Stabenow, Thompson Release Farm Bill Updates

Just hours after House Ag Committee Chair GT Thompson (R-PA) released his farm bill overview, Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act. The act contains more than 100 bipartisan bills and is designed to put the farm bill back on track.

“This is a serious proposal that reflects bipartisan priorities to keep farmers farming, families fed, and rural communities strong,” Stabenow said. “Farmers, families, and rural communities cannot wait any longer for the 2024 Farm Bill.”

Among the act’s highlights, it makes investments into the farm safety net and supports beginning, underserved, and small farmers and ranchers. Stabenow said it also helps families working hard to make ends meet by investing in nutrition assistance that puts food on the table, increasing access to fruits and vegetables, and supporting people on the path to self-sufficiency. It also invests in rural broadband and improving health care.

U.S. ag groups are reacting to the House and Senate Ag Committee leaders who released their farm bill overviews. “We are very pleased with the Farm Bill framework from House Ag Chair GT Thompson,” said Ethan Lane, VP of government affairs with the NCBA. “We are especially pleased with the focus on voluntary conservation programs that are increasingly popular with cattle producers. However, the Senate version suffers from a lack of producer input.”

The American Farm Bureau said both proposals acknowledge that farm programs require additional investment due to falling commodity prices and higher interest rates. “Details are important,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “There’s still a lot of work to do.”

Corey Rosenbusch of The Fertilizer Institute was pleased to see many of TFI’s priorities included in both overviews. “We’re happy to see so many of the industry’s priorities around conservation and nutrient stewardship included in both frameworks,” he said.