President Barack Obama signed into law the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill at a special signing ceremony on Michigan State University’s campus.
The Farm Bill, formally entitled the Agricultural Act of 2014, reforms food and agricultural policy by eliminating direct payments and other subsidy programs that pay farmers every year whether they need it or not. The bill instead provides responsible risk management tools that support farmers only when there is need, such as a weather disaster. This transformation provides the bulk of the Farm Bill’s deficit reduction. The Farm Bill also streamlines and consolidates programs to end duplication and make programs more efficient. These reforms allow for the strengthening of key initiatives that help farmers and small businesses reach new markets and create American jobs.
The bill protects food assistance for families who need temporary help putting food on the table. The farm bill reduces food stamp spending by a total of roughly 1% solely by addressing fraud and misuse. Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) do not remove anyone from the program and ensures that every person receives the benefits they are intended to get under the current rules of the program.
The bill makes historic investments in conservation, bioenergy production, research, local and healthy food initiatives, organics and maintains critical food assistance for families in need. A broad coalition of stakeholders has endorsed the bill (click here to see a list), including farm organizations, conservation and environmental groups, sportsmen, forestry groups, seniors coalitions, church organizations, international food aid advocates, nutrition and hunger leaders, clean energy organizations, rural development leaders and veterans advocates, among others.
Overview of the Agricultural Act of 2014
Enacting the Agricultural Act of 2014 will reform agriculture programs, reduce the deficit, and help farmers, ranchers and business owners grow the economy. The legislation:
- Repeals the direct payment program and strengthens risk management tools
- Repeals outdated programs and consolidates duplicative ones, eliminating nearly 100 programs or authorizations
- Helps farmers and ranchers create jobs and provides certainty for the 16 million Americans working in agriculture
- Strengthens conservation efforts to protect land, water and wildlife for future generations
- Maintains food assistance for families while addressing fraud and misuse in SNAP