Rooney: 2018 Farm Bill Meets the Needs of Florida’s Farmers and Ranchers
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL) issued the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act (Farm Bill):
“This year’s Farm Bill prioritizes our nation’s agriculture community and gives Florida’s farmers, ranchers and growers the tools they need to keep themselves in business. Agriculture in Florida is our state’s second-largest economic driver. These men and women work hard every day to ensure that our nation has a safe and abundant food supply. This Farm Bill will protect this industry which is so vital not only to Florida’s 17th District, but to the entire country,” Rooney said.
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 authorizes a variety of critical agricultural programs, including disaster protection programs, research programs and conservation programs, which support Florida’s ranchers efforts to be good stewards of our state’s natural resources. H.R. 2 also prioritizes new, long-sought initiatives, such as funding for a National Animal Vaccine Bank which will help protect our nation’s cattle industry in the event of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
Nationwide, these farmers have seen depressed prices and a 52 percent drop in net farm income. The farm bill also strengthens the farm safety net to help farmers and ranchers weather a five year recession. Growers’ crop insurance will also be protected under the legislation, aiding in their ability to recover from natural disasters like Hurricane Irma.
Florida is seen as an invasive species ground zero. The bill keeps program funding for invasive species prevention, citrus greening research, and specialty crop block grants. H.R. 2 fully funds the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which provides $25 million annually for a citrus set-aside block-grant program for universities to fight citrus greening.
The Farm Bill also provides resources for the opioid crisis by funding programs to address the ongoing epidemic.
“Over the last year, my district has been faced with an overwhelming amount of agricultural issues and fighting to help Florida’s farmers and growers has been my biggest mission since,” Rooney said. “I am proud to have supported this bill and hope the Senate approves it so our agriculture community has the resources it needs to succeed and compete globally.”