Sen. Pete Ricketts issued a statement Tuesday in support of a Farm Bill framework released by Republicans on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry

Ricketts said the “framework ensures Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to navigate current and future challenges.”

It also has several provisions that Ricketts introduced.

“I’m glad it includes my bill to help workers on SNAP get off welfare and into the workforce,” he added. “It also includes my bills on improving flood protection, improving infrastructure resiliency, and enhancing assistance to rural microentrepreneurs. It includes critical Nebraska priorities like improving crop insurance, strengthening trade promotion programs, and expanding voluntary, working lands-based conservation programs. It supports agriculture research at land grant institutions like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and workforce training at our community colleges.”

“I’m thankful to (the committee’s) Ranking Member Boozman for incorporating so much of what Sen. Deb Fischer and I shared with him during his visit to Nebraska last year,” Ricketts said. “I hope my Democratic colleagues will join us in supporting this framework.”

The Farm Bill framework includes:

• The bipartisan SNAP Next Step Act, authored by Ricketts and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), to help workers on SNAP get off government assistance and into the workforce.
• The bipartisan Flood Protection and Infrastructure Resilience Act, authored by Ricketts and Gillibrand, to help communities not just recover from disasters but reduce future damage as well.
• The bipartisan Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Act, authored by Ricketts and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), to extend and enhance a program making low-interest loans and grants available to rural microentrepreneurs.
• Doubles research funding and provides significant, mandatory funding to improve agricultural research facilities at land-grant institutions, colleges of agriculture, and beneficiaries of U.S. agricultural research.
• The Ricketts-supported “Expanding Agricultural Exports Act,” which doubles funding for USDA’s premier trade promotion programs, the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD).
• The Ricketts-supported “Biomanufacturing and Jobs Act,” which strengthens the BioPreferred Program.
• The Ricketts-supported “TSP Access Act,” which streamlines the Technical Service Providers (TSP) process to make conservation assistance more accessible to producers.
• The Ricketts-supported “Farm to Fly Act,” which allows for greater production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).
• The Ricketts-supported “Beagle Brigade Act,” which permanently authorizes the USDA Training Center for the Beagle Brigade, which trains dogs to detect foreign pests and diseases and protect our food supply.

© 2024 The North Platte Bulletin. All rights reserved.