Sec. Vilsack to Lawmakers: Fund the Farm Bill but don’t touch the Nutrition Title

While a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill is holding together many ag programs, talks continue about how to fund the next one. The Nutrition Title is still in the crosshairs.

Many lawmakers want more “farm” in the Farm Bill, and they want to see restrictions for SNAP, which they say could shift $30 billion to other areas. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging Congress to look outside the Nutrition Title for the money needed to fund the most expensive Farm Bill ever. He says it is important for lawmakers to understand what the program does.

“You know, I think it’s important to understand what the SNAP program does. In my view, it does 4 things: it provides access to food for folks who are struggling financially, it supports jobs along the entire food supply chain because if people can purchase more at the grocery store, they will. If they purchased more, it needs to be packaged and processed and trucked and so forth. You know, $0.15 of every SNAP dollar spent at a grocery store goes to a farm, so it’s connected to farm income.”

During the upcoming Appropriations talks in January, Vilsack is calling for full funding for WIC. He says the request is already well received by Committee leaders.