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U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for reelection in 2024, spoke to UW-Madison students on Friday. (Baylor Spears | Wisconsin Examiner)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin applauds Senate Ag Committee’s farm bill framework

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) applauded the Senate Agricultural Committee’s framework for the upcoming Farm Bill re-authorization, which includes several bipartisan initiatives she champions that meet the needs of Wisconsin’s farmers, families, and rural communities. The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act includes bipartisan bills and initiatives led by Senator Baldwin that help dairy operations grow their business, deliver mental health support to farmers, protect Wisconsin agricultural land from foreign investments, and improve the quality of life for families in rural communities.

“From volatile prices to lack of access to health care, we know that our farmers are facing headwinds, and my priority is helping them address these challenges head on in the Farm Bill,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “This framework invests in our Made in Wisconsin agriculture economy, helps provide clean water and safe drinking water, and protects our farmland for generations to come, and I’m fighting to get this bill across the finish line and make a difference for Wisconsinites.”

The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act reflects more than two years of bipartisan work on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and incorporates more than 100 bipartisan bills. It addresses the issue of foreign ownership of farmland, builds on our commitment to rural communities, makes meaningful investments into the farm safety net to provide certainty to all farmers, ensures that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) keeps up with the realities of American life, and brings the historic investment in climate-smart conservation practices into the Farm Bill.  

The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act also includes the following initiatives Senator Baldwin worked to include:

Supporting Wisconsin’s Dairy Industry: The bill includes Senator Baldwin’s bipartisan Dairy Business Innovation Act of 2023 to reauthorize and increase the authorization level for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program. It also builds on the successful Dairy Margin Coverage safety net to help dairy farmers protect against milk price drops or high feed costs.

Connecting Wisconsin Farmers with Mental Health Resources: The bill includes Baldwin’s Farmers First Act of 2023 to expand the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to address the mental health epidemic in rural America and expand access to critical mental health support and resources for our nation’s agricultural communities.

Protecting American Farmland from Foreign Investment: It includes provisions from Senator Baldwin’s Farmland Security Act of 2023 to improve how the United States Department of Agriculture tracks foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land.

Upgrading Critical Water Infrastructure: The bill includes Baldwin’s Healthy H2O Act to improve rural testing for drinking water contaminants. It also provides mandatory funding for rural water infrastructure to help Wisconsinites with private wells and small communities test and treat emerging contaminants like PFAS.

Protecting Wisconsin’s Rural Communities: The bill provides mandatory funding for the Community Facilities program to fund rural hospitals, childcare centers, and other essential rural infrastructure. It also makes permanent a new Rural Partnership Program to advance economic development in rural communities and help them overcome barriers to obtaining federal funding and resources.

A full summary of the bill is available here.

A section-by-section is available here

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