12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM
Iowa Cattlemen Applaud Passage of Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill, which was passed by the U.S. House and Senate on December 12, was signed by by President Trump on December 20.
"The Farm Bill offers crucial certainty for Iowa's cattle producers and farmers. We are encouraged to see ICA's priorities addressed, including authorization and funding of a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank, investment in trade promotion and market access, and reauthorization of key conservation programs," said David Trowbridge, ICA President.
The bipartisan bill includes funds of $120 million for animal health and disease preparedness. A minimum of $5 million per year allocated to the National Animal Disease Preparedness Program with the remainder given to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and funding the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
Additionally, $500 million will be apportioned to the Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation program which includes full funding to the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program. Each will receive a minimum of $200 million and $35.5 million respectively. These funds are crucial in promoting U.S. beef globally and help stretch producer investments in the Beef Checkoff through matching programs.
The 2018 Farm Bill also reauthorizes conservation programs, including the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program). While CSP funds were decreased, EQIP got a boost, giving the programs an overall increase in funding. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) got an increased acreage cap, going from 24 million to 27 million acres. A minimum of two million CRP acres will be exclusively for grazing. In order to alleviate negative effects of CRP on production lands, rental rates and incentive payments will be reduced.
The 2018 Farm Bill will also maintain research funding. Mandatory funds of $185 million will be given to the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research. It also supports more than $600 million of funding for land grant schools like Iowa State University to continue a variety of research and extension projects.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents nearly 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education."