WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman Rouzer released the statement below following the passage of H.R. 2 – the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill: 

“A strong farm bill is critical to our farm families and rural communities — not to mention its role in providing every American with the safest, most affordable food supply in the world.  The 7th District will especially benefit from the Farm Bill because of the steps taken to prevent potential animal disease outbreaks, the enhancements made to the farm safety net, and the investments made to help address the infrastructure needs of our rural communities.  The Farm Bill also makes critical reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in an effort to maintain vital nutrition assistance for those who truly need it while providing work-capable adults receiving these benefits with the incentives necessary to get a job, participate in workforce training if needed, and improve their lives.

Hopefully, the Senate will pass its version of the Farm Bill soon so negotiations can begin to produce a final bill that is good for America’s farm families, our economy, and makes the policy changes necessary to incentivize those who are perfectly work-capable to gain the skills necessary to find a rewarding job.”   

BACKGROUND: The agriculture industry contributes $84 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 $450 million to enhance the USDA’s ability to identify, diagnose and respond to potential animal disease outbreak, including $150 million in year one to establish a new U.S.-only vaccine bank with priority for stockpiling Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine. 

The Farm Bill makes improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by assisting those who struggle to put food on the table, while providing critical job training to help recipients learn the skills necessary to attain better-paying jobs and better futures for themselves and their families.  Under the Farm Bill, work capable adults (age 18-59) are required to either work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week in order to receive any benefit.  Excluded from these requirements are seniors, disabled individuals, those caring for children under six, or those who are pregnant.

For more on the 2018 Farm Bill, please click here.