Man walking in field
Farm Bill

Farm Bill

The farm bill is a package of legislation that is passed once every five years by Congress. This legislation covers a great number of things that impact rural communities, from conservation to rural development. The most recent farm bill was the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. This was enacted into law in December 2018 and expired on Sept. 30, 2023. Legislation signed by President Joe Biden on Nov. 16 extends provisions set by the 2018 farm bill through Sept. 30, 2024. With the farm bill extension in place, Congress can focus on a new five-year farm bill, with negotiations likely to continue into early next year.

As we move toward the next farm bill, we have developed a farm bill platform to outline the opportunities for improvement within working lands conservation, USDA language accessibility, crop insurance, rural development, and small meat processing. 

The Center for Rural Affairs continues to work with Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to monitor implementation of the 2018 farm bill and look toward changes needed in the 2023 farm bill. For more farm bill updates, sign up for our newsletter here.

Farm bill programs

The Center for Rural Affairs focuses on programs within the farm bill that offer the greatest benefits to family farms, rural communities, and the environment. These include:

  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
  • Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)
  • Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP)
  • Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach (FOTO)
  • Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP)
  • Extension Risk Management Education Program (ERME)

In addition to advocating for these programs’ place in the next farm bill, the Center participates in the federal appropriations process each year to secure discretionary funding.

Why we do this

The Center wants to make sure farmers, ranchers, and rural communities have access to farm bill programs and understand how they work. In addition, we appreciate talking with individuals who have participated in these programs—your experiences help us know what changes to advocate for with the USDA and Congress.

To share your thoughts, contact Kalee Olson, policy associate, at, 402.687.2100 ext. 1022.