Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
(Improved Dairy Assistance and Hemp Legalization Highlight New Bill)
For Immediate Release: December 12, 2018
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) announced its strong support for the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes an upgraded dairy assistance program and sufficient funding for risk management, conservation and food nutrition programs. The bill also removes Industrial Hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Controlled Substances list.
“The new farm bill should provide support for Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy farmers through its revamped dairy protection plan, which replaces a program that failed to provide relief to struggling farmers from low milk prices over the past five years. Additionally, crop insurance programs should help farmers purchase policies to protect them from devastating weather conditions, while cost-share programs will be available to aid farmers looking to install conservation projects to further improve the environment,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “The farm bill also removes legal barriers for farmers interested in growing and marketing products made from industrial hemp. Its removal from the controlled substances list could open up opportunities to produce a wide array of hemp products and create a new industry with significant economic potential.”
Farm Bureau emphasized the importance of having a strong farm bill program, which helps keep farmers in business during tough economic times, while securing our domestic food supply and ensuring that consumers have access to healthy and affordable food.
“While the bill provides cost-share and risk management assistance to American farmers, 80-percent of the total funding package supports the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides help to millions of low-income individuals and families across the U.S.,” added Ebert.
PFB notes that the farm bill enhances agricultural trade programs by streamlining a variety of market promotion initiatives under one program and providing $470 million in additional funding.
“Ultimately, farmers want to sell their products on the open market to consumers locally, across the nation and around the world. We need to continue to strengthen existing trade agreements and work on new deals with other nations to expand our client base and enhance income for farm families,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.