly."
The Farm Bill conference report is supported by the Kentucky Farm Bureau.