Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (02/07/1996)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Agricultural Market Transition Program

Title II: Agricultural Trade

Subtitle A: Amendments to Agricultural Trade

Development and Assistance Act of 1954 and Related

Statutes

Subtitle B: Amendments to Agricultural Trade Act of

1978

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous

Title III: Conservation

Subtitle A: Definitions

Subtitle B: Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve

Program

Subtitle C: Conservation Funding

Subtitle D: National Natural Resources Conservation

Foundation

Subtitle E: Miscellaneous

Title IV: Nutrition Assistance

Title V: Miscellaneous

Subtitle A: General Miscellaneous Provisions

Subtitle B: Options Pilot Programs and Risk Management

Education

Subtitle C: Commercial Transportation of Equine for

Slaughter

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous

Title VI: Credit

Subtitle A: Agricultural Credit

Subtitle B: Farm Credit System

Title VII: Rural Development

Subtitle A: Amendments to the Food, Agriculture,

Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990

Subtitle B: Amendments to the Consolidated Farm and

Rural Development Act

Subtitle C: Amendments to the Rural Electrification

Act of 1936

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Rural Development Provisions

Title VIII: Research Extension and Education

Subtitle A: Amendments to National Agricultural

Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of

1977 and Related Statutes

Subtitle B: Amendments to Food, Agriculture, Conservation,

and Trade Act of 1990

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Research Provisions

Title IX: Agricultural Promotion

Subtitle A: Popcorn

Subtitle B: Canola and Rapeseed

Subtitle C: Kiwifruit

Subtitle D: Commodity Promotion and Evaluation

Agricultural Reform and Improvement Act of 1996 - Title I: Agricultural Market Transition Program - Agricultural Market Transition Act - Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to enter into production flexibility contracts through crop year 2002 with eligible agricultural operators and owners with respect to conservation, wetlands, and planting flexibility requirements. Requires contracts to be entered into by April 15, 1996, with certain exceptions, for conservation reserve lands.

Defines eligible "owners and operators" and "farmland." Sets forth: (1) contract payment amounts for each of FY 1996 through 2002 and allocation amounts for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, upland cotton, and rice; and (2) annual payment rate factors.

Permits any commodity or crop to be planted on contract acreage with special provisions and limitations for fruit and vegetables, haying and grazing, alfalfa, and legumes.

(Sec. 104) Directs the Secretary to make nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for crop years 1996 through 2002 to producers of wheat, feed grains (corn, grain sorghum, barley, and oats), upland and extra long staple cotton, and oilseeds (sunflower, canola, rapeseed, safflower, mustard, flaxseed, and other oilseeds). Sets forth commodity loan rate, term, and repayment provisions.

Directs the Secretary to make loan deficiency payments to producers (of other than extra long staple cotton) who forego obtaining such nonrecourse loans in an amount equal to the difference between a commodity's loan rate and repayment level.

Establishes special marketing loan provisions for upland cotton, including: (1) cotton user marketing certificates; (2) a special import quota; and (3) a limited global import quota for upland cotton.

(Sec. 105) Establishes fiscal year payment limitations for individuals of: (1) $40,000 for flexibility contracts; and (2) $75,000 for marketing loan and loan deficiency payments.

(Sec. 106) Directs the Secretary to: (1) make nonrecourse loans available to quota peanut producers at $610 per ton and to additional peanut producers at appropriate rates; (2) make related warehouse storage loans available; (3) provide for marketing area pools for quota and additional peanuts, with separate pools for New Mexico-produced Valencia peanuts; (4) require that all domestic and export peanuts comply with specified quality standards; and (5) provide for a nonrefundable marketing assessment.

Provides that: (1) net gains from each marketing pool shall be distributed only to pool producers; and (2) losses in quota pools shall be covered using a specified order of priority.

Prohibits the Secretary from making quota peanut loans if producers have disapproved poundage quotas.

Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 with regard to the peanut program to: (1) extend peanut quota provisions through crop year 2002; (2) eliminate the minimum national poundage quota; (3) eliminate seed peanuts from the national poundage quota determination; (4) create a temporary quota allocation for seed peanuts; (5) eliminate the Texas increased quota allocation; and (5) authorize transfers of additional peanuts to the quota pool where natural disasters prevented quota poundage harvesting and marketing.

(Sec. 107) Directs the Secretary to make recourse loans available to processors of domestically grown sugarcane and sugar beets at 18 cents per pound and 22.9 cents per pound, respectively.

