Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees signed the 2018 Farm Bill conference report yesterday. This is the final product of negotiations between the committees. The report now must be voted on by both chambers of Congress.
The report does include authorization of a new foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank, which is a priority for NCBA and KLA. The current U.S. bank contains only enough vaccine for a small, confined FMD outbreak. Preparation of a ready-to-administer vaccine currently would take weeks, which would place the entire U.S. beef industry in economic and animal welfare chaos.
“The FMD bank will provide critical protection to rural economies, and we look forward to working with Secretary Perdue and Congress to address future funding needs,” said NCBA President Kevin Kester.
NCBA and KLA continue to support full, mandatory funding of $150 million per year for five years to provide a robust U.S. vaccine bank capable of producing the supplies needed for any potential FMD outbreak. NCBA is urging Congress to pass the 2018 Farm Bill before Christmas.