Appropriations Committee Approves FY22 Agriculture Measure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today advanced the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bill by a bipartisan vote of 25-5.  The legislation recommends $25.855 billion in discretionary funding to support federal agriculture and nutrition programs and $7.030 billion in emergency funding following various natural disasters impacting farmers and ranchers.  The measure supports U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agriculture, rural development, conservation, and food and drug safety programs.  Additionally, the bill provides essential nutrition assistance for children, families, and seniors; creates incentives for military veterans to enter careers in agriculture; and supports significant resources to combat the opioid epidemic.  The mandatory funding in the bill totals $169.587 billion.


            “This strong bill provides needed resources for our nation’s agriculture and is vital to the success and quality of life for farming and ranching communities throughout rural America.  I thank Senators Hoeven and Baldwin for their good work and encourage my colleagues to support this important legislation,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).


“Given the extreme drought and other natural disasters in farm country, we worked hard to secure more than $7 billion in much-needed disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers in North Dakota and across the country, including $750 million specifically designed to provide much needed drought relief for livestock producers,” said U.S Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), ranking member of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.  “At the same time, this agriculture funding legislation ensures that we meet the needs of rural America, including fully funding Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct, guaranteed and emergency loans, strong support for agricultural research and continued investment in rural broadband development.  This legislation provides strong funding to support our farmers, ranchers and rural America.”



Bill Highlights:


Agricultural Research – The bill provides more than $3.6 billion for agricultural research programs. This includes $1.675 billion for the Agricultural Research Service and $1.656 billion for National Institute of Food and Agriculture, including a $10 million increase for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).  This funding will support investments in the research and development of new technologies and varieties to improve the productivity, sustainability, and quality of American agriculture.  The bill also fully funds the President’s request to support the continued establishment of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – The bill provides $1.125 billion for APHIS, an increase of more than $57 million above the FY21 enacted level.  The funding will help protect the nation’s animal and plant resources from diseases and pests such as chronic wasting disease and cotton pests.


Conservation Programs – The bill provides $937 million to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for Conservation Operations, $198 million for Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations, and $10 million for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program.


Farm Service Agency (FSA) – The bill provides $1.178 billion for FSA, an increase of $35.4 million above the FY21 enacted level.  It prohibits the closure of FSA county offices and provides resources for IT improvements and personnel across county offices.  The bill also increases funding for direct and guaranteed farm ownership loans to meet expected demand.


Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) – The bill provides $1.153 billion for FSIS, fully funding the food safety and inspection programs that ensure safe and healthy food for American families.  The bill promotes the safety and productivity of the nation’s $186 billion meat and poultry industry by supporting more than 8,000 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,400 facilities in the United States.


Rural Development (RD) – The bill provides $3.56 billion to support RD’s mission areas, including $700 million for the ReConnect Broadband Pilot, $450 million for rural water and waste programs, and $1.45 billion for rental assistance for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities.  The bill also provides $1.45 billion in loan authority for rural water and waste programs, $30 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing guaranteed loan program, and $1.5 billion in grants and loans for rural business and industry programs that promote small business growth in rural areas.


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The bill provides $3.41 billion in discretionary funding for the FDA, a $200 million net increase to base funding for medical products, food safety activities, and crosscutting activities.  Overall, total FDA funding, including user fee revenues, is $6.14 billion.  The bill also provides $50 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.


Food and Nutrition Programs – The bill provides full funding for nutrition programs to serve the estimated need for FY22.  The bill also includes $6.278 billion in discretionary funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; an increase of $7 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program; and an increase of $10 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program.


International Programs – The bill provides $1.76 billion for Food for Peace Title II Grants, an increase of $20 million, and $245 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, an increase of $15 million.


Disaster Assistance – The bill provides $7.03 billion for payments to producers who have suffered losses due to droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021.