Senator Says Final Farm Bill Contains Provisions She Fought for to Help Minnesota
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/11/18]—Today, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—who took a leading role in making sure Minnesota priorities are included in the 2018 Farm Bill as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee—was pleased to see House-Senate negotiators finalize the new Farm Bill for farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural communities, and tribes.
Sen. Smith has repeatedly called for Congress to pass a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill and send it to the President’s desk. You can read the full committee report here.
“Farmers and ranchers—who face enough uncertainty with low farm prices and trade uncertainties—deserve the certainty that this bipartisan Farm Bill provides,” said Sen. Smith. “I was proud to work on several provisions in this bill, including funding for broadband expansion, the energy title, conservation programs, and investments in beginning and Native farmers and ranchers. And I’m glad that negotiators from both parties were able to come together to find common ground and get a strong, bipartisan deal. Now, we need to do what I’ve been hearing from Minnesota’s ag community across the state: pass the Farm Bill as soon as possible.”
After Congress approves the final bill text, the five-year Farm Bill will then be sent to the President to be signed into law.
Sen. Smith fought for and won a spot on the Agriculture Committee when she arrived in the Senate in January. In preparation for the Farm Bill debate, she formed her “Farm Bill Working Group” to hear from farmers, ranchers, and rural community leaders—as well as experts on nutrition, energy, and conservation—to make sure Minnesota priorities are included in the legislation.
Sen. Smith, a leader on the Senate Rural Development Subcommittee, authored and championed several measures in the Senate Farm Bill, including her legislative roadmap for the energy title of the Farm Bill, her provision to expand access to much-needed broadband in rural communities and tribal areas across the country, and a provision to create a U.S. Department of Agriculture “Rural Health Liaison” who will work with other federal health officials to address rural America’s unique health care needs. The bill also funds Sen. Smith’s efforts to help younger and non-traditional farmers get started in the business, and it responds to her call to preserve the Sugar Program which supports thousands of jobs across the Red River Valley in Northwest Minnesota.