Hoeven: Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill Includes Support for Ag Research & Production, Rural Development

Senator Worked To Support Priorities for ND Universities, Farmers, Ranchers & Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which he serves, has approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Hoeven worked with his fellow appropriators to secure funding across a wide variety of programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that support priorities for universities, farmers, ranchers and rural communities across North Dakota and the nation.

“Our farmers, ranchers and the rural communities where they live and work are a vibrant and vital part of our nation’s economy,” Hoeven said. “This funding will support agriculture production in North Dakota and across the country, while also helping to ensure that our rural residents have a high quality of life and access to essential services.”

The funding bill provides support for the following programs for FY17:

• National Institutes for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) - $1.364 billion - NIFA is critical to funding agriculture research, cooperative forestry and cooperative extension programs at America’s land-grant institutions, such as North Dakota State University, and Native American colleges and universities. Includes funding for research in support of alfalfa and potato production.
• Agricultural Research Service (ARS) - $1.178 billion - ARS is USDA’s in-house research arm and maintains facilities such as the North Dakota’s Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo. Includes funding to organize cooperative projects to develop effective methods for combating the sclerotinia fungus that affects sunflowers, soybeans, canola, edible beans, peas and lentils.

• Wildlife Damage Management - $102 million - Helps protect human health while also preventing and managing damage to natural resources, public infrastructure, private property and agriculture production due to conflicts with wildlife.
• Value-Added Producer Grants - $10.75 million - Helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of bio-based products.
• Water Bank Program - $4 million - Continues the Hoeven Water Bank initiative, providing compensation for farmers and landowners for flooded land through 10-year, voluntary conservation agreements, which is especially helpful for Devils Lake producers.

• Community Facilities Loan Guarantees - $156.25 million - Supports capital investments in rural America and enables the development of essential community facilities.
• Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants - $37 million - Funds capital improvements, primarily for equipment, for distance learning and telemedicine projects that serve rural residents.
• Rural Cooperative Development Grants - $22.3 million - Supports the establishment and operation of centers for rural cooperative development, which work to improve economic conditions in rural areas through new or improved cooperatives.
• Circuit Rider Program - $17 million - Supports USDA’s successful public-private partnership to provide technical expertise and training to rural water systems.