Washington, DC – December 12, 2018….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) and the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the 2018 Farm Bill. The final version authorizes and reforms essential food and farm programs, including initiatives related to commodity and crop assistance, agricultural trade, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and rural development, for five years. The legislation, which passed by a margin of 369-47, makes critical investments to support Arkansas farmers, ranchers, producers, and rural communities.
Congressman Womack said, “Farmers and ranchers from Arkansas’s Third Congressional District feed and fuel our economy and families across the globe. Our agriculture policies must create certainty for hardworking producers and advance a vibrant farm economy – this Farm Bill delivers on those priorities. From enhancing insurance and risk management programs for dairy and livestock farmers, to investing in rural development and preventing SNAP fraud, this legislation makes sound reforms that support the strength of our food supply, producers, and American families.”
Amongst other provisions, the bill supports Arkansas’s Third Congressional District by:
- Bolstering dairy and livestock protection, disaster, risk management, and safety net initiatives.
- Enhancing farm ownership and operating loan programs to better enable producers to maintain, buy, and expand investment into new or existing farms or ranches.
- Increasing funding for rural health and opioid addiction services.
- Investing in rural broadband access to support underserved areas.
- Establishing a National Animal Health Vaccine Bank to better protect livestock and prevent animal disease.
- Strengthening locally-led conservation programs that empower livestock producers, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
- Implementing reforms to prevent fraud under federal nutrition benefit programs.
Womack has been an advocate of implementing strong and reliable agriculture policies during his time in Congress. He voted to pass a previous version of the Farm Bill in June, which was then amended into this final legislation following recommendations from the House and Senate Conference Committee. Local AR-3 producers are a vital part of Arkansas’s economy and support the great agriculture output of the state.
The 2018 Farm Bill is supported by a range of local and national organizations, including the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Agricultural Council of Arkansas, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, Arkansas Rice Federation, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, National Cotton Council, and the National Farm Bureau.
The bill will now head to the President’s desk for signature.
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget and is a member of the House Appropriations defense, military construction-veterans affairs, and labor-health and human services subcommittees. Additionally, he co-chairs the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.