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2024 Farm Bill Advances: U.S. House Agriculture Committee approves $1.5 trillion farm bill proposal

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On May 21, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) introduced the Farm, Food and National Security (Farm Bill) Act of 2024.

A few days later, Thompson delivered opening remarks during the 2024 Farm Bill markup, which passed after 12-plus hours of debate on May 24.

“When I became chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, I took seriously my mandate to protect our food supply and enhance the impact of our nation’s agricultural value chain,” Thompson states.

“Across each title of this bill are new and better tools and resources for our farmers and rural communities. From production and processing to delivery and consumption, this bill strengthens the rural economy across every region, state and district,” he adds.

After lengthy deliberations, the House passed its version of the 2024 Farm Bill, introducing more than 50 amendments in the 942-page proposed legislation, which passed in a 33 to 21 vote.

The five-year bill introduced by Thompson would expand farm commodity support, shrink Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and reallocate nearly $20 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act intended for climate-smart farm practices.

In addition to increasing funding for conservation, Thompson and other supporting members say the $1.5 trillion measure would go a long way toward protecting farmers from weather-related disasters and falling commodity prices, by strengthening subsidized crop insurance and boosting payment rates in crop programs.

However, the House version of the farm bill will now head to the full chamber for consideration. The Senate also released an outline of its version of the farm bill but has not set a markup.

National support

With nearly five hours of opening statements, the 54-member committee embarked on an extensive course of marking up and voting on the proposed farm bill.

Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), a former committee chairman, states the bill represents the first step in a long journey and credits Thompson for putting forward a good bill. 

“The real struggle is not getting the bill out of committee, but passing the bill on the House floor,” he states.

While the bill has received mixed reactions from both parties, several national organizations are in support of this version of the 2024 Farm Bill.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) comments, “We thank the House Agriculture Committee for passing the next farm bill, known as the Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024. This farm bill includes top priorities for cattle farmers and ranchers including cattle health, voluntary conservation and food security provisions.”

The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, also supports the House bill, stating, “We thank Thompson and his staff for including so many investments for specialty crops in his bill, as well as the countless Democrats and Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee who expressed strong support for them during the markup.” 

“Investments like these are vital to maintaining and enhancing the competitiveness of our growers across the U.S. and to support a healthier America, and it’s essential they appear in the final conference report,” the alliance continues.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall released a statement in favor of the House bill, saying, “AFBF appreciates the work of Thompson and the entire House Agriculture Committee for its work in drafting a new, modernized farm bill.”

He continues, “America’s farmers and ranchers need the stability the farm bill provides so they can withstand the unforeseen challenges of growing the food, fuel and fiber America’s families rely on. Conservation and research programs help farmers protect the resources they’ve been entrusted with and enable American agriculture to remain on the forefront of innovation. Nutrition programs also give a helping hand to families struggling to make ends meet.”

“We look forward to taking a deep dive into the House farm bill draft in advance of next week’s markup. We hope to see the Senate Agriculture Committee’s version soon so we can move forward with getting the farm bill passed. It’s too important to wait. America’s families are counting on Congress to get this done,” he concludes.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) also supports the House farm bill, which includes a federal fix to California’s Proposition (Prop) 12 issues affecting pork producers.

“The 2024 Farm Bill is a golden opportunity to address a top issue for pork producers across the country – Prop 12 – and I’m pleased to see the U.S. House Agriculture Committee seize the opportunity to stop a potential 50-state patchwork of differing on-farm regulations,” says NPPC President Lori Stevermer. 

Other supporters include the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Pheasants Forever, American Soybean Association and the National Cotton Council.

While farm commodity groups have expressed support for the House bill, environmental and hunger groups have opposed it.

Challenges ahead

With varying support for this version of the farm bill, some who voted for the bill state, “It just may not be enough support to get it passed, the bill needs major changes before it can be passed into law.”

“Everyone knows this bill would never become law. The Senate won’t accept it, and the administration won’t accept it,” says Rep. David Scott (D-GA), a ranking member on the committee. “And while this bill is a giant misstep, it nevertheless begins our journey toward passing a farm bill.”

The farm bill funds programs across 12 titles for five years and pulls together support for agriculture producers, energy and conservation programs on farmland and food and nutrition programs for families in need.

However, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack raised concerns about the House proposal adjusting SNAP benefits by $30 billion over 10 years, which is based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. 

Nutrition programs account for the majority of farm bill spending, and there are more than 41 million people who use SNAP benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The farm bill must remain budget neutral, so lawmakers must fit their proposals into a baseline projection of how much the government would spend over the next 10 years if the current farm bill was extended.

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

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