WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, joined her fellow conferees at today’s public meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee. The conference committee—made up of nine senators and 47 House members—is tasked with reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.

During her opening remarks, Senator Ernst said, “With the livelihood of farmers and ranchers largely dependent on factors out of their control, completion of this Farm Bill is a must-do and a must-pass, as has been stated already. A Farm Bill can’t, can’t walk beans, a Farm Bill can’t change the forecast, and a Farm Bill can’t restore lost market access, but what it can do is provide our farmers with the tools to navigate this stretch of declining farm income, low commodity prices, and a very turbulent trade climate.”

Ernst continued, saying, “We have a real opportunity within this bill to make sure that we are feeding hungry Americans, protecting our natural resources, connecting our country through broadband, putting farmers first, and supporting rural jobs and economic development. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this effort.”

To watch Senator Ernst’s remarks in full, click here.