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Federal Farm Bill: Big Impacts in Rural Communities

What is the Farm Bill and why is it important to rural America?

The Farm Bill is a significant and complex package of federal legislation that is passed and signed into law every five years. Despite its name, the bill impacts far more than simply farmers and ranchers. Provisions of the bill include measures to keep grocery prices lower for every American, promote international trade, support a healthy environment and promote food security for the disadvantaged. There is even a provision for rural broadband infrastructure in the bill. The bill has about 12 different “titles” that address different kinds of benefits to rural residents, including farmers and ranchers. The program helps connect food banks with produce, grains and protein to help millions of our neighbors afford food. It also keeps grocery prices down for everyday Americans, boosts rural infrastructure and fulfills a variety of functions.

The current Farm Bill has been extended so that provisions will remain unchanged until Sep. 30, 2024. Right now, the Senate and House are writing versions of the Farm Bill within their respective agricultural committees. Absent passage, there is a mix of results as some provisions continue, evolving programs take prior form, and some programs stall.

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