Fresno, California -- Datatech is watching the progress of the 2018 Farm Bill through Congress. Today the bill passed out of the House Committee on Agriculture and now moves to the floor of the House of Representatives for consideration.
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 or H.R. 2 is based on extensive research and listening sessions around the country by lawmakers and this bill has a number of key initiatives. Providing access to the internet in rural areas is currently a buzz topic for agriculture. Improving broadband connectivity in field operations will continue to spur the growth of Ag-tech, currently on a fast track in America. U.S. Representative Rodney Davis tweeted out this note after the Farm Bill’s successful committee vote, “Rural areas should have the same access to broadband and infrastructure that urban areas do. This #FarmBill strengthens rural development initiatives that promote jobs and economic growth in rural America.”
The Farm Bill doesn’t address huge issues such as immigration, guest worker programs and labor, but it does provide funding for ag operations and the nutrition program known as SNAP. Ag Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) says he’s happy with the work done on the Farm Bill but has concerns with Democrats, “Today’s vote was about America’s farmers and ranchers. It was about a better future and greater opportunities for SNAP recipients. It was about fulfilling an obligation to lead, rather than standing on the sidelines. I’m disappointed that my Democrat colleagues have turned their backs on America’s heartland – that they’ve chosen partisan politics over the three years of bipartisan work in this committee.” Conaway says Democrats stopped working with Republicans when they objected to the removal of some social programs from the bill.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue commended Conaway and his committee after today’s results, “The bill closely aligns with the Farm Bill Principles released by USDA in January and is nearly identical to the legislation first introduced last week. We are encouraged that the Committee heard the voices of their constituents, who want to preserve and enhance programs contained in the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA stands ready to provide technical assistance as the bill progresses in the House, and we look forward to working with our friends in the Senate as well.”