Sets loan terms at the earlier of nine months or the end of the fiscal year, with supplemental loans available for loans made in the last three months of a fiscal year.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide nonrecourse loans when the imported tariff rate quota for sugar imports exceeds 1.5 million short tons raw value.

Sets forth first processor sugarcane and sugar beet marketing assessment rates for FY 1996 through 2003, which shall be collected monthly and remitted to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Sets forth enforcement and reporting provisions.

Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to repeal marketing allotment provisions.

Makes this section applicable to the 1996 through 2002 crops of sugarcane and sugar beets.

(Sec. 108) Directs the Secretary to carry out the provisions of this subtitle through the CCC.

(Sec. 109) Repeals the Agricultural Act of 1949, with specified sections transferred to the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938. (Eliminates permanent price support authority.) Makes conforming amendments to the Agricultural Act of 1938.

Title II: Agricultural Trade - Subtitle A: Amendments to Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 and Related Statutes - Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Public Law 480) to include private entities within the scope of foreign agricultural assistance under such Act. Revises assistance priorities.

(Sec. 203) Gives authority for project development and implementation to U.S. agricultural trade organizations (entities which promote the export and sale of U.S. commodities but do not directly profit from the specific commodity sales).

(Sec. 204) Eliminates the minimum ten-year payment period. Reduces the discretionary payment deferment period from seven years to five years.

(Sec. 206) Repeals the value-added food partial waiver of repayment provision.

(Sec. 207) Prohibits the Administrator of the Agency for International Development (AID) from denying nonemergency assistance to an eligible organization in a country in which AID has no presence or is not involved in such country's development plan.

Increases maximum annual set-asides for eligible organizations.

(Sec. 208) Expands foreign currency local sales or barter arrangements to include countries in the same region as the recipient country. Increases minimum local sales levels from ten percent to 15 percent.

(Sec. 209) Extends minimum agricultural assistance and nonemergency assistance authorities through FY 2002 (at current FY 1995 levels). Prohibits waiver of such assistance minimums before the beginning of a fiscal year.

(Sec. 210) Extends the Food Aid Consultative Group through December 31, 2002. Revises membership provisions. Requires meetings with the Administrator at least twice per year.

(Sec. 211) Revises commodity determination provisions.

(Sec. 214) Authorizes multi-year agreements to be made available under programs of: (1) agricultural commodity sales to developing countries; and (2) commodity donations to least developed countries. Requires multi-year contracts to be made available for the commodity donation program.

(Sec. 215) Authorizes (current law requires) the CCC to acquire and make commodities available under such Act. Includes Canadian transshipment expenses within authorized costs.

(Sec. 216) Includes commodity donations to least developed country programs within specified freight procurement provisions.

(Sec. 217) Extends Pubic Law 480 sales or assistance authority through December 31, 2002.

(Sec. 218) Repeals provisions regarding: (1) regulations; and (2) independent program evaluations.

(Sec. 220) Eliminates certain set-asides for the credit sales and commodity donation to least developed countries programs. Revises specified transfer of funds provisions.

(Sec. 222) Establishes a five-country micronutrient fortification pilot program. Terminates such program on September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 224) Permits assistance under the farmer-to-farmer program to be used for educational travel to the United States.

(Sec. 225) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1980 to cite title III of such Act as the Food Security Commodity Reserve Act of 1996.

Replaces the food security wheat reserve with a commodity wheat reserve made up of not more than 4 million metric tons of wheat, corn, rice, or sorghum to be used for emergency food assistance or urgent humanitarian relief. Permits: (1) U.S. processing of commodities; (2) commodity exchanges, including powdered milk and vegetable oil; and (3) use of the CCC. Terminates program authority on September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 228) Amends the Mutual Security Act of 1954 to repeal certain export sale foreign currency use provisions.

Subtitle B: Amendments to Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 - Amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 to direct the Secretary to develop an agricultural export strategy that: (1) takes into consideration new market opportunities such as those created by the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round Agreements; (2) sets specified goals to be achieved by the end of FY 2002 and prohibits programs to be carried out under such Act if more than two of these goals are unmet; and (3) identifies priority markets.

Directs the President to identify in the annual budget each overseas office of the Foreign Agricultural Service that provides U.S. exporters with priority market assistance.

