Moolenaar Votes for Farm Bill, Supports Michigan Farmers
Today, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act, which will support Michigan farmers for the next five years.
Congressman John Moolenaar voted for the legislation and made the following statement:
“Michigan farmers work tirelessly to feed our communities and people around the world. This legislation will help the 15,000 farmers in my district plan for the future, especially when they face natural disasters. Michigan family farmers are the best in the world and this legislation will help them compete for years to come."
“The legislation will benefit more than farmers though. It authorizes federal funding to improve rural infrastructure and broadband access, so small communities can address vital needs. It also helps fight the opioid epidemic with a 33-percent increase for grants expanding telehealth services, so doctors can connect with patients and monitor their progress more efficiently."
Congress passes a Farm Bill every five years to help American farmers with certainty as they plan their operations for the years ahead. Today’s bill also provides significant support to America’s rural communities to meet the unique challenges they face.
Opioid Crisis: The legislation empowers the Secretary of Agriculture to prioritize rural community development projects that will spur access to telehealth services and build medical facilities. One example is the USDA grant made to Sheridan Community Hospital in October.
Rural Broadband: The legislation benefits rural communities with infrastructure initiatives and authorizes millions in yearly funding to improve rural Internet access.
Infrastructure: The legislation authorizes billions in funding for rural infrastructure projects and also increases access to credit for rural communities to finance additional projects.
Food Stamp Reform: The legislation increases the enforcement of existing work requirements to reduce fraud and waste in the system.
New Farmers: The bill includes several provisions that will help new farmers begin operations. This will help recruit new farmers and allow them to establish themselves in an industry with prohibitive costs to entry.
Crop Insurance: The legislation reauthorizes the crop insurance program helping mid and northern Michigan farmers plan for unforeseeable weather than can ruin a whole season of crops.
Further details on the legislation can be found at https://agriculture.house.gov/farmbill/.