WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) supported passage of the bipartisan Farm Bill, which included an amendment co-sponsored by Senator Tillis supporting rural economic development. The bipartisan legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 86-11.
“Agriculture is North Carolina’s largest industry, with more than 50,000 farmers contributing $84 billion to our state’s economy. However, farmers all across the country, including North Carolina, are facing low commodity prices and increasing volatility, and we must give them the certainty they need to keep the agricultural industry strong,” said Senator Tillis. “The bipartisan Farm Bill makes the investment in our farmers that they need, and I want to thank Chairman Roberts for his leadership. I look forward to reaching an agreement with the House and sending this bill to the President’s desk soon.”
Tillis-championed provisions include:
*Bipartisan amendment co-sponsored by Senator Tillis that:Creates a new grant program to invest in local efforts to launch new companies and create new jobs in rural communities.
*Expands the use of the USDA Community Facilities Program to invest in business incubators, makerspaces, and job training centers to provide additional resources for communities to support their entrepreneurs.
*Expands access to capital for rural entrepreneurs by encouraging investment to rural areas.
*Funding for the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program – a program highly utilized by North Carolina’s cotton and textile industry.
*Language authorizing the creation of a National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures that prioritizes foot and mouth disease vaccine – a disease that if introduced would devastate North Carolina’s vibrant and important livestock industry.
*Maintains crucial farmer safety net including crop insurance – a vital risk management tools that allow our farmers to manage unpredictable risks such as adverse weather and ensure that they can continue providing safe, affordable and wholesome food and fiber to consumers around the world next year.
Click here to read the legislation, summaries, and amendments. The legislation has the support of more than 500 groups representing thousands of agriculture, food, nutrition, hunger, forestry, conservation, rural, business, faith-based, research, and academic interests.