(Sec. 242) Amends the export credit guarantee program to: (1) provide for U.S. supplier credits; (2) set forth additional (discretionary) criteria for recipient eligibility; (3) eliminate the prohibition on CCC guarantee of foreign agricultural components; (4) permit third country bank credit guarantees; (5) revise processed and high-value products set-asides, including elimination of specified set-asides for the independent states of the former Soviet Union; and (6) extend program authority through FY 2002.

(Sec. 243) Extends the market promotion program through FY 2002. Restricts the use of funds for non-generic activities.

(Sec. 244) Directs the CCC to make funds available for FY 1996 through 2002 for the export enhancement program.

(Sec. 245) Requires exporter-participants in the credit guarantee, market promotion, or export enhancement programs to maintain commodity arrival certificates.

(Sec. 246) Eliminates certain nonprogram transaction compliance provisions.

(Sec. 248) Establishes a trade compensation and assistance program which shall become effective if a unilateral suspension of U.S. agricultural exports to a country is not joined by other countries within a specified time.

(Sec. 249) Authorizes the Foreign Agricultural Service to provide agricultural technical assistance and training.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous - Amends the Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983 to repeal specified tobacco reporting requirements.

(Sec. 252) Amends the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1990 and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to repeal certain export enhancement provisions (support level adjustment and triggered marketing loans).

(Sec. 253) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to permit the CCC to pay for administrative expenses as part its authority to dispose of commodities to prevent waste. Increases the foreign currency expenditure time period.

(Sec. 254) Amends the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to eliminate a certain dairy inventory reduction provision.

(Sec. 255) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to repeal CCC (direct) export dairy sale authority.

(Sec. 256) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal the "debt-for-health-and protection swap" (assistance for commercial debt swap).

(Sec. 258) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to revise certain congressional findings regarding U.S. trade policy and trade negotiations.

(Sec. 262) Repeals the Agricultural Aid and Trade Missions Act.

(Sec. 263) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1954 to eliminate certain agricultural attache reporting requirements.

(Sec. 264) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal certain world livestock market price information requirements.

(Sec. 265) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1956 to repeal: (1) certain CCC surplus stock reduction reporting requirements; (2) authority of the Secretary to appoint a Surplus Disposal Administrator; and (3) certain surplus extra-long staple cotton sale requirements.

(Sec. 268) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to rename the program of promotion of agricultural exports to emerging democracies as the program of promotion of agricultural exports to emerging markets (as defined by this Act). Authorizes additional sums of direct credits or export credit guarantees for FY 1996 through 2002.

Extends the Agricultural Fellowship Program through 2002. Makes certain required assistance provisions discretionary. Eliminates certain reporting requirements. Increases maximum assistance ceilings.

(Sec. 271) Amends the Uruguay Round Agreements Act to require the Secretary to annually determine whether foreign nations are implementing their obligations under such Act, and to make recommendations with respect to those nations whose actions are constraining U.S. agricultural exports.

(Sec. 272) Expresses the sense of the Congress with respect to multilateral disciplines on credit guarantees, including the composition of disciplines on the practices of foreign government trading entities such as the Australian and Canadian Wheat Boards.

(Sec. 273) Amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 to carry out a foreign market development cooperator program to develop U.S. agricultural export markets. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

(Sec. 274) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to direct the Secretary to set rice price supports at between 50 percent and 90 percent of a rice parity price that will not result in increased CCC rice stocks.

Title III: Conservation - Subtitle A: Definitions - Amends the Food Security Act of 1955 to define "conservation system."

Subtitle B: Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve Program - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to revise and extend the extend the environmental conservation acreage reserve program (ECARP) through 2002.

States that ECARP shall consist of: (1) the conservation reserve program; (2) the wetlands reserve program; (3) the environmental quality incentives program; and (4) a farmland protection program. Considers prior conservation and wetlands program enrollments to be ECARP enrollments.

Directs the Secretary to designate five-year conservation priority areas (watersheds of special environmental sensitivity) upon State or multi-State request. Specifies that such areas shall include the Chesapeake Bay Region, the Great Lakes Region, the Rainwater Basin Region, the lake Champlain Basin, the Prairie Pothole Region, and the Long Island Sound Region.

(Sec. 312) Extends the conservation resource program (including wildlife habitat requirements) through 2002. Reduces maximum acreage enrollment.

