Sen. Franken: Bipartisan Farm Bill Passed by Senate Today Critically Important to Minnesotas Economic Future
Long-Awaited Bill Now Heads to Presidents Desk to Become Law
U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said Senate passage of a long-awaited five-year Farm Bill today will give Minnesota's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities the certainty they need to plan for the future. The bill is expected to be sent to the President's desk in the near future.
"Farmers all across Minnesota told me repeatedly that they not only wanted a five-year Farm Bill, but they needed one," said Sen. Franken. "With one in five Minnesota jobs connected to agriculture, it's critically important that we finally finished the job.
"This bill isn't perfect, but it was a bipartisan effort that will reform and modernize our agriculture programs, strengthen the farm safety net, and help create jobs and economic vitality in communities across our state. Just as important, the Farm Bill saves money—billions of dollars that can reduce our budget deficit.
"I'm very pleased the bill contains several measures I fought for to help Minnesota's rural communities, including my energy provisions that will create jobs and boost our rural economy. Now it's time for the President to sign this long-awaited legislation into law and help give Minnesota's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities the certainty they need to plan for the future."
The Farm Bill contains several key provisions Sen. Franken authored to help Minnesota. It includes an energy section that Sen. Franken authored with nearly $900 million of funding so that farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses can deploy renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
This final bill also contains $100 million in support for farmers and ranchers who are just starting out. Sen. Franken worked hard to preserve these investments in federal programs that provide beginning farmers and ranchers with education and training, access to credit, and access to affordable land.
Finally, Sen. Franken successfully fought to preserve the federal sugar program by voting to ensure that vital protections remain in place for sugar growers. The sugar industry contributes thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the economies of Minnesota and the region.