The Farm Bill
President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill) into law on February 7, 2014
The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food and agricultural programs through 2018. As Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has pointed out, this is not just a farm bill—it’s also a jobs bill and a research bill.
The Farm Bill grants NIFA the authority to continue programs that advance science in six priority areas:
- Agricultural economics and rural communities
- Agriculture systems and technology
- Animal health, production, and products
- Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
- Food safety, nutrition, and health
- Plant health, production, and products
In addition to providing the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) the authority to run its grant programs, the Farm Bill restores funding to mandatory programs that were previously supported through the 2008 farm bill:
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative/Citrus Disease Research and Extension
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
- Organic Research and Extension Initiative
- Bioenergy Programs
- Community Food Projects
- Extension Risk Management Education Program
- Biodiesel Fuel Education
NIFA's Current Administrative Actions
NIFA staff ensure that legislative and regulatory measures mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill are applied in direct compliance with requirements.
- Centers of Excellence
- Matching Requirements
- Commodity Boards
- Request for Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture Designation
New 1994 And 1890 Institutions
The latest farm bill identifies new 1994 (Native American tribal institutions) land-grant institutions (LGU) and an 1890 (historically black institutions) LGU.
- Central State University (CSU), in Ohio, has been designated as an 1890 LGU. Under the law, CSU was eligible to receive certain capacity funds in FY 2015 and others in fiscal year 2016.
- College of the Muscogee Nation and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College are designated as 1994 LGUs and was eligible to receive capacity funds in FY 2015.
Immediately after enactment, USDA established a farm bill implementation team composed of key sub-cabinet officials and experts from every mission area of the Department. This team will put new programs in place and make mandated reforms to existing programs. Significant progress has been made on every title of the Bill. Already underway are:
- Updates to risk management tools
- Modifications to farm loan programs
- Announcements regarding funds available for agricultural research
Find out more
The Agricultural Act of 2014 is important legislation that provides authorization for services and programs that impact every American and millions of people worldwide. For more information on the 2014 farm bill, visit http://www.usda.gov/farmbill.