The House Agriculture Committee has released a fact sheet detailing the agriculture and forestry provisions included in President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, which awaits a vote in the U.S. House.
“The agricultural provisions in the Build Back Better plan include billions of dollars for critical investments in agriculture and our rural communities,” the committee said in a press release. Included in the package are multiple bipartisan proposals that House Agriculture Committee members have fought to include.
“These timely investments will provide resources to mitigate climate change, improve quality of life in rural communities and commit millions of dollars to agricultural education across the country,” the committee said.
That includes $28.29 billion in historic investments in vital conservation programs and support for farmers and producers.
Conservation investments include:
• $9 billion in additional funding for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program.
• $7.15 billion in additional funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
• $5 billion for soil conservation assistance for producers who establish cover crops for soil health. Participating producers would receive payments equal to $25 an acre for up to 1,000 acres. Non-operating landowners would receive $5 an acre.
• $3.75 billion in additional funding for the Conservation Stewardship Program.
• $1.25 billion in additional funding for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
• $600 million for Natural Resource Conservation Service to carry out a carbon sequestration and greenhouse-gas emissions quantification program.
• $200 million to provide conservation technical assistance through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
• $50 million for NRCS and Regional Climate Hubs to provide information and technical support on climate smart agriculture and forestry.
The Build Back Better plan also includes $27.15 billion for forestry programs to help combat forest fires and contribute to healthy forests, according to the House Agriculture Committee.
It invests $18 billion in rural job-promoting investments to ensure those living in rural America, on tribal lands and insular areas have access to clean water and reliable and efficient renewable energy. This funding will also support investment in renewable biofuels infrastructure important to farmers and the fight against climate change and flexible funding for rural community growth.
The plan would also invest $12 billion in critical debt relief for farmers in need and for USDA to tailor its programs to support new and existing farmers through outreach, education, and technical assistance. This is offset by $6 billion in funding that was included in the American Rescue Plan Act.
It also includes $2 billion in investments in agricultural research and infrastructure. Other countries like China are outspending the U.S. on research investments, and this money will help close the gap.
The fact sheet can be found at https://agriculture.house.gov under “news.”