NCGA Shares Views on House Farm Bill

Chesterfield, MO (May 21, 2024) - In a letter sent May 21 to the House Committee on Agriculture, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Harold Wolle reacted to the recently released House Farm Bill legislation. 

The committee is expected to markup the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 on Thursday, May 23.

“NCGA’s farm bill recommendations seek to make existing USDA programs more effective, efficient, and responsive,” Wolle said. “Many of these recommendations are reflected in the proposed legislation and would be an improvement upon existing programs for corn growers across the country.”

The organization’s priorities include protecting federal crop insurance, bolstering U.S. international market development efforts, strengthening the producer safety net, supporting voluntary conservation programs, championing initiatives important to rural America and providing a base acre update.

The letter noted corn growers’ appreciation for the leadership of Chairman GT Thompson (R-Penn.), Ranking Member David Scott (D-Ga.) and members of the committee in crafting and negotiating the language.

The letter also highlighted the need to get the bill across the finish line.

“NCGA and our members would like to see this process move forward in a bipartisan manner and for a farm bill to be signed into law this year,” the letter said. “We stand ready to provide additional feedback to the Agriculture Committees and all Members of Congress as the legislative process moves forward.

Read the Letter

NSP Supports House Agriculture Committee's Progress to Farm Bill Markup

Washington, DC (May 20, 2024) — National Sorghum Producers commends the House Committee on Agriculture as they commence markup this week on the 2024 Farm Bill, particularly in the face of economic uncertainty and rising costs for U.S. sorghum producers. NSP is optimistic the proposal by Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson will bolster much-needed protection and relief for America’s farmers and ranchers.

“NSP is very pleased with the commitment and efforts of Chairman Thompson, and the entire House Ag Committee in ensuring a robust farm bill for sorghum producers,” NSP Chairman Craig Meeker, a sorghum farmer from Wellington, Kansas, said. “We are eager to assist the committee in advancing a bill that will reinforce the safety net, strengthen crop insurance and conservation programs, which are key provisions for sorghum farmers.”

The committee’s focus on putting “more farm in the farm bill” by enhancing Title I is an essential improvement to the strength of U.S. agriculture producers. The legislation also includes critical improvements to crop insurance that encourage participation and help strengthen the safety net, the expansion of conservation funding by incorporating Inflation Reduction Act funds into the farm bill baseline, increased funding authorization for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Program (MAP), and the authorization for Section 9005 and other "orphan" programs that have previously lacked consistent support but are important to U.S. sorghum ethanol producers.

"In the lead-up to the 2024 bill, the House Ag Committee has conducted multiple hearings, listening sessions and meetings where NSP highlighted the priorities of the National Sorghum Producers,” Meeker said. “We are confident the committee is poised to deliver a farm bill that will significantly benefit sorghum producers across the United States, and we look forward to working with committee members to advance this important legislation."

TFI Statement on Bipartisan House Farm Bill Release

Arlington, VA (May 17, 2024) – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch today released the below statement in response to the release of 2024 Farm Bill text from House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA-15).

“TFI applauds the progress being made to introduce and pass a Farm Bill in 2024. The text released today by Ag Chairman GT Thompson contains key priorities for the industry that support efforts to encourage greater adoption of nutrient stewardship and conservation practices by growers across the country. These practices ensure our dinner tables remain full while minimizing impacts to our shared environment.

“At a time when true bipartisanship is increasingly rare, we thank both Chairman GT Thompson, Ranking Member David Scott, and their staffs for working together on the draft Farm Bill. We look forward to working with Congress to see a Farm Bill that addresses current challenges with updated solutions pass through both chambers on its way to President Biden’s desk for signature.”

NASDA commends progress on farm bill development and continues advocating for bipartisanship

Arlington, VA (May 17, 2024) - National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney praised U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson for releasing the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 today in the following statement:

“NASDA applauds Chairman Thompson for beginning the process of creating the next farm bill,” McKinney said. “With the release of the legislative text, NASDA remains committed to advocating for a bipartisan farm bill that will secure a commitment to American agriculture and the critical food and nutritional assistance programs for those who need it most. Signing a farm bill into law is vital to the food and agriculture sector which benefits our economy, accounting for roughly one-fifth of U.S. economic activity and supporting nearly 23 million jobs. We welcome the opportunity to work with the House Agriculture Committee as they begin debating the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024.”

