The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said that the farm bill (Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013) was passed yesterday by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry with her provision that enables the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to receive federal funding for forestry research, under the McIntire-Stennis Act. Although UDC is the nation's only urban public land-grant university, until now, its college of agriculture has not been eligible for those funds. The inclusion of D.C. for these funds in the bill is a victory for the equal treatment of the District that the Congresswoman began to achieve in the 2008 farm bill, which made UDC eligible for millions of dollars in farm bill grants for the first time.
"I am especially grateful to Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow for her efforts that ensured that D.C. was included in their bill," said Norton. "The city can expect more community programs focused on urban ecology from UDC, once the funds become available."
Last Congress, the provision was included in the Senate-passed farm bill, but Congress did not agree on a long-term reauthorization bill and Congress extended the existing farm bill for one year. Norton has long fought to have the District of Columbia treated as a state for the purposes of federal programs, but some pre-home-rule programs still need updating.