skip to main content

S. 2839: Assist Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018

The text of the bill below is as of May 15, 2018 (Introduced).


II

115th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2839

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 15, 2018

(for himself, Ms. Smith, Mr. Jones, Mr. Udall, and Mr. Heinrich) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

A BILL

To amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to improve assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and veteran farmers and ranchers, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Assist Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018.

2.

Outreach and assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and veteran farmers and ranchers

Section 2501(a) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(B), by striking agricultural and inserting agricultural, forestry, and related;

(2)

in paragraph (3)—

(A)

by redesignating subparagraphs (B) through (D) as subparagraphs (E) through (G), respectively;

(B)

by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following:

(B)

Maximum term and amount of grant, contract, or agreement

A grant, contract, or agreement entered into under this paragraph shall be—

(i)

for a term that is not more than 3 years; and

(ii)

in an amount that is not more than $200,000 for each year of the grant, contract, or agreement.

(C)

Peer review

The Secretary shall establish a fair and efficient external peer review process that—

(i)

the Secretary shall use in making grants and entering into contracts and other agreements under subparagraph (A); and

(ii)

shall include a broad representation of peers of the eligible entity.

(D)

Input from eligible entities

The Secretary shall seek input from eligible entities providing technical assistance under this subsection not less than once each year to ensure that the program is responsive to the eligible entities providing that technical assistance.

; and

(C)

in subsection (G) (as so redesignated), by adding at the end the following:

(v)

The number of farms or ranches started, maintained, or improved as a result of funds made available under the program.

(vi)

Actions taken by the Secretary in partnership with eligible entities to enhance participation in agricultural programs by veteran farmers or ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.

(vii)

The effectiveness of the actions described in clause (vi).

; and

(3)

in paragraph (4)—

(A)

in subparagraph (A)—

(i)

in the subparagraph heading, by striking 2018 and inserting 2023;

(ii)

in clause (ii), by striking and at the end;

(iii)

in clause (iii), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(iv)

by adding at the end the following:

(iv)

$10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, to remain available until expended.

; and

(B)

in subparagraph (E), by striking 2018 and inserting 2023.

3.

Transparency and accountability for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and veteran farmers and ranchers

Section 2501A of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279–1) is amended—

(1)

in the section heading, by inserting and veteran farmers and ranchers before the period at the end;

(2)

in subsection (a), by inserting and veteran farmers and ranchers before in programs;

(3)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

by striking the subsection designation and heading and all that follows through the term the first place it appears and inserting the following:

(b)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher

The term

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

Veteran farmer or rancher

The term veteran farmer or rancher has the meaning given the term in section 2501(e).

; and

(4)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting and veteran farmers or ranchers after ranchers; and

(ii)

in subparagraph (A), by striking and gender and inserting gender, and veteran status;

(B)

by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (4) as paragraphs (3) through (5), respectively;

(C)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

5-year requirement

Not later than March 31, 2020, and every 5 years thereafter, for each county and State in the United States, the Secretary shall—

(A)

compile data on—

(i)

the number of base acres of each program crop owned by farmers or ranchers;

(ii)

payment yields for each program crop made by farmers or ranchers;

(iii)

the number of fee waivers and premium reductions provided to farmers or ranchers under the noninsured crop disaster assistance program established by section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333);

(iv)

the number of loans guaranteed by the Secretary to farmers or ranchers;

(v)

the allocation of grazing permits by the Forest Service to farmers or ranchers; and

(vi)

the race, ethnicity, gender, and veteran status of each farmer or rancher under clauses (i) through (v), subject to appropriate privacy protections, as determined by the Secretary; and

(B)

organize the data compiled under clauses (i) through (v) of subparagraph (A) according to the categories described in clause (vi) of that subparagraph.

;

(D)

in paragraph (3) (as so redesignated)—

(i)

by striking and ethnicity and inserting ethnicity, and veteran status; and

(ii)

by striking paragraph (1) and inserting paragraphs (1) and (2);

(E)

in paragraph (4) (as so redesignated)—

(i)

by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (C) as clauses (i) through (iii), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(ii)

by striking the paragraph designation and heading and all that follows through Using and inserting the following:

(4)

Reports

(A)

In general

Using

;

(iii)

in subparagraph (A) (as so redesignated), in the matter preceding clause (i) (as so redesignated), by striking under paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

under—

(i)

paragraph (1); and

(ii)

in a separate report, under paragraph (2).

(B)

Contents

Each report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall contain data

; and

(iv)

in subparagraph (B) (as so redesignated), in the matter preceding clause (i) (as so redesignated), by striking that paragraph and inserting paragraphs (1) and (2), as applicable,; and

(F)

in paragraph (5) (as so redesignated), by striking the report described in paragraph (3) and inserting the reports described in paragraph (4).