The newly passed Farm Bill reduces funding for SNAP, the federal food stamp program, by $8 billion and trims a number of subsidies for food producers. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says the bill significantly increases support for fruits and vegetables growers and local food systems.
Among winners in the protracted legislative battle are dairy processors that successfully blocked inclusion of the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, which was a part of an early Senate version and was vigorously opposed by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which said the provision would limit milk supplies. The Farm Bill also repeals some existing dairy programs, including the Dairy Product Price Support Program and the Dairy Export Incentive Program, and phases out the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program, replacing it with a new margin insurance program.
“This is a major step toward moving our dairy industry away from the failed agriculture policies of the past and toward policies of the future that will enable our entire industry to grow and capture new markets,” says Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative affairs and economic policy.