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What does the Farm Bill extension mean for Indian Country? Q&A with IFAI’s Kristiana Coutu


November 30, 2023 - Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative


The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI), the Native Farm Bill Coalition's research partner, shared a Q&A with industry expert Kristiana Coutu discussing the latest for the Farm Bill. Read an excerpt of the article:


After a couple of tumultuous months, the Farm Bill is officially extended. In mid-November, just before Congress left town for the holiday break, the House and Senate agreed to a one-year extension of the current Farm Bill with a new expiration date of September 30, 2024.   


The 2018 Farm Bill, The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, expired on September 30, 2023, and since that time, USDA and producers have been operating without certainty of whether programs authorized and funded in the Farm Bill would continue.   


The November extension, at the minimum, provides short-term certainty, although industry groups are anxious for new Farm Bill negotiations to begin. An extension does not mean that lawmakers need to wait until September 2024 to enact a new farm bill. They could enact one at any time and several have indicated Spring 2024 as the goal.


Interested in the legislative details? Here is a recap: 


  • The Farm Bill extension is included in the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 initiated in HR 6363 passed by the House of Representatives on Nov. 14, the Senate on Nov. 15, and signed into law by President Biden on Nov.16 as Public Law No: 118-22.  

  • As its name suggests, the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 includes more than a Farm Bill extension, it also includes an extension of appropriations which prevented a government shutdown due to expiring appropriations legislation. 

  • The new law extends agency appropriations funding in a staggered approach.  Extended until Jan 19, 2024, are: Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (VA) and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Extended until Feb 2, 2024, are the remaining eight funding bills.   

  • The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative serves as the NFBC’s research partner. IFAI’s Director of Policy, Research, and Tribal Governance, Kristiana Coutu, helps breakdown common questions regarding the current Farm Bill process.


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