Farm bill expires on Sept. 30, what’s next?

The 2014 farm bill expires on Sept. 30, 2018. What happens if Congress does not pass a new farm bill in time?

Congress can either vote to extend the 2014 farm bill, or they can allow the farm bill to lapse.

In 2013, Congress passed an extension. It was not ideal. Members failed to include any funding for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, and other small but mighty programs in the extension. These programs closed their doors until the 2014 farm bill was passed.

But, in 2018, if Congress does not extend the farm bill, even more programs close down. The Conservation Stewardship Program and other conservation programs would shutter until Congress votes to refund them.

With an expired farm bill, the responsible path for Congress is to pass an extension and continue valuable programs.

The irresponsible path is for Congress to do nothing, causing rural America to miss out on countless opportunities.

When this reaches your mailboxes, it will be time to call your representatives: either to demand they step up and pass a farm bill or an extension, or thank them for doing their duty to rural America. 

Rural America needs to know that Congress has their back. Allowing programs you have fought for to come to a halt sends the opposite message.