(Sec. 313) States that the purpose of the wetlands reserve program shall be to protect wetlands, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife benefits, while recognizing landowner rights. Extends acreage enrollment authority through 2002 with easement and cost-share enrollment goals established as of 1997. Extends eligibility provisions through 2002.

Revises easement (restoration plan and cost-share agreements) and cost-share and technical assistance provisions.

(Sec. 314) Establishes a FY 1996 through 2002 environmental quality incentives program to combine into a single program the functions of: (1) the agricultural conservation program; (2) the Great Plains conservation program; (3) the water quality incentives program; and (4) the Colorado River Basin salinity control program.

Provides technical assistance, cost-sharing payments, incentive payments, and education for participants who implement eligible structural or land management practices.

Subtitle C: Conservation Funding - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended by this Act) to direct the Secretary to use CCC funds to carry out the environmental conservation acreage reserve program, the wetlands conservation program, and the environmental quality incentives program (including specified livestock set-asides) through FY 2002.

Limits county acreage enrollments, with exceptions for shelterbelts and windbreaks. Provides for tenant protection.

Subtitle D: National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation - National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation Act - Establishes a (non-governmental) National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation to promote charitable, scientific, and educational conservation-related activities and research. Sets forth operating and administrative provisions. Authorizes FY 1997 through 1999 appropriations.

Subtitle E: Miscellaneous - Authorizes the Secretary during FY 1996 through 2002 to enter into flood risk reduction contracts with operators of frequently flooded farm areas.

(Sec. 352) Amend the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to make the forestry incentives program permanent.

Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize appropriations for the Office of International Forestry.

(Sec. 354) Directs the Secretary to establish a voluntary program of private grazing land conservation assistance to be funded through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Authorizes the Secretary to establish two grazing management demonstration districts.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 355) Amends specified Acts to make conforming amendments (including elimination of certain program authorities) with respect to: (1) the agricultural conservation program; (2) the Great Plains conservation program; (3) the Colorado River Basin salinity control program; (4) the rural environmental conservation program; (5) other specified conservation and resource conservation programs; and (6) the agricultural water quality incentives program.

Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to extend the environmental easement program through 2002.

Amends the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for the resource conservation and development program.

(Sec. 356) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to consider current enrolled water bank program acreage as enrolled in the conservation reserve program as of the date of original water bank enrollment.

(Sec. 357) Amends the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act to direct the Secretary to carry out up to two flood water retention pilot projects, with additional projects authorized subject to positive evaluation of the original projects.

(Sec. 358) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to expend the exemption from wetland program ineligibility for agricultural production on converted wetlands.

(Sec. 359) Amends the Agricultural Credit Act of 1978 to include flood plain easement purchases among emergency soil retention activities.

(Sec. 360) Amends the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 2001 for the resource conservation and development program.

(Sec. 361) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to authorize conservation reserve new acreage enrollments for contracts terminating after enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 363) Amends the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act with respect to watershed and flood prevention provisions to: (1) expand the definition of "works of improvement" and eliminate the 20 percent agricultural benefit requirement; (2) include specified nonprofit organizations within the definition of "local organization"; (3) permit cost-share assistance for structure and nonstructural practices; (4) set forth funding priorities; and (5) permit funds transfer.

(Sec. 364) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to state that a prior converted wetland shall not be considered abandoned as long as any use of the land is limited to agricultural purposes.

Title IV: Nutrition Assistance - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to disqualify from participation in the food stamp program a retail food store or wholesale food concern that knowingly employs a person found to have, within the previous three years: (1) engaged in the trading of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances for a coupon; or (2) committed an act constituting a violation of the Act or a State law relating to the use or holding of a coupon, authorization card, or access device. Removes the discretionary authority given the Secretary to impose a monetary penalty in lieu of disqualification where management of the food store or concern was unaware of or uninvolved in the violation.

Extends through FY 2002 the following food stamp programs and provisions: (1) the allocation among State agencies of funds authorized for employment and training programs under the Act; (2) authorization to conduct pilot or experimental projects; (3) the making of grants to increase program participation; (4) the authorization of appropriations; and (5) the Puerto Rico food assistance block grant.

Authorizes the Secretary to make payments to American Samoa for each of FY 1996 through 2002 financing 100 percent of expenditures for a nutrition assistance program extended under certain technical assistance provisions.

