Industry Reactions to the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Farm Bill, Industry

National Security Act

The agricultural community is praising the House Agriculture Committee for incorporating reforms to U.S. international food aid programs in the newly released Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. Key agricultural and labor organizations, including the North American Millers’ Association and U.S. Wheat Associates, support these changes, which aim to enhance the Food for Peace program without additional taxpayer expense.

The act mandates that at least 50 percent of the Food for Peace budget be used directly for U.S. commodities and shipping, ensuring substantial American involvement in alleviating global hunger. It also streamlines the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, making the program more responsive to emergencies.

Kim Z Cooper from the North American Millers’ Association emphasized the urgency of feeding more people amid global famine. Peter Laudeman from U.S. Wheat Associates highlighted the commitment of American farmers to this mission. Craig Meeker of the National Sorghum Producers underscored the moral and practical necessity of addressing food insecurity.

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney commended the collaborative process, highlighting the farm bill’s significance to the economy, which supports nearly 23 million jobs. The National Cotton Council also praised the bill for increasing support levels for cotton producers facing rising production costs and improving risk management strategies.

“Conservation and research programs help farmers protect the resources they’ve been entrusted with and enable American agriculture to remain on the forefront of innovation,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “Nutrition programs also give a helping hand to families struggling to make ends meet.”

However, other groups also raised issues with perceived shortcomings with the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. House Agriculture Ranking Member David Scott criticized the bill for potential cuts to SNAP and restrictions on climate-smart conservation funding. The Climate Action Campaign expressed concerns over the reallocation of funds meant for climate-smart agriculture, arguing it jeopardizes efforts to combat climate change and support farmers.

The bill’s release marks a significant step forward in the legislative process, with ongoing debates expected as it progresses through the House.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West