Letter urges lawmakers to consider co-op priorities in 2018 Farm Bill

Written by NCBA CLUSA Staff

The Farm Bill governs programs under the joint jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.The Farm Bill governs programs under the joint jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.The Farm Bill governs programs under the joint jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.NCBA CLUSA this week submitted a letter to the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture, urging lawmakers to preserve programs that benefit cooperative enterprise as they begin consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill.

This comprehensive, multiyear piece of legislation reauthorizes many of the farm and nutrition programs implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including those that enable co-ops to create economic opportunity, like the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program and Food for Peace Act. It also shapes broader policies toward rural development, farm credit, energy, conservation, international food aid and more.

The letter specifically draws attention to Titles VI and III, which respectively govern rural development and international food aid, including the Farmer-to-Farmer program.

“As a matter of public policy, cooperatives should be eligible for all programs authorized in the Farm Bill,” the letter reads. “The bill should also prioritize cooperatives when possible to address critical and emerging policy needs, such as access to in-home care and healthy foods, sustainable jobs and retention of small businesses.”

The letter calls for continuation and/or reauthorization beyond 2018 of the following programs:

Additional asks:

Read the full letter here.