Just in time to avoid a government shutdown, the two appropriations packages have been signed by the President and funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 has been secured!
The final bill includes the following funding levels for vital agricultural programs:
- Beginning farmer training and outreach to socially disadvantaged farmers at $5 million in discretionary funding;
- Loan fund to help resolve heirs’ property issues at $5 million;
- Farmer mental health services at $10 million;
- Local food programming at $20.4 million in discretionary funding;
- Office of Urban Agriculture at $5 million;
- On-the-ground conservation technical assistance at $735.76 million;
- And no cuts to farm bill funding for conservation programs including EQIP and CSP.
The final bill goes above and beyond both the House and Senate levels of funding with the $10 million appropriated to the Farmer and Rancher Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN). On the other hand, it does not reach the $10 million level of funding for training and outreach advocated for by the National Young Farmers Coalition, and does not include any of the $3 million authorized for data collection on farmland ownership, tenure, transition, and entry of beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Overall, however, Young Farmers applauds the work of Congress to provide funding for the programs that help young farmers and farmers of color build successful and sustainable businesses.
To our many members who helped us advocate for these wins, thank you for your time and efforts! We’re looking forward to starting the process up again in just a few months and achieving even more funding wins together.