06.28.18

Senator David Perdue Supports Farm Bill That Includes Georgia Agriculture Priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, comments on Senate passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes numerous key Georgia priorities:

“Agriculture is Georgia’s number one industry and a major reason why our state continues to be the best state in the country in which to do business. I’ve traveled across Georgia to listen to farmers and stakeholders in the agriculture industry. One thing is clear – this Farm Bill is a jobs bill. America’s food security is economic security. This bill saves more money than the last Farm Bill, cracks down on food stamp fraud, and preserves programs that have helped Georgia farmers weather low commodity markets. Unfortunately, an important provision was eliminated that would level the playing field for American textile mills. I’m also disappointed this bill includes a provision that will impose one-size-fits-all standards on farms, which runs counter to President Trump’s work to roll back overreaching regulations. I hope these concerns will be worked out before this bill reaches the President’s desk. Getting a bipartisan bill that balances the needs of every commodity and region is not an easy task. While this Farm Bill is not perfect, it will provide certainty to farmers in Georgia and around the country.”

Prior to passage of the U.S. Senate’s 2018 Farm Bill, Senator Perdue spoke on the floor to highlight some of the provisions important to Georgia.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Perdue was an active participant in writing the 2018 Farm Bill. Senator Perdue secured the following provisions important to Georgia’s agriculture community:

  • Protects Peanut And Cotton Farmers: Protects critical programs for Georgia’s top two commodities by preserving existing safety nets.
  • Helps Pecan Growers Compete: Provides for the assessment of imported pecans so that foreign producers pay the same assessment fee as U.S. pecan growers.
  • Cracks Down On SNAP Fraud: Puts in place a verification system to prevent individuals from receiving payments in more than one state at the same time.
  • Verifies SNAP Recipients: Initiates a pilot program to verify earned income at the time of certification and recertification.
  • Connects Georgia’s National Forests: Includes Senator Perdue’s Chattahoochee Oconee Land Adjustment Act, which gives the U.S. Forest Service the tools they need to create a more contiguous National Forest.
  • Encourages Self-Sufficiency: Eliminates the unnecessary subsidy on all rural development loan programs to allow the programs to become self-sufficient and save the U.S. Treasury approximately $50 million per year.
  • Establishes Agriculture Scholarships: Creates a scholarship program for students attending Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions who want to pursue a career in the agriculture industry.
  • Gives Flexibility To Land-Grant Schools: Allows land grant universities, like Fort Valley State, to carry over unused grant funds from year to year through the Carryover Equity Act.
  • Advances Timber Industry: Establishes performance driven research and development programs for advancing new and innovative wood construction materials.
  • Prioritizes Turf Grass Research: Adds Turf Grass Research to the list of high priority research at colleges and universities.
  • Strengthens Rural Cybersecurity: Allows rural utilities to use certain electric loans and loan guarantees from USDA to fund improvements to grid security and cybersecurity.
  • Requests Critical Data: Establishes a report with necessary data to protect human and animal health against possible threats posed by imported dogs.
  • Provides Relief For Peaches And Blueberries: Makes disaster funding available to peach and blueberry growers that were affected by recent frost damage under the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP).
  • Supports New Farmers: Allows the Farm Service Agency, which loans to disadvantaged and new farmers, to increase its loan authority during years when the demand for FSA loans unexpectedly exceeds its cap. 

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Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.