President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill) into law on February 7. The farm bill authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food and agricultural programs through 2018. As Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has pointed out, this is not just a farm bill—it’s also a jobs bill and a research bill.
How is NIFA Impacted?
In addition to providing the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) the authority to run its grant programs, the 2014 farm bill restores funding to mandatory programs that were previously supported through the 2008 farm bill:
The Farm Bill also enacted several new requirements and provisions in 2014 including:
New 1994 and 1890 institutions
The latest farm bill identifies new 1994 (Native American tribal institutions) land-grant institutions (LGU) and an 1890 (historically black institutions) LGU.
- Central State University (CSU), in Ohio, has been designated as an 1890 LGU. Under the law, CSU will be eligible to receive certain capacity funds in October 2014 and others in fiscal year 2016.
- College of the Muscogee Nation and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College are designated as 1994 LGUs and will be eligible to receive capacity funds in October 2014.
Immediately after enactment, USDA established a farm bill implementation team composed of key sub-cabinet officials and experts from every mission area of the Department. This team will put new programs in place and make mandated reforms to existing programs. Significant progress has been made on every title of the Bill. Already underway are:
- updates to risk management tools
- modifications to farm loan programs
- announcements regarding funds available for agricultural research
Find out more
The Agricultural Act of 2014 is important legislation that provides authorization for services and programs that impact every American and millions of people worldwide. For more information on the 2014 farm bill, visit http://www.usda.gov/farmbill.