Dec 21, 2018National Potato Council, United Fresh applaud newly signed Farm Bill
On Dec. 20, the National Potato Council joined with agriculture industry colleagues at the White House as Vice President Pence, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Congressional leaders saw the 2018 Farm Bill enacted into law by President Trump.
“We sincerely appreciate the leadership of Senators Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow, along with Congressmen Mike Conaway and Collin Peterson. Their efforts to complete this strong Farm Bill were rewarded by the President’s signature (on Dec. 20),”said John Keeling, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council. “We look forward to working with Secretary Perdue on a rapid implementation of this outstanding new bill.”
The following priorities for the potato industry are fully addressed in the new Farm Bill:
- Keeping the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program operating at its full authorized level and enhancing the efficiency of its operations to address foreign trade barriers.
- Ensuring the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) allows all specialty crops the opportunity to compete for its full authorized level of $80 million annually in research funding.
- Supporting APHIS Pest and Disease Programs to ensure they keep pace with threats.
- Reauthorizing the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
The National Potato Council is a founding member of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance. It offers a unified voice for the fruit, vegetable, nut and related commodities in the Farm Bill.
United Fresh echoes sentiments
The United Fresh Produce Association also applauded the signing of the bill. Robert Guenther, Senior VP of Public Policy, and John Hollay, Senior Director of Public Policy, attended the signing.
“The 2018 Farm Bill is a major victory for fresh produce. Despite differences between the House and Senate, Congress has once again shown that when legislation is dealt with in a bipartisan manner, the American people will benefit,” Guenther said. “We would like to thank the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Agricultural Committee for their leadership in passing a Farm Bill that is good for both the fresh produce industry and consumers.”