With conference members from the United State Senate and House of Representatives in agreement, the 807-page 2018 Farm Bill is expected to be passed by both chambers in the coming days, bringing much needed relief to thousands of Mississippians who depend on the programs it provides funding towards.
Once the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives pass the Farm Bill, it goes the President for his signature.
For Mississippi, the Farm Bill provides for farm policy, land conservation, rural development, and food and nutrition programs. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Mike McCormick calls this a great piece of legislation at an important time.
“Mississippi farmers are experiencing the fifth consecutive year of low commodity prices, coupled with a tremendous amount of uncertainty in world markets and international trade policy,” McCormick said. “Having a strong safety net for the state’s largest industry is key. That’s what the 2018 Farm Bill does.
“The bill also includes renewal of key conservation programs protecting our natural resources, rural development programs for many small communities in Mississippi, and important food and nutrition programs for many Mississippi families.”
A key component of the farm policy piece is the renewal of the federal crop insurance program allowing farmers to insure their crops against the weather and other acts of mother nature. The bill provides continued support for conservation programs to help farmers and ranchers keep land in production while improving the condition of natural resources.
The farm bill includes many vital food and nutrition programs to provide better health for many Mississippi citizens, and through the USDA Rural Development Agency, provides assistance for expanding and improving broadband and telecommunications, water and wastewater, electricity and construction of community facilities like fire stations and libraries.