President Obama Signs 2014 Farm Bill
The bill, officially the Agriculture Act of 2014, includes provisions for crop insurance, and helps the rural community with investments in hospitals, schools, affordable housing and broadband infrastructure and assists businesses developing biofuels, among other things, Obama said at
"And it does all this while reforming agriculture programs by clamping down on loopholes" that pay farmers whether they plant crops or not and "saves taxpayers' hard-earned dollars" by supporting farmers when disaster strikes or prices drop.
After nearly four years of fighting between Democrats and Republicans, the five-year,
The massive package includes a sweeping overhaul of federal farm and nutrition policies on what farmers grow, how food is packaged and sold and how the government helps the poor pay for their food.
While the bill doesn't include everything he, Democrats or Republicans wants, Obama said it was a "good sign" of Democrats and Republicans putting aside partisan differences to pass the bill.
Despite its name, the farm bill is "not just about helping farmers," Obama said. "It's creating more good jobs and gives more Americans a shot at opportunity."
Besides putting in place reforms, the farm bill "helps make sure American children don't go hungry," Obama said against a backdrop of farm equipment, produce and fruit.
Those who use the
"They're not looking for a handout, they're looking for a hand up," he said.
The president said the majority of SNAP participants were children, the elderly and those with disabilities. In 2012, he said the food stamp program kept nearly 5 million people, including 2 million, out of poverty.
He said any farm bill presented to him had to include "protections for vulnerable Americans. This bill does that."
Obama also used the bill-signing to tout his new "Made in Rural America" program to help expand markets for farm products worldwide.
Obama instructed the
Among other things, the strategy includes training sessions and conferences designed to connect investors with rural business leaders, promote rural exports and provide training and resources to local
During his remarks, Obama said he had lunch with
"He told me that if there's one thing he wants everybody to know, it's that
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