Farm bill may harvest money for agriculture program

Dr. Jennifer Ryder Fox, Dean of the college of agriculture

Additional funding may come to Chico State’s College of Agriculture after a farm bill was voted through the House of Representatives on Jan. 29.

The bill comes after a two-year impasse between the Democratic and Republican parties and authorized $1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs.

The faculty in the College of Agriculture will be eligible for up to $4 million of grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, wrote Jennifer Ryder Fox, dean of the College of Agriculture, in an email.

Previously, two Chico State professors have received $300,000 in funding from the the federal government and additional funding would be a major achievement for Chico State, Fox wrote.

“There is also funding for specialty crops, farmers markets, local food promotion programs and organic research, which can have positive ramifications for some of our faculty and the community,” Fox wrote.

In terms of the Chico community as a whole, the bill may affect the farming community differently.

The bill could create a livestock disaster program and has rewritten parts of the crop insurance provisions which would assist farmers in drought conditions, much like the conditions California farmers are experiencing now, Fox wrote.

However, the farm bill has only passed in the House, so the impact it will make on Chico State or in the community will not be known until it passes in the Senate as well.

For now, Chico State’s College of Agriculture will have to remain optimistic on the bill passing in the Senate, Fox wrote.

“I am relieved the bill has passed the House and am awaiting the final bill before uncrossing my fingers,” Fox wrote.

Madison Holmes can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.