WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies – today applauded the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of the FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. Included in this legislation is language from Sen. Moran that fully-funds the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan and provides the necessary resources for the USDA’s planned relocation of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to Kansas City.
“From farmers and ranchers to researchers and veterinarians, this appropriations bill includes a number of measures to support agriculture across our state during an extremely tough time for the ag community,” said Sen. Moran. “I’m proud to have many Kansas priorities included in this legislation on issues relating to NBAF, USDA’s relocation of agencies to Kansas City, rural broadband and veterans in agriculture. I appreciate the Senate coming together in a bipartisan fashion to show our care, appreciation and support for our nation’s producers and all those who support this noble work.”
This appropriations bill supports NBAF, the USDA’s relocation of ERS and NIFA, 2018 Farm Bill implementation, rural broadband deployment, agricultural research, conservation programs and food and drug safety. It also creates incentives for military veterans to enter careers in agriculture.
Included in this legislation are several Sen. Moran-supported provisions:
NBAF – Champions the completion of and fully-funds the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan and supports the workforce needs of this state-of-the-art facility with the inclusion of $3 million for workforce development, training and education.
Relocation of ERS & NIFA – Provides the necessary resources for USDA’s planned relocation of the ERS and NIFA to the Kansas City region, a move that was announced in June.
Agricultural Research – Increases investments in key agricultural research priorities important to Kansas farmers and ranchers, including research focused on wheat, sorghum and alfalfa.
Farmer Mental Health – Includes funds for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to provide grants to extension services and nonprofit organizations that offer mental health and stress assistance programs to farmers, ranchers and others involved in agriculture.
Rural Broadband – Continues investments in broadband to support deployment of this critical digital infrastructure across rural and underserved areas. Includes measures to ensure the coordination between the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in their work to expand broadband and prevent overbuilding. This bill also requires USDA to review the administration of its new pilot ReConnect broadband loan and grant program to ensure these significant federal investments are maximized and put to use in rural communities that need it most.
International Food Assistance – Maintains the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, erected by former U.S. Senators Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and George McGovern (D-S.D.). This legislation also prioritizes Food for Peace initiatives which support the delivery of American-grown food to foreign countries experiencing chronic hunger crises.
Veterans in Agriculture – Includes $5 million for a grant program established by Sen. Moran to help veterans transition into farming, ranching and other careers in agriculture.