December 17, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Reana Kovalcik
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
FY 2020 “Minibus” Bolsters Farm Bill Wins for Sustainable Agriculture
NSAC Welcomes Support for Vital Farm and Food Programs
Washington, DC, December 17, 2019 – On the evening of December 16, 2019, Congress released two conferenced “minibus” appropriations packages for fiscal year (FY) 2020, one of which includes discretionary funding for agriculture and food access programs. In response, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) released the following statement:
“The final appropriations package builds upon the sustainable agriculture community’s hard-fought farm bill wins and delivers much-needed support to family farmers across the country at a time when good news is increasingly hard to come by. This bill provides something that many farmers, rural communities, and farm/food advocates have been desperately seeking – certainty. We are pleased to see congressional appropriators build upon the efforts of their colleagues who worked so diligently on the 2018 Farm Bill by providing discretionary support for several critical programs – including two new programs, the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) and Farming Opportunity Training and Outreach (FOTO) program.
In particular, we would like to thank Appropriations Committee members and congressional leadership for working together to find common ground on the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, a subprogram of LAMP. VAPG received $12 million in discretionary support out of a total $17.4 million provided to LAMP. VAPG has consistently delivered unparallel support for farmers and food entrepreneurs, and provided taxpayers an excellent return on their investment by helping to spur job creation and economic revitalization in communities across the country. In addition to LAMP and FOTO, several other key farm programs also received increased discretionary funding, including the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), and Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) program.
One of the few notable disappointments in this bill, however, is the lack of any additional discretionary support for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE is the nation’s only farmer-driven research program and has driven innovation in research and agriculture for over thirty years. NSAC looks forward to continuing to work with our allies in Congress to ensure strong support for SARE going forward.”
NSAC will publish a FY 2020 appropriations chart and detailed breakdown of the bill on our website in the coming days.
Funding levels for NSAC priority programs are as follows:
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net
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