Congressional appropriators: please fund farm bill programs

Print Article

The most recent farm bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December. However, simply enacting new legislation doesn’t mean Congress’ work is done. We now have to figure out how, and to what extent, these programs are funded.

The farm bill is unique in the sense that it not only provides authorization (creation, continuation, or changes) to policies, programs, and agencies, but can also directly fund those with mandatory dollars.

As a result, some programs have the option to receive funding from two sources: mandatory funding through legislation (the farm bill) and discretionary funding through annual appropriations. This isn’t the case for all programs. Many are authorized to operate by the farm bill, but do not receive mandatory funding. These rely on congressional appropriators to designate funds each year. Without discretionary dollars, these programs cease to function.

For 2020 appropriations, we call on Congress to fund programs that not only help strengthen rural communities, but also improve quality of life for farmers, small business owners, and rural residents.

Those include: Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program; federal working lands conservation programs, including the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; Conservation Technical Assistance; Farming Opportunity Training and Outreach, which includes the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (Section 2501 program) and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program; Rural Business Development Grant program; Local Agriculture Market Program, which includes the Value-Added Producer Grants Program and the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program; Risk Management Education; Community Food Projects; and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

— Cora Fox, policy associate, Center for Rural Affairs

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

‘The Land Beyond All Roads’ paints a picture of a real outdoorsman

February 21, 2020 at 9:23 am | Western News To the editor: On Jan. 31, you featured an excellent review of “The Land Beyond All Roads” by our own Jack DeShazer. I obtained the book not on Amazon but via Good News Christian books here in Libby...

Comments

Read More

Gianforte the right pick for Montana

February 11, 2020 at 9:24 am | Western News To the editor: I have asked myself many times who the best candidate for Montana’s next governor would be and I keep coming up with one name: U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte. When asked how I came up with...

Comments

Read More

Lincoln County District Court benefits under Cuffe

January 28, 2020 at 9:53 am | Western News To the editor: After being in the 19th Judicial District Court in Libby, under Judge Matthew Cuffe, several different times, I have a few observations that I think all of us would benefit from knowi...

Comments

Read More

Inclusion brings dividends for rural communities

January 28, 2020 at 9:32 am | Western News Across rural America, demographics are changing and community leaders are redefining what makes their small towns successful and vibrant. Traditionally, a prosperous community is defined as econom...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2020 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X