New farm bill increases investments in specialty crops

04/22/2014 09:45:00 AM
Lisa Lochridge


The farm bill fast track

Although the path to completing the Farm Bill was a long one, the implementation process is progressing rapidly. Stuart recently participated in Rep. Tom Rooney’s Florida Agriculture Fly-In. The attendees met with House Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan and other officials involved in federal agriculture policymaking.  

Participants heard directly from key officials working on implementation of the farm bill, particularly the funding that was targeted for citrus greening research.
FFVA representatives also joined others from the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance in meetings at the USDA to address the process for making the specialty crop provisions of the Farm Bill a reality.

To date, the Alliance has held meetings on the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Both programs contain new levels of funding and requirements, so the industry and USDA sat down to compare notes about how to ensure the process unfolds as intended.

Many more meetings are planned as USDA takes on the huge task of implementing this landmark new legislation.

Lisa Lochridge is the director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland. She can be reached at 321-214-5206 or

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