President Trump signed the farm bill, formally known as H.R. 2, the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” into law on Thursday during a White House ceremony. The five-year bill sets agriculture policy and reauthorizes farm, conservation, nutrition, rural development, agricultural trade, as well as many other programs. The legislation also removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which legalizes hemp production.
In a statement released by his office, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said:
“This is a great day for our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, as President Trump’s signature on this bill is a Christmas present to American agriculture. Farmers take financial risks every year as a matter of doing business, so having a Farm Bill in place gives them peace of mind to make their decisions for the future. Since early talks on this Farm Bill began back in 2017, I’ve always believed it would be more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, and that has borne out to be true.
“The bill bolsters farm safety net programs, protects federal crop insurance, and maintains strong rural development and research initiatives. The legislation reinvents the Margin Protection Program for dairy producers, providing a boost to coverage levels and a reduction in premiums after the program fell short in the 2014 Farm Bill.”
Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler issued the following statement:
“Today’s signing of the farm bill is a victory for farmers in Indiana and rural America. At a time when farmers are facing tough economic conditions, this bill provides certainty over the next five years and some assurance as they start planning their 2019 crop.
“I’m pleased the bill reinforces crop insurance and commodity programs, both of which are important tools for farmers in managing their operations. It prioritizes funding for conservation, export and research initiatives, which are other areas critical to our efforts. One component I’m particularly excited about is that it establishes a national foot and mouth disease vaccine bank. This is something Indiana farmers and farm organizations have been requesting for a long time.”