On June 3, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2157 Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 by a vote of 354 to 58. This is a long and encompassing title that can be dwindled down to two words: disaster relief.

A “disaster” can come in many forms: natural disaster, fire, drastic downturn in the economy, and too many more to name. Unfortunately, farmers and ranchers often experience a variety of small disasters daily, and on a rare occasion, a major disaster that sends their operation into uncertainty. This year these tough circumstances are even more acute with trade issues, commodity prices and catastrophic weather creating the perfect storm.

Farmers and ranchers now have the certainty that allows them to pursue their daily activities without the concern of how to bounce back from a previous disaster they experienced in the past. Producers can restore their losses from discretionary funds provided by the bill.

H.R. 2157 provides over $5.228 billion in total agricultural relief funds. These funds are dispersed amongst: Farm Disaster Assistance ($3.005 billion), Emergency Forest Restoration Program ($480 million), Emergency Watershed Protection Program ($435 million), Emergency Conservation Program ($558 million), Community Facilities Grant Program ($150 million), Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance ($600 million). The bill also includes a Market Facilitation Program AGI Waiver program.

Arizona Farm Bureau has been working hard on getting this piece of legislation passed. Constant contact and relentlessly pursuing engagement with our Arizona members in Congress aided in the support of this bill. Arizona Farm Bureau would like to officially thank: Rep. O’Halleran, Rep. Gallego, Rep. Grijalva, Rep. Stanton, and Rep. Kirkpatrick for voting ‘YES’ to pass this influential and helpful bill. We greatly appreciate your support for our members and their families and the peace of mind you provided them in the form of H.R. 2157.

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