Reauthorizes, through FY 2002, the following programs: (1) the commodity distribution program and the commodity supplemental food program (allowing 20 percent of funds carried over to be available for the program's administrative expenses) under the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973; (2) the emergency food assistance program under the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983; (3) the soup kitchens and food banks program under the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988; and (4) surplus commodity processing agreements with private companies.

Title V: Miscellaneous - Subtitle A: General Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act, reenacted with amendments by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, to establish: (1) the Safe Harbor Fund Account (funded by milk price set-asides) to pay for nutrient management conservation practices; and (2) the Safe Harbor Committee.

(Sec. 502) Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to authorize the Secretary, in consultation with insurance providers, to offer catastrophic risk protection in a State (or portion of a State) through local Department of Agriculture offices if the Secretary determines insufficient coverage is otherwise available. Provides for the transfer of current policies to private insurers. States that beginning with the spring-planted 1996 crop, catastrophic coverage shall not be required for agricultural program benefits if the producer signs a written emergency crop loss assistance waiver.

Extends crop insurance provisions to seed crops.

Directs the Secretary to develop and administer a crop insurance pilot project.

Extends crop insurance coverage to specialty crops.

(Sec. 503) Directs the Secretary to carry out a revenue insurance pilot program for the 1997 though 2000 crops of corn, wheat, and soybeans.

(Sec. 504) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize the Secretary to collect fees to cover the costs of providing import quarantine and inspection services. Establishes in the Treasury the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection User Fee Account.

(Sec. 505) Increases the CCC interest rate applicable to agricultural commodity loans by 100 basis points.

(Sec. 506) Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to provide specified funds to the Secretary of the Interior to conduct Everglades ecosystem restoration activities, which may include acquisition of specified acreage (Talisman tract) in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

Authorizes related funds transfer to the Army Crops of Engineers (Florida), or the South Florida Water Management District.

(Sec. 507) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish the Fund for Rural America for specified rural development and related research activities; and (2) transfer FY 1996 through 1998 amounts for the Fund.

Subtitle B: Options Pilot Programs and Risk Management Education - Options Pilot Programs Act of 1996 - Authorizes the Secretary to conduct pilot programs for supported commodities through December 31, 2002, to: (1) conduct research and provide education in the management of agricultural production and marketing financial risk.

Subtitle C: Commercial Transportation of Equines for Slaughter - Directs the Secretary to issue standards for the humane commercial transportation by vehicle of equine for slaughter. Prohibits a person in such business from transporting equine except in accordance with such standards.

Sets forth minimum standards requirements.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) enter into related cooperative agreements with State and local entities, and foreign governments; and (2) make necessary investigations and inspections.

Establishes civil and criminal penalties for violations of such provisions, including interference with enforcement activities.

Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous - Amends the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 to state that inventory and commission proceeds of a livestock dealer or market agency transaction shall be held in trust for the livestock seller until receipt of full payment by such seller. (Exempts cash sales made by dealers or market agencies whose sales in the prior 12 months do not exceed $250,000.) States that: (1) the seller shall lose such trust benefit if the payment is dishonored; (2) such trust shall not affect third-party purchaser rights; and (3) U.S. district courts shall have civil jurisdiction for related matters.

(Sec. 542) Amends the Agriculture Act of 1949 to permit planting of energy crops on conservation-acreage as part of a feed grain or wheat acreage limitation program.

(Sec. 543) Amends Federal law with respect to reimbursable foreign services performed for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

(Sec. 544) Amends the Swine Health Protection Act to authorize termination of State primary enforcement responsibility under such Act.

(Sec. 545) Amends Federal law with respect to National Forest System cooperative work agreements and related payments and reimbursements.

(Sec. 546) Revises the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act with respect to violations and related penalty provisions under such Act.

(Sec. 547) Amends Federal law to permit overseas tort claims against the Secretary.

(Sec. 548) Authorizes the continued operation of the Graduate School as a Department instrumentality. Sets forth operating and administrative provisions.

(Sec. 549) Authorizes the Secretary to pay certain education expenses of Department employees pursuing employment related education.

(Sec. 550) Directs the Secretary to convey certain land to the White Oak Cemetery Association of Washington County, Arkansas.

(Sec. 551) Authorizes the Secretary to establish the Advisory Board on Agricultural Air Quality.

(Sec. 552) Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to authorize the Secretary to make matching grants to Alaska for rural and Native village water systems. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

(Sec. 553) Revises eligibility provisions for rural broadcasting system grants.

