The House May 18 rejected the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), better known as the Farm Bill, by a vote of 198-213.
“We may be down, but we are not out,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-Texas). “We will deliver a strong, new farm bill on time as the president of the United States has called on us to do.”
Lawmakers may take up a motion the following week, offered by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to reconsider the Farm Bill. The legislation includes several provisions important to U.S. beef producers.
Among them is one establishing and funding a vaccine bank to deal with a potential outbreak in the United States of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in livestock. This version of the farm bill calls for first-year mandatory funding of $150 million for the FMD vaccine bank, $70 million in block grants to the states for disease prevention and $30 million for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), which provides disease diagnostic support. For the other years of the five-year Farm Bill, there’s $30 million in mandatory funding for state block grants and $20 million to be used at the agriculture secretary’s discretion for the vaccine bank, the NAHLN and the states.
— Compiled from news releases from the USDA, House Agriculture Committee, National Pork Producers Coalition, AgNewsWire, American Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and National Farmers Union.