WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded the President for signing the 2018 Farm Bill into law. The bipartisan legislation included multiple wins for North Carolina’s farmers, including legislation he co-sponsored that delists hemp as a controlled substance, allowing NC’s hemp farming industry to continue to grow. The bill also includes the Carryover Equity Act (S.2384), legislation co-sponsored by Tillis which allows HBCUs the same financial flexibility that other land grants currently enjoy by eliminating an outdated provision that prohibited 1890 land grants (all HBCUs) from carrying over more than 20% of all extension funding.
“The bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill is a win for America’s farmers following a tough year consisting of trade disputes and natural disasters,” said Senator Tillis. “I am proud the final version of this legislation contained multiple provisions I fought for on behalf of North Carolina’s farmers, including legislation to spur investment in rural businesses and to keep North Carolina’s textile and cotton industries globally competitive. I am also glad the Carryover Equity Act to give HBCUs the same financial flexibility that other land grants enjoy was included. I’m grateful to Chairman Roberts for his leadership in developing and building support for this important bipartisan legislation and to President Trump for signing it into law.”
Tillis-championed provisions in the Farm Bill include:
- The Rural Jobs and Investment Act, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senators Tillis, Cassidy and Gillibrand. The bill spurs investment in rural business and creates rural jobs by creating a new grant program, the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) program. Administered by USDA, the program will provide grant funding to rural entrepreneurs and job accelerators. Additionally, the bill expands rural businesses access to capital.
- The Carryover Equity Act, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Tillis which allows HBCUs the same financial flexibility that other land grants currently enjoy by eliminating an outdated provision that prohibited 1890 land grants (all HBCUs) from carrying over more than 20% of all extension funding.
- The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Tillis which delists hemp from as a controlled substance, allowing for the continued growth of North Carolina’s hemp farming industry.
- Expansion of USDA’s ability to conduct pilots on mobile technologies for accessing SNAP program benefits.
- Maintaining cotton and textile programs which support the continued competitiveness of North Carolina’s cotton and textile industries.
- Funding and provisions to protect NC livestock industry from the threat of foreign animal diseases - $300 million in mandatory funding for research, testing, and a vaccine stockpile.
- Funding for the Foreign Market Development program, the Market Access Program, and the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program all of which are designed to promote U.S. agricultural exports.
- Securing an update to what is known as the 10 Acre Rule. Many NC farms are “patchworked” together meaning lots of small parcels compile a larger, complete farm. However, existing commodity support program eligibility rules prevent farmers that patchwork their parcels to make up more than 10 acres total from participating.