WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Thursday, June 21, the U.S. House passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), critical legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making significant investments in opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Thursday, June 21, the U.S. House passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), critical legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making significant investments in opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.

“Today’s vote was about keeping faith with the men and women of rural America and about the enduring promise of the dignity of a day’s work,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11). “It was about providing certainty to farmers and ranchers who have been struggling under the weight of a five-year recession and about providing our neighbors in need with more than just a hand out, but a hand up. I’m proud of what this body has accomplished, and now look forward to working with the Senate and the president to deliver a farm bill on time to the American people.”

Conaway who was first elected to 2004 to Texas’ 11th Congressional District, won the Republican March primary and will be seeking an eighth term in office in November.

Conaway reassured area producers and industry professionals that the Farm Bill was his top priority during the Agri-Plex Ag Day in March in Ballinger.

“We are working on a bipartisan basis to get this Farm Bill passed,” Conaway said.

Conaway, who represents 29 counties in Texas’ 11th congressional district, including the Runnels, Tom Green, Concho, Coke and Brown, has visited Runnels County several times in 2017-18 and presented updates on the bill during each town hall meeting or speech.

Dale Duggan, president of the Runnels County Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee said the bill is important to the American farmer.

"I know that the passage of the house version of the 2018 farm is an important event for the American farmer. Until the Senate passes their version and the two parties build a complete bill it is hard to know what kind of true bill we will have," Duggan said. "With the House passing their bill this past week it is a positive move since the bill failed on passing last time. There are a several key points to the house version. Farm policy for 2018 gives producers an opportunity to make a new election between ARC and PLC. Part of the new provisions is an election of a new yield update."

Duggan went on to site other key elements including SNAP, trade, crop insurance and new provisions that help protect the health of the nation's livestock sector.

"The complete 2018 Farm Bill must protect ag producers so the the U.S. can provide the most abundant, highest quality, safest, affordable food in the world," Duggan said.

Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boenig applauded the passage of the Farm Bill by the House.

"Today's passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives is a positive step in ensuring Texas farmers and ranchers are able to continue providing the food and fiber our nation relies on.

"Every day, farmers and ranchers face uncertain weather conditions, commodity markets and global turmoil,” he continued. “The farm bill provides the stability, risk management tools and certainty that agriculture and American consumers need.”

Boenig thanked Conaway for his leadership in getting the bill passed as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"We look forward to continuing to work with Congress as the Senate considers its bill. It is likely a conference committee will be appointed to work out the differences in the two bills. We are confident a bill that meets the interests of farmers and consumers will be the result."