Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, also known as the farm bill. This vote ends a 2 year impasse on the bill.
“No piece of legislation is more important to the Central Coast’s economy than the Farm Bill,” said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, “Today’s vote ends years of uncertainty for the agriculture community. More importantly, this Farm Bill recognizes the value of the crops grown here and makes real investments in programs that promote specialty and organic crops.”
While the spending levels for many programs within the farm bill were cut, programs that support specialty and organic crops received additional funding.
The Senate is expected to pass the bill in the coming days. It will then head to the President’s desk for his signature.
Programs that will receive new or mandatory funding, according to Rep. Farr:
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative - $800 million, including $25 million for citrus disease research
- Specialty Crop Block Grants - $290 million
- Farmers Market Promotion Program - $150 million
- Plant Pest & Disease Management - $236 million
- SNAP incentive payments - $100 million
- Organic Research and Extension Initiative - $100 million in mandatory funding
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program - $100 million in mandatory funding