Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released a statement regarding passage of the conference agreement on the Farm Bill (H.R. 2642, the Agriculture Act of 2014). Passage of the Farm Bill hails a success for all Americans, particularly our socially disadvantaged farmers and minorities by funding our nation's agriculture programs, including nutrition, historically black land grant colleges and universities (HBCU's), Hispanic serving institutions, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the USDA Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison, the Office of Tribal Relations, and the Donald Payne Horn of Africa Food Resilience Program. The bill also provides Rural America with the necessary tools and stability to continue producing the safest, most abundant, highest quality, and most affordable food and fiber in the world.
"The Farm Bill is not just for farmers and those living in Rural America. It is for every American who eats, works, and lives in our great nation. Investments in broadband infrastructure and programs focusing on research, conservation, rural economic development, energy, forestry, trade, dairy, crops, and food policy contained in the Farm Bill affect all Americans by nature of the personal daily impact they have on suburban, urban, and rural communities alike.
"I am particularly pleased with the compromise reached in our nutrition programs. The nutrition title rejects harmful changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs proposed in the House passed bill, while addressing hunger and poverty by investing in programs that provide meals to the elderly, lunch to school children, supplies to emergency shelters and food banks, as well as assistance to millions of American families in need of healthy nutritious food.
"While the Farm Bill the House passed is not perfect, I do believe that overall it strikes a good balance. "Truly, the consensus brought to bear offers security and peace of mind to Rural America, strengthens the decades-old link between farm and nutrition programs, cuts the deficit over the next ten years, expands investment in Georgia communities, and provides a springboard upon which to improve agriculture policy for future farm bills and the betterment of Americans from all walks of life."
Congressman Bishop voted in favor of the Farm Bill. The bill was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week with a vote of 251 to 166, by the Senate today with a vote of 68 to 32, and will now go to the President for his signature.