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Release: Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Advances

December 20, 2022


For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Zaks

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

lzaks@sustainableagriculture.net

Release: Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Advances

Bipartisan Spending Package Provides Stability for FY2023, Includes Several Key Increases for Sustainable Farm and Food Systems 

Washington, DC, December 20, 2022 – Yesterday, Congress released a $1.7 trillion year-end bipartisan spending package. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 consists of all 12 fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is encouraged to see Congress taking steps to avoid a continuing resolution with concrete progress toward a bipartisan FY2023 spending bill.

“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is encouraged to see Congress make concrete progress toward a bipartisan FY2023 spending bill that would provide much needed stability. The bill includes several key funding increases, though by and large maintains level funding for many programs. In the days ahead, we’re hopeful that Congress will send this bill to the President’s desk as it increasingly turns its attention to the 118th Congress and farm bill reauthorization” said Mike Lavender, NSAC Interim Policy Director. 

The fiscal year 2023 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill provides discretionary funding of $25.5 billion, an increase of $737 million or 3 percent above fiscal year 2022. The bill includes $242 billion for discretionary programs funded annually and mandatory programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

NSAC is pleased to see the inclusion of increased investments for two key programs – a $5 million increase for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), and a more than $40 million increase for Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA). SARE is the nation’s only farmer-driven research program and has been a center of innovation in research and agriculture for over thirty years. 

Beyond these, many other NSAC priorities would receive level funding in FY2023. The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI), which is authorized at $60 million and funded through CTA, received flat funding at $14 million. Within GLCI, it is nonetheless positive to see a full $12 million for grants to partners. Separately, the USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture, which is authorized at $25 million, also received flat funding at $8.5 million, despite both the President’s budget and the House bill including a respective $4.5 and 5 million increase. 

Within the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP), the bill includes $16 million for Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG), including $13 million for grants and another $3 million for agricultural innovation centers, but unfortunately there is no additional funding allocated for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs, or the Regional Food System Partnerships. The Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) was maintained at $10 million, while funding for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) was cut from $5 million down to $3 million. Both House and Senate appropriations bills contained $5 million for HFFI, making this cut both surprising and disappointing. 

NSAC welcomes expanded support for the Farm to School Grant program, which will see a $2 million increase to $14 million. More broadly, there is $28.5 billion in funding for child nutrition programs, an increase of $1.66 billion above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level. There is also $40 million for a permanent summer EBT program, which is unfortunately offset by reductions to supplemental food assistance.

Finally, the bill includes slightly altered versions of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which authorizes USDA to establish a voluntary program related to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners’ participation in environmental credit markets, and the SUSTAINS Act, which would establish public-private partnership contribution accounts for certain NRCS conservation programs.

“NSAC supports a range of policies and programs that can ensure farmers and ranchers have the tools and resources they need to meet the climate crisis, yet believes that there is no replacement for increased public investment in NRCS conservation programs as one of the most essential components of bolstering agriculture’s contributions in the fight against climate change while supporting the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers,” noted Lavender.

With the 2023 reauthorization of the farm bill around the corner, NSAC strongly encourages Congress to prioritize increased investments and strengthening improvements to time-tested conservation programs, as outlined in our 2023 Farm Bill Platform.

For more detailed information about the FY2023 Appropriations visit NSAC’s Agricultural Appropriations Chart.

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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


Categories: Budget and Appropriations, Press Releases


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