Rep. Kristi Noem today led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the Farm Bill.

“Today, we crossed a major hurdle in securing a safety net, not only for South Dakota producers, but for America’s food supply,” said Noem. “The House-passed legislation maintains strong crop insurance and livestock disaster programs and makes improvements to the commodity title. Additionally, we expand support for rural broadband and increase investments in farm country. I look forward to watching this bill advance through the Senate and make its way to the President’s desk, once again securing support for American agriculture.”

WATCH: Noem Celebrates Passage of 2018 Farm Bill 

The House-Passed Farm Bill:

  • Incorporates Noem’s reforms to strengthen commodity programs. During the 2014 Farm Bill implementation, USDA elected to prioritize county yield data from its National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which has proven unreliable in many cases. Today’s House proposal, using Noem’s language, would direct USDA to prioritize crop insurance data instead, which is a more dependable source.
  • Maintains a strong crop insurance program.
  • Increases CRP acreage to 29 million acres, while capping rental rates according to Noem proposal. Additionally, enrollment rates will be based on a state’s historical data, which Noem has previously pressured USDA to do.
  • Updates the wetland determination process so the USDA must prove the producer doesn’t qualify for an exemption before being ruled outside of conservation compliance, according to language Noem worked on.
  • Maintains meaningful Livestock Disaster Programs, which Noem fought to prioritize during the 2014 Farm Bill debate.
  • Maintains and strengthens dairy policy. The first 5 million pounds of milk production on a dairy farm is eligible for higher coverage levels at lower premiums.
  • Maintains the Beginning Farmer incentive program.
  • Enhances incentives for rural broadband development.
  • Simplifies the environmental review process requirements for forestry management, which Noem has strongly advocated for – particularly as it relates to fighting the pine beetle and other insect infestations in the Black Hills.
  • Establishes work and training requirements for SNAP benefits. Building on the economic successes of tax reform, the legislation would require that able-bodied, non-elderly individuals without young children work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week. No individual would lose benefits unless they decline to work or accept free training to learn a skill.

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