The U.S. House of Representatives in a 213 to 211 vote today finally passed its version of the Farm Bill. Republican leadership rebounded from last month’s disappointing defeat of the $860 billion legislation.

“The Farm Bill is a bill for everyone in Arizona and America,” said Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse and Pima County rancher.  “It’s vital to our farm and ranch families in the conservation of our soil and water and to manage risk, as they struggle to navigate through a 50% decline in farm income.  It’s vital for Arizona and American families experiencing financial hardship who need assistance in purchasing food and Arizona and American families who care about a sustainable, safe and affordable food supply. It’s vital for rural economies and infrastructure.”

“Passage of the House farm bill today is a big win for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “Our grassroots Farm Bureau members clearly made their voices heard. By approving the 2018 Farm Bill today, members of the House recognized the serious economic challenges facing farmers and ranchers across the country.

“As crafted by Chairman Conaway, this bill recognizes what is working well, but it also makes much-needed improvements in risk management and crop insurance programs at a time when farm-income levels have slumped to decade lows. This would not have been possible had it not been for Speaker Ryan making the farm bill a congressional priority, and for all the hard work invested in the process by Chairman Conaway and other members of the House Agriculture Committee.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Senate Agriculture Committee leaders Roberts and Stabenow as they move forward. The Senate bill also addresses the challenges our farmers and ranchers are facing today. We will also continue to focus our attention on other areas important to farmers, such as finding a solution for the very serious ag labor shortage, increasing market opportunities through trade and cutting the burdens of regulations that have piled up during previous administrations.”

To explain the importance of this national bill and its impact on all Americans, Arizona Farm Bureau profiled the bill earlier

Added Smallhouse, “We are happy to see it pass out of the House, even if by only a very narrow margin. There is still work to be done to get it over the finish line, but we certainly appreciate the votes which supported its movement to the next step in the process.  Without movement out of the House, there would be no chance for a Farm Bill at all or the opportunity to improve upon it.”

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