(Sec. 554) Directs the Secretary to establish the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to make landowner cost-share payments for wildlife habitat development. Obligates specified FY 1996 through 2002 funds for such Program.

(Sec. 555) Reauthorizes the Indian reservation extension agent program through FY 2002.

Directs the Secretary to develop and implement a Memorandum of Agreement with specified tribally controlled colleges to receive funds as partial land grant institutions.

(Sec. 556) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize reimbursement of specified agricultural fellowship program overhead expenses.

Title VI: Credit Subtitle A: Agricultural Credit - Chapter 1: Farm Ownership Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise direct farm ownership loan provisions regarding: (1) recipient eligibility; (2) purposes and preferences; (3) hazard insurance requirements; (4) interest rates for joint financings; and (5) insurance of loans (full faith and credit of the United States).

(Sec. 606) Establishes specified maximum guarantees for loans, refinanced loans, and beginning farmer loans.

Chapter 2: Operating Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise farm operating loan provisions regarding: (1) recipient eligibility; (2) purposes; (3) hazard insurance requirements; and (4) guaranteed assistance eligibility period.

(Sec. 613) Repeals provisions regarding: (1) loan participation; (2) hazards insurance requirements; and (3) special assistance for beginning farms and ranchers.

(Sec. 614) Authorizes line-of-credit loans.

Chapter 3: Emergency Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise emergency loan provisions regarding: (1) hazard insurance requirements; (2) maximum indebtedness; (3) loan terms; and (4) insurance (repealed).

Chapter 4: Administrative Provisions - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to permit use of private collection agencies.

(Sec. 632) Reduces loan service notice requirements.

(Sec. 633) Sets forth property sale provisions.

(Sec. 634) Defines "debt forgiveness" and "loan restructuring."

(Sec. 635) Authorizes (with set-asides) specified FY 1996 through 2002 loan and guarantee appropriations.

(Sec. 636) Terminates the interest rate reduction program on September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 637) Reduces the homestead property application period.

(Sec. 638) Revises debt restructuring and loan servicing provisions regarding: (1) cash flow margin; (2) available income; and (3) termination of loan obligations.

(Sec. 639) Establishes inventory lands transfer, public notice, and county consultation requirements.

(Sec. 640) Requires implementation of certain target participation rates to be consistent with a specified Supreme Court holding.

(Sec. 641) Provides with regard to delinquent borrowers for: (1) payment of a portion of interest as a condition of loan servicing; (2) prohibition of obtaining direct operating loans; and (3) prohibition of a new loan or guarantee for borrowers who have received debt forgiveness (with an exception for debt write-down).

Requires the Secretary to perform a rural credit study.

Chapter 5: General Provisions - Makes conforming amendments to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

Subtitle B: Farm Credit System - Chapter 1: Agricultural Mortgage Secondary Market - Amends the Farm Credit Act of 1971 with regard to: (1) definitions of "real estate" and "certified facility"; (2) duties and powers of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Corporation); (3) Federal reserve banks as fiscal agents; (4) certification of agricultural mortgage marketing facilities; (5) qualified loan guarantees; (6) mandatory reserves and subordinated participation interests; (7) diversified pools; (8) small farm loan promotion; (9) definition of "affiliate"; (10) State usury laws (superseded); (11) extension of capital transition period; (12) minimum and critical capital levels; and (13) enforcement levels.

(Sec. 677) Sets forth mandatory Corporation recapitalization provisions.

(Sec. 678) States that: (1) the Corporation may voluntarily liquidate only with a plan approved by the Farm Credit Administration Board; and (2) the Board may appoint a conservator or receiver for the Corporation. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) conservator or receiver appointment and powers; (2) judicial review; (3) working capital; (4) agreements against conservator or receiver interests; (5) reporting requirements; and (6) termination of authorities.

Chapter 2: Regulatory Relief - Amends the Farm Credit Act of 1971 to provide that private mortgage insurance may exceed 85 percent of the real estate's value to the extent that the loan amount in excess of such 85 percent is covered by the insurance.

(Sec. 683) Eliminates certain borrower reporting requirements.

(Sec. 684) States that a farmer-owned cooperative holding a loan from a bank for cooperatives shall retain its eligibility as long as more than 50 percent of its voting council is farmer-held.

(Sec. 685) Eliminates Rural Electrification Administration certification requirements for certain private sector financings.

(Sec. 686) Provides that loans designated for sale or sold into the secondary market may provide that no voting stock or participation certificates purchase requirements shall apply to the borrower.

