First 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee Meets

Washington, DC — The 56-member Farm Bill conference committee met for the first time this past week. The current Farm Bill, which sets agriculture and nutrition program policy for five years, expires on September 30th. The conference committee — made up of nine senators and 47 House members — is tasked with reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Iowa US Senator Joni Ernst is on the committee. She says they’re making progress toward a completed farm bill.

She says livestock production and protection remains one of her priorities.

She praised the House version of the bill on its provisions for biofuels.

She also backed the Senate-passed language under the “Energy” title.

She says Congress has a real opportunity to carry out a number of priorities.

One of the main sticking points between the House and Senate bills is how they address SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – also known as Food Stamps. The House bill calls for $20 billion in cuts to the program and a work requirement for SNAP benefits. The Senate version does not.