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Farm Bill Outlook: House and Senate release different approaches for 2024 Farm Bill

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The most significant piece of legislation affecting farmers and ranchers across the U.S. is the farm bill, and after more than a year of hearings and listening sessions, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) released a title-by-title overview of his draft farm bill on May 1, making it a significant milestone.

While the Agriculture Committee seeks to increase farm safety net programs, enhance crop insurance and expand conservation programs, it vows not to cut nutrition funding.

“This bill is a product of an extensive and transparent process, which included soliciting feedback from members of both political parties, stakeholder input from across the nation and some tough conversations,” Thompson states in a press release published the same day.

However, U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released a more detailed version of her farm bill after Thompson, introducing the Rural Prosperity and Food Security (RPFS) Act.

The RPFS Act is similar to the Agriculture Committee’s farm bill draft, aiming to expand crop insurance and conservation programs, but it makes greenhouse gas reductions a major focus of the proposal and protects the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent changes to the Thrifty Food Plan to raise Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

According to a statement released by Stabenow, “This is a serious proposal which reflects bipartisan priorities to keep farmers farming, families fed and rural communities strong. The foundation of every successful farm bill is built on holding together the broad, bipartisan coalition of farmers, rural communities, nutrition and hunger advocates, researchers, conservationists and the climate community.”

Thompson continues, “Each title of the farm bill reflects a commitment to the American farmer and viable pathways to funding those commitments and is equally responsive to the politics of the 118th Congress.” 

Stabenow adds, “I welcome my Republican colleagues to take it seriously and rejoin us at the negotiating table so we can finish our work by the end of the year. Farmers, families and rural communities cannot wait any longer on the 2024 Farm Bill.” 

Thompson hopes for unanimous support in this endeavor, which would bring stability to producers while protecting the nation’s food security and revitalizing rural America. He intends to move the bill through by Memorial Day.

Key points

The 2024 Farm Bill framework provides a title-by-title summary of key points.

Under the commodities title summary, the bill proposes increasing support for the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs, modernizing marketing loans and sugar policy, bolstering dairy programs and enhancing disaster programs by expanding eligibility for assistance.

According to the conservation title summary, the bill proposes to reallocate $14.4 billion in Inflation Reduction Act conservation dollars and enhance working land programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program while promoting agriculture. 

The trade title summary explains expanding the reach and impact of the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program mitigates global food insecurity while providing U.S. producers new markets, improving local economies and lessening the damage of this administration’s ineffective trade agenda.

Under the nutrition title, the summary focuses on supporting access to benefits for families formerly disallowed from receiving them, investing in food distribution programs, promoting program integrity and advancing policies related to healthy eating, healthy behaviors and healthy outcomes.

U.S. producers borrow more capital in a single season than most Americans do in their entire lives, and with interest rates exploding, it has created challenges for younger and less established producers. The credit title summary offers solutions to help producers start and maintain their operations.

Programs offered by USDA Rural Development play a vital role in enhancing rural life and fostering economic growth.

According to the rural development title summary, the bill outlines the long history of bipartisan support for rural development initiatives and implements essential improvements to ensure a robust rural economy.

Digging deeper

Keeping U.S. agriculture at the forefront of innovation and productivity through cutting-edge research, the bill’s research, Extension and related matters title summary focuses on supporting agricultural research facilities, maintaining funding for Extension programs and funding scholarships for students at 1,890 institutions.

Under the forestry title summary, the bill promotes forest management through incentivizing public-private partnerships, revitalizing rural communities while reducing wildfire risk and improving forest health to ensure healthy and productive forests.

Another section of the 2024 Farm Bill focuses on energy. This title summary addresses the need to increase access to energy systems and provide efficiency updates for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses while encouraging growth and innovation for biofuels, bioproducts and related feedstocks.

Critical investments to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and protect plant health are discussed under the horticulture, marketing and regulatory reform title summary and delivers commonsense regulatory reforms necessary to relieve U.S. farmers and ranchers from overregulation.

The crop insurance title summary discusses how agricultural producers are greatly affected by numerous factors outside of their control, ranging from extreme weather to geopolitical instability.

It further states crop insurance – a vital risk management tool – needs to be available to help producers manage the unique risks of farming and is delivered through an effective public-private partnership in which the federal government shares in the cost of the premiums, which would otherwise be unaffordable for most farmers.

The last section of the 2024 Farm Bill is a miscellaneous category. In this title summary, the bill brings together provisions related to livestock health and management, foreign animal disease preparedness, young and beginning farmers and other key areas. 

The miscellaneous title directs additional resources to protect the entire U.S. livestock and poultry industry in the U.S. from foreign animal diseases.

The next step in the 2024 Farm Bill process will be the House Agriculture Committee’s markup on May 23.

Committee members will have the opportunity to offer amendments to the chairman’s bill, speak for or against individual provisions and vote on whether to advance the bill to a floor vote. 

Currently, the Senate markup date has yet to be announced, but changes can occur through floor amendments and during a Conference Committee between the House and Senate.

Keep an eye on next week’s edition of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup for an outline on the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act proposed by Stabenow.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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