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Agriculture funding details from the proposed 2024 appropriations bill.

By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice

Senate and Congressional leaders released the first package of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations package on March 3 after months of stalled bills and a looming government shutdown. Of the $467.5 billion appropriations package, funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration includes over $26 billion.

The funding bills must be passed by March 8, or another stop-gap measure will be required to avoid a shutdown.

According to a press release from the Committee on Appropriations, the House Republican Conference sought to change the trajectory of federal funding and put an end to wasteful spending, specifically citing initiatives that received billions of dollars outside the normal appropriations process.

“The final Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills achieve what we set out to do: strategically increase defense spending and make targeted cuts to wasteful non-defense programs,” Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger said in the press release.

The Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Act is one of the six bills included in the first package, covering investments in agricultural research, rural water infrastructure, and animal and plant health programs among other areas.

Foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land is also addressed in the bill by improving the tracking system of foreign-owned land and adding the Secretary of Agriculture to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.

As a member of CFIUS, the USDA secretary will be involved in any transactions involving agricultural land, biotechnology, and industry, with $1 million allocated to improve the USDA’s collection and reporting of foreign transactions.


Within the budget for agricultural programs, the Agricultural Research Service secured $1.788 billion, reflecting an increase of over $43 million from last year primarily geared toward addressing emerging pests and diseases.

Animal traceability efforts — electronic identification tags for cattle and bison — will receive $15 million of the $1.162 billion received by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Both the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Agricultural Marketing Service received lower allotments than in 2023 to cut back on less crucial programs. NIFA funding maintains $1.678 billion for land-grant universities.

Two other funding reductions compared to 2023 include the Risk Management Agency which received $65.637 million and the Natural Resources Conservation Service which received $914.9 million, $26 million down from 2023 due to removed funding for equity initiatives.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service may see a $31.7 million increase, reaching $1.19 billion to ensure meat and poultry inspectors are well-funded. Additionally, the FDA obtained $6.521 billion to support safeguarding efforts in the food and drug supply. Commodity Futures Trading Commission maintained equal funding to 2023 levels, securing $365 million — $46 million below the President’s Budget Request.

Extra funds to enhance the tracking system for foreign land ownership are included in the $1.209 billion allocated to the Farm Service Agency, and the FSA Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund received over $10 billion in total program loan authorizations.

Rural Development programs obtained a total of $3.6 billion, focusing on home ownership and infrastructure lending, including $90 million for ReConnect broadband funding.

Child Nutrition programs saw a significant boost, reaching $33.266 billion, $4.7 billion above 2023 funding. This includes the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Summer Food Programs.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children secured $7.03 billion — a $1.03 billion increase — while the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program received $122.4 billion, adjusting for the end of COVID-related benefits and a decrease in participation rates.

Support for low-income seniors will come from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program which received $389 million, a $50 million increase. The Foreign Agricultural Service obtained $2.06 billion, with reductions of $63 million in the Food for Peace Program and $3.3 million from the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

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