Farm Bill framework, which was released last week, includes key programs for Pennsylvania families that Fetterman fought for and secured

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Fetterman, member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, praised Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for her leadership in unveiling the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act last week. This comprehensive proposal, consisting of over 100 bipartisan bills, sets a strong course for the 2024 Farm Bill, positioning it for passage before the end of the year.

“The programs outlined in this package will be huge for Pennsylvania, our 50,000 farms, our more than seven million acres of farmland, and the hardworking producers that power our robust agriculture business. Farmers in Pennsylvania use these popular programs to support their families and keep their businesses afloat. As Chair of the Nutrition Subcommittee, I thank Senator Stabenow for holding the line on SNAP and Thrifty Food Plan,” said Senator Fetterman.  

Reauthorized roughly every five years, the Farm Bill is a cornerstone of support for farmers, ranchers, and low-income families throughout the country. TheRural Prosperity and Food Security Act addresses the issues critical to these communities, including foreign ownership of farmland, rural community development, and bolstering the farm safety net to provide stability for all farmers.

“This is a serious proposal that reflects bipartisan priorities to keep farmers farming, families fed, and rural communities strong. The foundation of every successful Farm Bill is built on holding together the broad, bipartisan coalition of farmers, rural communities, nutrition and hunger advocates, researchers, conservationists, and the climate community. This is that bill, and I welcome my Republican colleagues to take it seriously and rejoin us at the negotiating table so we can finish our work by the end of the year. Farmers, families, and rural communities cannot wait any longer on the 2024 Farm Bill.” said Chairwoman Stabenow.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Senator Fetterman has been successful in securing Pennsylvanian farmers’ and families’ needs in the Farm Bill. Notable contributions by Senator Fetterman include:

  1. Protecting SNAP & Thrifty Food Plan

Senator Fetterman has been consistent in his promise to oppose any cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Senate Farm Bill expands SNAP access to Puerto Rico, formerly incarcerated individuals, and college students under 24 years old. It also includes key components of Senator Fetterman’s Enhanced Cybersecurity for SNAP Act, to protect SNAP recipients from criminals who aim to steal their benefits.

  1. Expanding Specialty Crop Insurance

Senator Fetterman successfully advocated for the inclusion of measures to streamline access to insurance plans for specialty crop farmers. This includes improvements to the Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program, to streamline and expand crop insurance for small, diversified farmers. It also doubles the eligibility period new farmers have to access subsidies for crop insurance premiums to 10 years. More than 60 percent of mushrooms produced in the United States grown out of one small Pennsylvania town. Senator Fetterman recognizes that Pennsylvania is a specialty crop state and led the Protecting Mushroom Farmers Act to get mushrooms covered by federal crop insurance programs last year.

  1. Rural Broadband Access

Senator Fetterman has been a leader in addressing the digital divide and fostering economic development in underserved communities. At the heart of the rural development strategy are provisions to establish a grant and loan program aimed at providing rural areas with broadband access, prioritizing areas where at least 90% of households lack adequate service.

  1. Urban and Young Farmers

On behalf of urban farmers in cities across the Commonwealth, Senator Fetterman championed the Supporting Urban and Innovative Farming Act to improve USDA’s support for urban farmers. Chairwoman Stabenow included important policies from his bill including: authorizing grants directly to small urban farmers, expanding support for farmers, and increasing funding and capacity. The framework also includes provisions to promote access to land and capital for young and beginning farmers.

  1. Conservation Programs

For his first public statement on the Farm Bill, Senator Fetterman called on Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman to protect the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) climate smart agriculture programs. Voluntary conservation programs are popular and beneficial to farmers, and PA farmers have benefited from the IRA climate smart funding. The framework would also establish the Chesapeake Bay States’ Partnership Initiative to help farmers in PA protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  1. Stopping CCP From Investing in Our Farmland

Senator Fetterman has been a leading voice to stop foreign investment in American farmland. The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act would strengthen reporting and enforcement requirements against foreign individuals who own or purchase U.S. farmland. It would also stop foreign farmland owners from receiving commodity payments from USDA.

A full summary of the bill is available here.

A section-by-section is available here.

A summary of each title is available below.