**Download production-quality video of Brown’s Committee Remarks HERE.**
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call today as the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bipartisan Farm Bill. The 2018 Senate Farm Bill includes key provisions Brown secured 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.
According to a 2017 Ohio State University report on the “Economic Contribution of Agricultural and Food Production to the Ohio Economy,” Ohio’s agricultural and food production sector accounts for $1 in every $13 of the state’s GSP, and 1 in 8 jobs in Ohio.
“This bipartisan bill is good for farmers, good for families, good for taxpayers, good for jobs, and good for Lake Erie,” Brown said. “This bill is big win for Ohio, and it’s the product of a long, bipartisan process, working with farmers and stakeholders over the past year.”
Brown was joined on the call today by Dr. Cathann Kress, Dean of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“The Farm Bill is more than a ‘farm’ bill- it’s about farms and agriculture but it’s also about the entire food system and food safety, economic development, conservation, education and important research and innovation. It’s critical to the future of all Ohioans, and it’s critical to the future of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and our ability to continue to implement our land grant mission of serving the people of Ohio. Our goal is to ensure that we have viable production agriculture, food security and safety, and environmental sustainability simultaneously- passage of the Farm Bill is key to our ability to do that,” said Dr. Kress.
There are several key provisions in the bipartisan Senate Farm Bill that Brown introduced and fought to secure, including:
- Brown’s Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act:
- This bill would 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.
- 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 40 years.