Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) Thursday voted for the Agriculture and Nutrition Act (H.R. 2) commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. This bill will support our nations struggling farmers by promoting opportunity, protecting trade, encouraging new farmers and improving conservation.
“After years of distorted global markets, our nations farmers are hurting—especially our famers in Upstate New York who face costly regulations and tax burdens from our state government. During our listening sessions and town halls held with farmers throughout the 22nd District, I listened to the problems facing our farmers and took their concerns with me to Washington. The Farm Bill echoes many necessary changes that were voiced during the listening sessions. It will help Upstate farmers combat a 5-year recession, depressed prices and a 52 percent drop in net farm income,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The Farm Bill makes investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients and improves program integrity, while delivering much-needed support and certainty to farmers throughout the 22nd District. America’s farmers will finally receive certainty and stability as they continue to provide food to families across the country. I will be closely following any changes made as the House and Senate go to conference on a unified Farm Bill.”
Many of the priorities Rep. Tenney fought tirelessly for were included in H.R. 2:
Fighting for Dairy Farmers in Upstate
- Dairy farmers are the backbone of Upstate New York’s agricultural economy yet they continue to struggle with declining milk prices and increased feed and energy costs.
- The latest government funding bill was a good first step in stabilizing and improving the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) and making it a better safety net for dairy farmers.
- In addition to renaming MPP-Dairy to the Dairy Risk Management Program (DRMP), the Farm Bill includes provisions aimed at increasing the top level of coverage within MPP-Dairy from $8.00 to $9.00 which will bring further support to small and medium-sized farms. Rep. Tenney sent a letter to Chairman Conaway in November 2017 advocating for this change.
- The legislation also further lowers premiums for coverage levels under Tier I (first five million pounds) making premiums even more affordable than ones passed as part of the funding bill.
- Dairy producers are now able to participate in both the Dairy Risk Management Program (DRMP) or the Livestock Gross Margin Insurance Plan for Dairy Cattle (LGM-Dairy), allowing greater flexibility in hard times.
Supporting Farmers in Mental Health Crisis
- Mental health and suicide prevention has become an increasing concern for farmers in the 22nd District.
- The 2018 Farm bill reauthorizes the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to help alleviate some of the unique issues farmers face in the agriculture industry. Congresswoman Tenney cosponsored an identical bill, the Stemming the Tide of Rural Economic Stress and Suicide Act (H.R. 5259) to reauthorize this important program.
Watch Rep. Tenney discuss the Farm Bill here.