(Sec. 688) Excludes from the definition of "loan" those loans designated for secondary market sale for borrowers' rights' purposes.

(Sec. 689) Includes Federal intermediate credit banks and production credit associations within the definition of "bank" for purposes of service organization provisions.

(Sec. 692) States that the Farm Credit Administration shall continue the comprehensive review of regulations governing the Farm Credit System (System).

(Sec. 693) Lengthens the time between required System institution examinations.

(Sec. 694) Authorizes the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (Corporation) to: (1) act as a conservator or receiver; and (2) examine System institutions in receivership.

(Sec. 695) Revises Farm Credit Insurance Fund provisions with respect to: (1) premium adjustment and reduction; and (2) creation of an Allocated Insurance Reserves Account.

(Sec. 696) Requires least-cost assistance to troubled insured System banks.

(Sec. 698) Sets forth Corporation oversight provisions.

(Sec. 699) Authorizes the Corporation to regulate golden parachute and indemnification payments.

(Sec. 699) Abolishes the Office for Secondary Market Oversight at an appropriate time after the Corporation is in receivership.

Title VII: Rural Development - Subtitle A: Amendments to the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 - Chapter 1: General Provisions - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to extend, and authorize appropriations through FY 2002 for, rural investment partnerships.

(Sec. 702) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal the water and waste facility loan and the rural wastewater circuit rider programs.

(Sec. 704) Revises the current rural distance learning and medical link programs into programs to finance the construction of facilities and systems to provide rural areas with telemedicine and distance learning services. Authorizes: (1) loans to Rural Electrification Act of 1936 borrowers; and (2) financial assistance to other facilities to provide necessary services. Sets forth priority, fund use, and administrative provisions. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

(Sec. 705) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to eliminate: (1) the authorization of appropriations limitation on rural technology grants; (2) the Bureau of the Census requirement to monitor rural economic progress; (3) the Office of Technology Assessment requirement to analyze rural computer access to a national library; and (3) a grant project for rural health infrastructive improvement.

Chapter 2: Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to replace the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Center with an Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation (Alternative Corporation) as an agency within the Department of Agriculture. Sets forth operating and administrative provisions. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Revolving Fund.

(Sec. 729) Authorizes executive agencies to establish procurement preferences and set-asides for alternative agricultural research and commercialization products.

(Sec. 730) Directs the Alternative Corporation to develop a four-year business plan and feasibility study.

Subtitle B: Amendments to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act - Chapter I: General Provisions - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to increase the amount of grants authorized to be made by the Secretary for water and waste facilities. Revises the definition of "rural" and "rural area," for the purposes of eligibility for grants and loans for such facilities, to limit eligibility to only those cities, towns, or unincorporated areas with populations of no more than 10,000. Revises water pollution control standards that must be met by systems to be funded under these provisions.

Revises the purposes for which the Secretary may make grants for rural business development to include training in interactive communications technologies to develop international trade opportunities and markets. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2002. Eliminates provisions for: (1) loans for towns or cities with populations of under 20,000 for the correction of emergency conditions or situations needing urgent attention; (2) grants to volunteer fire departments; and (3) loans financing transmission facilities for publicly owned and operated rural electric systems receiving bulk power from specified Department of the Interior power administrations.

Increases the maximum amount of appropriated funds to be reserved for grants to nonprofit organizations furnishing technical assistance and training to associations providing water and waste facility services.

(Sec. 742) Revises population and income restrictions on eligibility for emergency community water assistance grants. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 743) Eliminates the program of emergency community water assistance grants for smallest rural communities.

(Sec. 744) Revises provisions regarding the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund and the Rural Development Insurance Fund to eliminate the Secretary's authority to utilize the Fund to make, sell, and insure loans which could be insured under the real estate loans provisions whenever the Secretary has reasonable assurance that they can be sold without undue delay.

(Sec. 747) Revises rural industrial assistance provisions regarding involvement of nonprofit entities and grants to passenger transportation services or facilities. Repeals provisions for subterminal facilities loans and loans to fund shared telecommunications facilities. Modifies the program of grants for rural technology and cooperative development centers to, among other things, remove references to technology. Authorizes appropriations. Authorizes the Secretary to guarantee loans to family farmers for capital stock purchases of a farmer commodity processing cooperative (provided such farmers produce the commodity to be processed).

