WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the conference report to Accompany H.R. 2 – Agriculture Improvement Act sending the five-year farm bill to the President’s desk for his signature. The 2018 Farm Bill conference report is the result of an agreement reached between both chambers of Congress that will strengthen the farm safety net, incentivize work and make critical investments to support rural communities, farm families, and American consumers.
“America’s farm families are facing a great deal of uncertainty now more than ever, especially in eastern North Carolina where Hurricane Florence dealt a devastating blow. I am very pleased that we were able to reach a compromise agreement with the Senate that delivers a stronger safety net for North Carolina's farm families,” said Congressman David Rouzer. “In addition to enhancing crop insurance and other farm programs, the conference agreement increases the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s capacity to combat the opioid crisis, expands quality broadband access, and makes significant investments in animal disease preparedness critically important to North Carolina and the nation. The agreement also makes more than 30 improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) while enabling additional immediate improvements to be made by the Administration.”
“House Republicans refused to stop fighting for rural America and we’ve reached a deal that sets us on a better path – for producers, for rural communities and for American consumers,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway. “David has been a strong advocate and critical voice for production agriculture in this farm bill conference process and I’m thankful for his leadership, which helped get this across the finish line.”
BACKGROUND: The agriculture industry contributes $87 billion to North Carolina’s economy, accounting for more than 17 percent of the state’s economy, and employing 17 percent of the state's workforce. As the Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, Congressman Rouzer led efforts to authorize and fund $300 million in mandatory funding for animal disease research/coordination, including the deployment of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank. These provisions were included in the 2018 Farm Bill conference report.