WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today pushed to secure key victories for Ohioans in the first House-Senate Farm Bill conference committee meeting. In June, Brown successfully secured in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill provisions to better support Ohio farmers, protect Lake Erie, spur economic development in rural Ohio, and feed hungry families. Brown secured these priorities after hearing from Ohio farmers and stakeholders during a series of roundtable discussions he hosted throughout the state.
“We call it a farm bill, but it is really a food bill, it’s a jobs and economic development bill, it’s a research bill, it’s a rural broadband bill; it’s a bill that affects everyone in the country,” Brown told the Committee in his opening statement today. “We need to get the Farm Bill done this year and provide farmers with the certainty they deserve. That means we need a bipartisan approach that can earn overwhelming support, like the Senate bill. And we need a bill that’s designed with input from farmers across the country who will be affected.”
In August, Brown was appointed to serve as a conferee on the committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill. Brown vowed to continue fighting for Ohio victories in the final bill.
Brown is fighting for the following to be included in the final 2018 Farm Bill:
- Brown’s Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act:
- This bill would provide permanent funding to help farmers sell their products directly to consumers, create rural jobs, and invest in local and regional food economies.
- Provisions from Brown’s water quality improvement bill, the Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Act:
- This legislation will improve water quality in Lake Erie and across Ohio by refocusing federal investments to improve water quality and soil health. These efforts will improve federal conservation programs and better support Ohio farmers by reforming the three largest conservation funding programs to protect waterways while expanding access to quality farmland.
- Brown’s amendment to ensure that conservation funding targets the best, highest quality projects that reduce runoff and improve water quality in Lake Erie and across Ohio.
- Provisions that would make improvements to dairy programs in order to better target support for small- and medium-sized producers:
- The Farm Bill replaces the Margin Protection Program (MPP) with the Dairy Risk Coverage program, which invests an additional $100 million to improve affordability, flexibility, and effectiveness for Ohio dairy farmers.
- Provisions that protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for hungry families in Ohio:
- Brown pushed to help protect families in need by helping avoid harmful eligibility changes that would force working families to jump through unnecessary bureaucratic hoops.
More information on the bill can be found HERE. Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years.