National Young Farmers Coalition Opposes First Draft of House Farm Bill Text, Recognizes Points of Progress

Washington, DC (May 20, 2024) - On Friday, May 17, 2024, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson released his discussion draft of the House Farm Bill, proposed legislation that misses a rare opportunity to meaningfully address the challenges facing the new generation of U.S. farmers and ranchers. The Coalition joins many food and agriculture systems advocates in opposing the bill for failing to prioritize equitable farmland access, divesting from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and for striking climate provisions that assist farmers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for extreme weather events.

“We need federal farm policy that centers equity, addresses the land access crisis, and tackles the challenges of farm viability and climate change that young farmers and ranchers are up against. This Farm Bill is our best opportunity to prioritize the needs of a new generation and to build safe and thriving food and farm systems. Unfortunately, while some of our recommendations can be found in the text, this first draft misses the mark. We urge Chairman Thompson to better utilize this critical opportunity to prioritize the needs of the new generation of farmers while keeping our community members fed,” said Michelle Hughes, Co-Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Young farmers—and the thousands of farmers nearing retirement age who will need to transition their land in the coming decades—need federal farm policy that better serves them. Our most recent National Young Farmer Survey highlights the critical need for community-driven solutions to the land access crisis and improved access to conservation programs. Even with the bill’s notable inclusions for young farmers, the Coalition cannot recommend that the farmers across our network, or the policymakers representing them, support this bill as written.

The Coalition is disappointed to see that the Chairman’s draft does not include federal investment in community-led land access and retention projects – a number one priority for young and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) farmers across the country. The text includes provisions to track foreign ownership of farmland, but misses an opportunity to reign in corporate ownership and consolidation of farmland. It also removes important buy-protect-sell language from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), taking steps backward in finding creative mechanisms to help young and beginning farmers access land.

Katherine Un, Co-Executive Director of National Young Farmers Coalition said, “Young farmers are the future of agriculture in this country and they deserve a Farm Bill that addresses their key challenges and commits to meaningful investments in their success. When young farmers thrive, we ensure the sustainability and security of this country’s food and farm systems.”

While the Coalition believes this bill has too many gaps to merit passage, we are hopeful that it will catalyze important and long-awaiting policy changes in this Farm Bill process. We are encouraged to see language that directs the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to pilot a program to establish a pre-approval process for Direct Farm Ownership loans–one of the recommendations included in the 2022 Young Farmer Agenda. Another included priority is more flexibility for farmers to qualify for Direct Farm Ownership loans. The Chairman’s draft also takes steps to continue support for addressing heirs’ property challenges, reauthorizes the Commission on Farm Transitions, and includes reporting on land access and farmland ownership data collection.

We are also pleased to see that the House Farm Bill draft increases baseline funding for conservation programs by rolling Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding into the Farm Bill. However, the bill would strip the climate focus from those IRA funds, weakening the ability of these critical resources to support the next generation as they continue addressing the climate crisis. The bill would also shift conservation funding to precision agriculture, which could result in federal support for costly and exclusive practices at the expense of helping producers of all scales. Conservation funds should focus on tested practices that can be scaled across many farm and ranch sizes. The bill also lacks support for small farms to access conservation programs and funding for farmer-to-farmer conservation education. The proposal would also roll back overdue updates to how USDA calculates nutrition benefits, weaken reporting data on the effectiveness and reach of agricultural lending, advance commodities policy that could increase cropland rental rates, and would restrict USDA’s authority to respond flexibly in times of crisis.

Equitable access to affordable, quality farmland is a foundational need of young producers across the country, and is closely linked to the need for accessible and affordable capital. Young farmers also need federal conservation programs that serve them and deliver culturally-relevant support as they farm at the frontlines of the climate crisis. Barriers to accessing land, capital, and conservation dollars are greatest for farmers of color due to systemic and ongoing discrimination, and disparate investment. We must create federal policy that centers the experiences and needs of young farmers and farmers of color. The House Bill draft, as written, does little to address those needs, and the National Young Farmers Coalition cannot support the draft as written. We will continue to advocate through this Farm Bill process for federal policies and programs that better serve young farmers and address their unique agricultural challenges and opportunities.