Next Step: SCFBA Co-Chair Outlines Farm Bill Process

Clint ThompsonFarm Bill

By Clint Thompson

The House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the farm bill before Memorial Day. But now what? What’s the next step in the process of moving towards a final piece of legislation, hopefully, before the end of the year?

Kam Quarles/Photo courtesy of National Potato Council

Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council and co-chair of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA), outlined what producers and ag industry experts can expect to see over the next few months.

“The House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee, those are the experts on farm policy in Congress. They’ve got the staff expertise as well as the members who have the most knowledge and investment in agriculture,” Quarles said. “They write the first bills and then sit in committee and mark those bills up. Essentially, they make sure that they reflect all of the priorities of the committee members. Then it’s got to go out to the wider body, so in the case of the House Ag Committee, it now needs to go to the full House and be passed by a majority of the House.

“That action, hopefully, will be mirrored by the Senate and then ultimately there will be differences between the House and the Senate bills that will be resolved in a conference committee. Assuming those things can happen, which will result in one uniform bill that again is passed by both the House and the Senate, sent to the president and signed into law.”


The SCFBA is comprised of more than 200 specialty crop organizations and represents growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products.