NMPF Funding Priorities Advance in House Appropriations Measure
July 6, 2022
The House Appropriations Committee passed its Agriculture-FDA spending bill for Fiscal Year 2023 on June 23, the first congressional move toward enacting spending for next year’s federal budget. NMPF is remaining active in advocating for dairy as appropriations moves forward, working for more funding for dairy producers of all sizes in the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program and additional members to assist farmers. Highlights for dairy producers include:
- Nutrition – The measure continues to fund at $3 million the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill to create pilot programs to increase milk consumption among SNAP households.
- Dairy Innovation – The measure provides $25 million for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program, which provides direct technical assistance and grants to dairy businesses to further the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products. This is the same level of funding enacted for fiscal year 2022.
- Broadband – The measure includes $450 million for the ReConnect program, the USDA Rural Development program working to provide broadband service to eligible rural areas.
- Farm Stress – The measure allocates $10 million for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, a USDA program aimed at connecting those working in agriculture to stress assistance and support programs.
- Standards of Identity – Noting concern with FDA’s failure to enforce dairy standards of identity, the committee report repeats previous language pointing to FDA’s current process regarding plant-based product labeling and calling on FDA to continue working toward enforcement.
- Dairy in WIC – The committee report also highlights the repeated finding in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that dairy foods are both nutrient-dense and underconsumed, including among the WIC-population, in the report’s discussion of FNS updating its food allowance for the WIC program.
NMPF also worked with several members, including House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Andy Harris (R-MD) and Reps. David Valadao (R-CA) and Josh Harder (D-CA), to give priority to NMPF’s request for additional funding for USDA’s Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program to further support those farmers who were impacted by the program’s five-million-pound limitation. Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) committed to working with those lawmakers to address this issue as the bill advances.
The House is expected to pass its appropriations measures before members return home for the August in-district work period, with the Senate expected to release its bills this summer. NMPF will continue building bipartisan support for dairy programs and issues as the appropriations process moves forward, working to ensure the continuing advancement of the priorities of dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own.