Bipartisan bill includes provisions Murphy advocated for to help beginning farmers, shellfish farmers, & small cheese producers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) applauded the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, in the U.S. Senate on Thursday. The bill includes important support for farmers in Connecticut. Murphy worked closely with Connecticut farmers to incorporate their feedback into the legislation. After launching his ‘Our Farm Bill’ listening campaign and visiting with farmers across the state, Murphy sent the feedback to the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“Connecticut farmers provide good jobs and great food to our communities. That’s why I’ve spent the first half of this year visiting farms across the state and talking with farmers about what they need most,” said Murphy. This Farm Bill is far from perfect. We definitely need to do more to cut wasteful subsidies to big agri-businesses. But the Senate version is much better than the House bill that guts food stamps. I worked hard to get in priorities I heard from farmers in Connecticut, including help for new farmers, shellfish farmers, cheese producers, and local organic farms. I’ll be fighting to make sure any final version of the bill helps farmers and families in need across Connecticut." 

Specifically, the Farm Bill includes the following provisions advocated for by Murphy:  

  • Protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program, which helps put food on the table for over 437,000 individuals across Connecticut, and includes policy changes that help SNAP recipients access healthier food options
  • Changes to crop insurance options for shellfish farmers that ensure shellfish farmers have access to cost-effective crop insurance
  • Provisions from Murphy’s Local Cheese Promotion and Dairy Support Act that increase the opportunities available to dairy farmers to process their milk into higher value products like cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products
  • A reauthorization of the Acer Access and Development Program, which Murphy has secured to increased funding for in annual spending bills, to support the growth of the maple syrup producers
  • Murphy’s bipartisan Century Farm Act to recognize farms that have been in continuous operation for 100 or more years
  • Improvements to dairy insurance programs and a new dairy donation program that will pay farmers to donate their extra milk