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As Lawmakers Get Closer to Producing a Final 2018 Farm Bill, Lots of Work Left to Do in Conference
 
Allison Rivera of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s DC office says the recent passage of the Senate Farm Bill across the Senate Floor was welcomed news for all of agriculture, including the cattle industry. In a recent interview, she talked about a few of the key things included in the Senate version that are important to US beef producers. A couple concerns that stay top of mind with Rivera is the much appreciate permanent authorization of a Foot & Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, but unfortunately that comes without any funding attached. In addition, Rivera says the Senate bill’s Conservation title pales in comparison to the House version. Overall, she says the bill itself is something NCBA can work with but looks forward to seeking further improvement as the House and Senate come together in the near future to develop a final bill in Conference.
 
“These bills are obviously very different and there’s going to be a lot of conversations had about how we move forward with two very different bills,” she said. “I think there is room to work with the Senate and the House in Conference committee to work out some of the differences.”
 
Going into the process of Conference, Rivera says producers are at least relieved to know that the Lee-Booker amendment that would have been very harmful to checkoff programs, particularly the National Beef Checkoff, was struck down on the Senate Floor - a major win for the ag industry. Lawmakers have left the Hill this week for a Fourth of July recess. But, as soon as they return, Rivera says work will get underway to organize a Conference committee that will hopefully soon produce a final version of the 2018 Farm Bill.
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