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Heroes Act Agriculture Provisions

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In Title I – Livestock:

Livestock Dealer Trust
The bill establishes a livestock dealer trust fund to ensure that livestock producers making cash transactions are paid for their animals. (Section 60101)
Emergency assistance to producers of depopulated market-ready livestock
The bill provides payments for livestock and poultry that are depopulated due to processing plant shut-downs and back-ups because of the health emergency. Payments may not exceed the average market value of the market ready livestock or poultry on the date of depopulation. Packer -owned animals are not eligible for coverage. (Section 60102)
Farm Bill Animal Disease Prevention and Management Fund
The bill provides $300 million to support improved animal health surveillance and laboratory capacity in this public health emergency. (Section 60103)

In Title II – Dairy

Emergency Dairy Donation Program
The bill provides $500 million to pay for milk to be processed into dairy products and donated to non-profit entities (food banks, feeding programs, etc.). Under the framework of the program, the dairy processor and non-profit develop a plan for donation and distribution, that plan is reviewed by USDA, and USDA pays for the milk associated with the donated products at current Class I value. The bill allows USDA to adjust the existing Milk Donation Program payments to match the level of payment provided by this new, temporary program. (Section 60201)
Supplemental Margin Coverage
The bill provides necessary cash flow assistance to small- and mid-sized dairies that have grown over the last seven years by establishing supplemental margin coverage based on the difference between 2019 actual production and Dairy Margin Coverage production history. (Section 60202)
Dairy Recourse Loan Program
The bill provides $500 million for USDA to carry out a recourse loan program to make purchases of dairy products from dairy processors, packagers, merchants, marketers, wholesalers, and distributors. (Section 60203)
Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Premium
The bill supports DMC as an effective risk management tool, reducing the cost of DMC premiums for operations that commit to participating in the program for 2021-2023 by providing a payment worth 15% of annual premium costs. (Section 60204)

In Title III – Specialty Crops and Other Commodities

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The bill provides $100 million in additional funding to address COVID-19 specialty crop supply chain issues at the state level via the farm bill’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. (Section 60301)
Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP)
The bill provides $50 million in additional funding to support local farmers, farmers markets, and other local food outlets who are impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions through the farm bill’s LAMP program. The bill temporarily waives matching requirements for these additional funds. (Section 60302)
Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach (FOTO)
The bill provides $50 million to the farm bill’s FOTO grants to support groups providing beginning farmers and ranchers with financial, operational, and marketing advice in this difficult market. The bill temporarily waives matching requirements for these additional funds. (Section 60303)
Block Grants to States for existing farm stress program
The bill provides $28 million to be distributed as block grants to state departments of agriculture for use to support existing farm stress programs. (Section 60304)
Assistance to biofuels producers and textile mills
The bill provides direct support for renewable fuels and cotton textile mills that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Section 60305)
Producer payments for COVID-19 losses
The bill provides $16.5 billion for direct payments to agricultural producers whose commodities were impacted by market disruptions due to the COVID-19 emergency. (Section 60306)

In Title IV – Commodity Credit Corporation

Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) amendments
The bill amends the CCC Charter Act to add authority for the Secretary to deal with removal and disposal of livestock and poultry due to supply chain interruption during a public health emergency. Amends the CCC Charter Act to add authority to provide assistance to agricultural processing plants in the event of a public health emergency in order to assure the continuation of markets for agricultural commodities. (Section 60401)
CCC Funding Approval
The bill amends the CCC Charter Act to require Congressional notification before disbursement of CCC funding. (Section 60402)

In Title V – Conservation

Emergency Soil Health Incentive Pilot Program
The bill expands the Conservation Reserve Program Soil Health Incentive Pilot Program by giving producers facing uncertain planting and market conditions an option for a 3-year contract with option to receive an up-front, lump sum payment. (Section 60501)

In Title VI – Nutrition

Farm to Food Bank Program
The bill provides $25 million for the Farm to Food Bank program and makes program improvements for these additional funds. The funds may be used to cover up to 100 percent of harvesting, processing, packaging, and transportation costs for commodities donated to food banks. Encourages prioritization of dairy, meat, poultry and specialty crops. (Section 60602)
TEFAP Waiver
The bill waives the non-Federal match requirement for administrative funds under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Under current law, states must distribute at least 40 percent of TEFAP administrative funds to emergency feeding organizations, however states are required to match funds they don’t distribute. (Section 60603)
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
The bill provides additional administrative flexibilities for the SFMNP, including that at the request of a state, the Secretary may waive any action that prevents the quick delivery of food to seniors through this program. (Section 60604)
FDPIR waiver
The bill provides flexibilities for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, including waiving the non-Federal share requirement for FDPIR funds provided under the CARES Act. The bill also allows SNAP households on Indian reservations who are unable to access SNAP retailers due to the COVID-19 outbreak to receive FDPIR. (Section 60605)
The bill increases the SNAP benefit level by 15%, as well as the block grant funding for Puerto Rico and American Samoa, through September 30, 2021. The bill also excludes the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation as countable income for SNAP benefit calculation. It increases the minimum SNAP benefit to $30 per month; waives all work requirements for SNAP for 2 years; and prevents funding for USDA to implement or finalize the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, Broad Based Categorical Eligibility, and Standard Utility Allowance rules. The bill also provides additional funding of $150 million per year for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to States for SNAP administration to meet the increased need for SNAP. (Section 60606)
SNAP purchases of hot foods
The bill directs USDA to allow households to use SNAP to purchase hot foods at currently authorized SNAP retailers during this public health emergency. (Section 60607)
SNAP-Ed flexibility
The bill provides flexibility for SNAP Nutrition Education in certain situations to assist with the distribution of non-congregate school meals. (Section 60608)
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