Every five years, Congress passes omnibus legislation, commonly
called the "Farm Bill" that sets national agriculture, nutrition,
conservation, and forestry policy. The Agriculture Act of 2014
passed the Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was signed into law in February 2014. Getting to passage was a long and arduous process that engaged the ag/food, industrial and environmental biotechnology sector considerably. Provisions in the Farm Bill of relevance to the bio-industry included:
Reauthorizes and provides $880 million for energy programs established in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Expands Biorefinery Assistance Program to include bio-based product and renewable chemical manufacturing.
Expands Bio-preferred program to include forestry products.
Endows $200 million for a foundation for agricultural research.
Doubles the funding for SCRI to $80 million annually
The Farm Bill represents a key opportunity to provide new and expanded investments in renewable energy, biofuel, and bio-based product manufacturing, all of which can create jobs and contribute to sustained economic growth.