Today, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, enacting key provisions that will support Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who worked to ensure those provisions were in the legislation, released a video message about the importance of the legislation after it passed the Senate.
He also made the following statement after the 2018 Farm Bill, legislation that renews major farm programs, crop insurance, farm credit and conservation programs, passed the Senate earlier this month.
“The passage of today’s farm bill is a win for farmers, ranchers and the American taxpayer. It ensures producers in Oklahoma and across the country have flexibility in crop programs and certainty for future seasons, while supporting critical investments in agriculture research and land-grant schools, like Oklahoma State University and Langston University. I am especially pleased this legislation includes my provisions that will enable farmers to graze on CRP lands after a wildfire, help young Americans begin careers in farming and make it easier for Oklahomans to repair fence lines damaged in disasters like wildfires.
“I voted against this bill when it passed the Senate because it didn’t make meaningful reforms to the food stamp programs. I fought for and secured real reforms to protect American taxpayers and get more wins for Oklahoma. As a result, the bill we passed today addresses some of the waste and fraud in the SNAP program by empowering President Trump to enforce stricter work requirements as well as including important program integrity reforms that will ensure federal taxpayer resources go to those truly in need.
“America’s farmers and ranchers support all of us, and I am proud this Farm Bill supports them.”
The legislation was supported by key stakeholders in Oklahoma:
“OCA is pleased to see the Farm Bill Conference Report pass the Senate,” said Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. “We appreciate Senator Inhofe’s support and leadership, specifically to champion reform of the Emergency Conservation Program that cuts the red tape allowing much needed disaster assistance to farmers and ranchers so they can rebuild quicker after catastrophic events like wildfires. Senator Inhofe also shared key input to modify programs like CRP to be more flexible for grazing. While the Farm Bill is a very large piece of legislation with a lot of different considerations, it is important that farmers and ranchers have certainty so that important decisions regarding crops and livestock can be made. We thank Senator Inhofe for his leadership and the Senate for advancing the Farm Bill Conference Report.”
“The Oklahoma Cotton Council would like to thank Sen. Inhofe for his passion and resolve in the fight for the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Harvey Schroeder, executive director of the Oklahoma Cotton Council. “A new Farm Bill with cotton included in Title I will give our producers the certainty and predictability they need. The final bill includes many of the cotton industry’s policy priorities and we are glad to see it pass through the Senate. We are extremely grateful to have Sen. Inhofe’s ongoing support of the Oklahoma cotton industry and look forward to working with him in the future.”
“The Oklahoma Farm Bureau is grateful for Sen. Inhofe’s work on the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Rodd Moesel, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. “The farm bill is a critical piece of legislation that ensures Oklahoma farmers and ranchers can continue to produce food and fiber for the nation with confidence. When it comes to Sen. Inhofe, there is no better warrior fighting for your issues, and we are blessed to have him advocating for our priorities in Congress.”
“Oklahoma State University is incredibly appreciative of Sen. Inhofe’s contribution to the 2018 Farm Bill, strengthening land grant universities like our own,” said Thomas Coon, Vice President, Dean and Director of the Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “Passing this bill through the Senate means results for producers and greater certainty about risk management tools in uncertain times. With renewed support for extension and research, we are optimistic towards the future of our great university and the state of Oklahoma.”
Sen. Inhofe’s provisions that were incorporated into the Conference report included:
- Wildfire Regulatory Relief Act – legislation that will make it possible for cattle to graze on CRP lands after a wildfire.
- Farmers of Tomorrow Act – legislation that will strengthen the next generation of farmers and ranchers by reducing the burden of student loan debt and making capital easier to obtain so new farmers can buy land, equipment or livestock.
- The Emergency Conservation Program Payments Legislation – would give the USDA the authority to offer landowners the option to be paid upfront a portion of the fair market value of property damaged in natural disasters such as wildfires.
- Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program - Authorizes $50 million annually to help rehabilitate aging flood control dams nationwide, including the over 2,107 flood control dams protecting farms and ranches across Oklahoma.
- Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing a livestock dealer statutory trust. The outcome of this study would support Senator Inhofe’s SALE Act, which directs USDA to create a livestock dealer statutory trust.