U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue celebrated President Trump’s signing of the 2018 Farm Bill on Dec. 20 and issued the following statement:
“This is a great day for our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, as President Trump’s signature on this bill is a Christmas present to American agriculture. Farmers take financial risks every year as a matter of doing business, so having a Farm Bill in place gives them peace of mind to make their decisions for the future. Since early talks on this Farm Bill began back in 2017, I’ve always believed it would be more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, and that has borne out to be true.
“The bill bolsters farm safety net programs, protects federal crop insurance, and maintains strong rural development and research initiatives. The legislation reinvents the Margin Protection Program for dairy producers, providing a boost to coverage levels and a reduction in premiums after the program fell short in the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill also includes a new Animal Disease Prevention and Management program, providing annual funding for three animal health programs. This includes a new vaccine bank focused on foot-and-mouth disease and extended funding of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network to protect our borders and improve food safety.
“While we would have liked more progress on forest management reforms and work requirements for certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients, we look forward to using our authorities to make improvements in those areas. All told, this is a Farm Bill that should be welcomed by producers, and at USDA we will eagerly implement its provisions. At USDA, we were pleased to provide a tremendous amount of technical assistance to Congress as legislators wrote the bill. I thank the President for his leadership on this legislation, and commend the Senate and House Agriculture Committees for their many months of hard work.”