Friday, July 27, 2007
April Slayton (202) 225-6872
Scott Kuschmider (202) 225-1496
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Historic Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a new
Farm Bill that makes historic investments in fruit and
vegetable production, conservation, nutrition and renewable energy while
maintaining a strong safety net for America's farmers and
"This Farm Bill is about much more than farms. It is about the food we
eat, the clothes we wear, and increasingly the fuel we will
use. It assures that we will have a safe, strong food supply now and for
years to come," Chairman Peterson said.
"I am proud of the balanced and forward-looking Farm Bill that we have
passed supporting conservation, nutrition, rural, renewable
energy, labor, and farm country."
Important highlights of the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) include:
. Investing more than $1.6 billion in priorities to strengthen and
support the fruit and vegetable industry in the United States. A
new section for Horticulture and Organic Agriculture includes nutrition,
research, pest management and trade promotion programs.
. Implementing Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for fruit,
vegetables and meat after years of delay.
. Expanding the USDA Snack Program, which helps schools provide healthy
snacks to students during after-school activities to all 50
states and continuing the DOD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which
provides a variety of fresh produce to schools.
. Strengthening and enhancing the food stamp program by reforming
benefit rules to improve coverage of food costs and expand access
to the program with additional funding support.
. Including key provisions that invest in rural communities nationwide,
including economic development programs and access to
broadband telecommunication services.
. Providing farmers participating in commodity programs with a choice
between traditional price protection and new market-oriented
revenue coverage payments.
. Strengthening payment limits to ensure that people making more than $1
million a year (adjusted gross income) can't collect
conservation and farm program payments and closing loopholes that allow
people to avoid payment limits by receiving money through
multiple business units.
. Extending and making significant new investments in popular
conservation programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program,
Wetlands Reserve Program, Environmental Quality Incentive Program, Farm
and Ranchland Protection Program, and many others.
. Making important new investments in renewable energy research,
development and production in rural America.
. Rebalancing loan rates and target prices among commodities, achieving
greater regional equity.
. Establishing a new National Agriculture Research Program Office to
coordinate the programs and activities of USDA's research
agencies to minimize duplication and maximize coordination at all levels
and creates a competitive grants program.
. Protecting and sustaining our nation's forest resources.
The House of Representatives passed the 2007 Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) by a
vote of 231-191. The Senate must now consider the Farm Bill.
The 2002 Farm Bill expires on September 30, 2007.