WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley announced several key wins to help farming communities in Oregon and across the country. As the Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, Senator Merkley has vowed to use his position to fight for Oregon’s priorities and middle class families.
This week, the Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.
Senator Merkley sits on the Agriculture Subcommittee and secured key wins in the Agriculture bill for pollination research, promoting energy efficiency improvements to homes and buildings in rural communities, and for programs that fund forest research at Oregon State University.
“Oregon’s economic success depends on the success of our family farms,” said Merkley. “Agriculture policy can’t just be about big agribusiness. That’s why I’ve been fighting for resources for research to help specialty crop producers, to boost Oregon’s wood products industry, and to help rural homeowners and businesses invest in cost-saving energy efficiency renovations, as a few examples. Because of misguided sequester policies, there are funding levels in this bill that are too low and counterproductive, and I hope a budget deal will come together to allow us to properly meet our obligations and invest in our future. But given the limits in place, this bill will do well by Oregon more about that and viral America.”
Key victories in the Agriculture bill include:
- $3.5 million for the ARS Forest Products Lab, which will support Oregon State University’s advance cutting edge wood research, development, and design
- $2 million for the Rural Energy Savings Program, which is the budget authority level that will support approximately $15 million in loans
- $500 thousand for a pollinator study in the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS)
- $2 million in the Agriculture Research Service for increased pollinator research
- $10 million for local and regional purchases of commodities in the McGovern-Dole international food aid program
- Reinstated the vineyard production survey to gather information essential to long term production planning for Oregon winemakers