WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted today in support of H.R. 2, the "Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018." This legislation governs our nation’s federal farm and food policy and is known as the Farm Bill. The bill will now go to the President’s desk for signature.
"The Farm Bill provides our hardworking agriculture producers with essential tools and the safety net they need to grow the food and fiber our country needs and relies upon," Thornberry said. “Agriculture is very important to the economy of our area and to the country. This bill will help our farmers and ranchers compete with producers all around the world.”
Thornberry authored an amendment that is included in the final bill to establish “Cattle and Carcass Grading Correlation and Training Centers” to help ensure that federal beef graders are interpreting and applying the USDA standards in the same way so that cattle and carcasses across the country are graded uniformly.
Thornberry also said, "The accuracy of grading cattle is dependent on the grader’s knowledge of animal composition, making the process subjective. It is important to ensure that producers are receiving a fair price and that consumers are paying a fair price for the quality of beef."
The Farm Bill authorizes more than $400 million a year for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) broadband infrastructure loans and grants to connect the hardest to reach rural communities to the global economy. This bill also includes a rural broadband amendment developed by Representative Thornberry that allows the USDA to finance “middle-mile” infrastructure projects, which are necessary to connect rural areas to the backbone of the Internet.
"Our country has an ever-growing reliance on technology, and some of our rural areas have been left behind. The Farm Bill also includes expanding broadband access into rural areas to keep them on the same competitive level as the rest of our country," added Thornberry.
The largest portion of the Farm Bill goes to nutrition programs that assist those who are truly in need while providing critical training and opportunities to gain employment and/or better paying jobs. The bill also includes important conservation measures, trade support, and rural development initiatives that support critical rural infrastructure such as public water systems.
For more information about the H.R. 2, the "Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018” click here.