Rep. Soto Passes Five Bills in Final Farm Bill

December 12, 2018
Press Release
Provisions will create new programs for farming training for veterans, high-tech sensors and algae research, and prioritize seed-breeding research

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed five bills introduced by Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09) in the Conference Report on H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (more commonly known as the Farm Bill), a bill to strengthen our nation’s farm and food economy. In the Farm Bill, Rep. Soto helped secure $125 million to combat citrus greening, a key Florida industry; $300 million for the National Animal Health Vaccine Bank that will help the ranchers in Central Florida prepare for potential outbreak of disease; funding for priority conservation programs; and fully fund food assistance programs for Florida’s families.  

“Florida’s economy, and in particular our district’s economy, relies on the thriving farmers and ranchers in our community. With our constituents in mind, I am proud to have secured these vital provisions in the Farm Bill to support our agricultural industry in Central Florida, while nationally protecting SNAP benefits, supporting strong conservation programs, investing in research, increasing rural economic development, and ensuring families have the nutrition support they need,” stated Rep. Soto. “There was nearly two years of work put into this critical bipartisan legislation. This final bill is a win for farmers and conservationists, as well as Florida’s families.”

Rep. Soto’s original bills that were included in the final bill are:

  1. H.R. 5169, Sensor Research: (section 7305), prioritizes specialty crop research on sensor and imager technology in agriculture.
  2. H.R. 2659, BARD Act: (section 7122), which codifies the appropriated U.S. – Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Program, which is a cooperative research and development agriculture program between the United States and Israel.
  3. HR. 5234, Algae Research: (section 9010), removes algae from the list of excluded materials for biomass crop research.
  4. H.R. 5448, Agriculture Assistance for Disabled Veterans: (section 7214), provides for assistive technology for veterans with disabilities and makes behavioral therapy programs eligible for grants under this program.

Rep. Soto also co-led the following bill with Rep. Mark Pocan which passed in the Farm Bill:

  • H.R. 5208, Seeds for the Future: (sections 7205 and 7206), which reinvests our public seed breeding and research programs, while improving coordination across the federal agencies that support these activities.

The Farm Bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 369 to 47 and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. With the passage of this bill, Congressman Soto has passed 11 bills in the 115th Congress.