FarmPolicy

July 19, 2019

Farm Bill Hearing; Ag Economy; Biofuels; and, CFTC

Farm Bill: Senate Ag Committee Hearing with Sec. Vilsack- Policy Issues

Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) convened a hearing yesterday to examine USDA’s ongoing implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack provided testimony at yesterday’s hearing.

In light of this week’s executive branch report on climate change, and the noted emphasis on Farm Bill programs that will be key policy variables in protecting the soil from erosion, DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported yesterday that “emphasis on various conservation programs” was “one theme” at yesterday’s Ag Committee hearing.

More specifically, Mr. Clayton indicated that, “[Chairwoman Stabenow] asked Vilsack about the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. ‘This is probably one of the most understated policies in the 2014 farm bill. It has the potential really to transform the face and the future of agricultural stewardship,’ Stabenow said.

“The partnerships are expected to leverage local and private money to broaden conservation efforts. Vilsack said USDA has started a series of listening sessions about the regional partnerships program. The department plans to identify the critical areas that would be eligible for the regional partnerships. Vilsack also said USDA wants to get the program launched in time to highlight the issues of bringing investment capital to rural America as part of the White House Rural Council.”

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