Delaware Public Media

Farm Bill passes Congress with expanded safety net programs for Delaware farmers

Dec 12, 2018

The 2018 Farm Bill is heading to the president for his signature after both chambers of Congress passed a compromise version this week.


It provides nearly $870 billion for items ranging from low-income food assistance and rural broadband access to organic research.

The compromise rejected attempts to add stricter work requirements for people getting food assistance, a controversial proposal by House Republicans.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester says she’s happy the Farm Bill leaves out the House Republicans’ plan to increase work requirements on SNAP recipients since the majority of them already work.

“All of us, especially myself as former Secretary of Labor, want to see people work," she said. "I mean, we have 7 million unfilled jobs. But we also want to do it in a way that is smart and is funded appropriately.”

The bill expands insurance to cover new crops, expands farm subsidies and gives greater supports for dairy producers.

Blunt Rochester said it’s important for Congress to expand safety net programs for farmers in Delaware and across the country because of trade uncertainty.

“Our farmers are hurting," she said. "You know, particularly in Delaware when we even look at our soybean farmers. The impact of what the president does in China has an impact right here at home.”

The legislation also brings additional money for Chesapeake Bay conservation and 40 million dollars in new scholarship funding to Historically Black Universities like Delaware State University.