(Sec. 748) Authorize the Secretary, with respect to agricultural credit, to compromise and adjust loan guarantee debts and claims. Requires notification to the Attorney General of the Secretary's intent to exercise such authority.

(Sec. 749) Repeals agricultural real estate loan provisions regarding: (1) issuance of notes to make direct loans; (2) the Farmers Home Administration direct loan account; (3) sale and assignment of notes and mortgages in such account; and (4) allocation among States of direct loans.

(Sec. 750) Repeals the requirement for annual testimony before Congress by the Secretary regarding the budget for agricultural credit programs.

(Sec. 751) Exempts utility line loans from the prohibition on use of loans to manipulate a wetland.

(Sec. 752) Establishes a certified lenders program a preferred certified lenders program.

(Sec. 753) Repeals provisions regarding the following: (1) the system of delivery of assistance under programs of rural enterprise financing, real estate loans, rural industrialization assistance, and loans to national rural development and finance corporations; (2) requirements for State rural economic development and finance corporations; (2) requirements for State rural economic development review panels; (3) water and waste facility loan transfer authority; and (4) authority for allocation and transfer (in the event of insufficiency of amounts appropriated) of water and waste facility and rural industrialization assistance loan guarantee amounts.

(Sec. 757) Requires the Secretary to establish a National Sheep Industry Improvement Center to be managed by a Board of Directors whose purposes include maximizing the impact of Federal assistance to strengthen the production and marketing of lamb and wool in the United States. Requires the Center to submit an annual financial assistance plan. Establishes in the Treasury a National Sheep Improvement Center Revolving Fund to be used for grants and loans to eligible entities.

Chapter 2: Rural Community Advancement Program - Amends the Act to direct the Secretary to establish a rural community advancement program to provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other assistance for rural development needs of local communities and federally recognized Indian tribes. Requires preparation of strategic assistance plans for each State with priority to be given to communities with the smallest populations and lowest per capita income.

Requires the Secretary to consolidate amounts made available for programs under the Act in the following categories and allocate these amounts among the States according to this chapter: (1) rural housing and community development (including community facility loans and grants and rental housing loans); (2) rural utilities (including loans and grants for water and waste management programs); (3) rural business and cooperative development; and (4) certain other housing and rural development programs to which funds allocated in the previous categories may be transferred. Allows specified in-State transfers between categories. Permits establishment of a national reserve for rural development, for purposes including the carry out of performance-oriented demonstration projects, and a separate reserve for Indian tribe consisting of specified percentages of the total amount made available in the three consolidated accounts.

Sets forth state and local grant and guarantee procedures.

Requires applicants for assistance to demonstrate evidence of significant community support.

Permits interstate voluntary pooling arrangements and regional fund-sharing agreements.

Directs the Secretary to designate community development venture capital organizations to demonstrate the utility of guarantees to attract private investment is rural business enterprises. Requires such organizations to establish competitively designated rural business private investment pools, whose funds shall be guaranteed by the Secretary.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) report annually to the Congress and chief executives of participating States, evaluating the programs carried out under this chapter; and (2) establish an interagency working group on rural development efforts. Specifies duties of Directors of Rural Economic and Community Development State Offices.

(Sec. 762) Amends the water and waste facility assistance program to establish a program of grants to associations, local government units, nonprofit corporations, and Indian tribes to provide the Federal share of the cost of developing specific essential community facilities in rural areas, to be established by regulation according to a graduated scale.

Subtitle C: Amendments to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 - Amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to remove the authority of the Secretary to make loans for the furnishing of electrical energy to persons in rural areas who are not receiving central station service. Expands investigations and reporting authority to include financial, technological, and regulatory matters affecting rural electric, telecommunications, and economic development.

(Sec. 772) Eliminates provisions regarding the making of loans to the Secretary by the Secretary of the Treasury and the allotment for rural electrification loans of funds made available by such loans and by the authorization of appropriations.

(Sec. 773) Removes the authority of the Secretary to make loans to finance the construction and operation of generating plants and transmission lines or systems for the furnishing of electrical energy to persons in rural areas who are not receiving central station service. Removes provisions regarding the repayment period and interest rates of loans for plants and transmission lines.

(Sec. 774) Eliminates the authority to make loans to finance electrical wiring in and electrical and plumbing appliances for the premises of persons in rural areas.

(Sec. 775) Repeals the following: (1) the requirement for annual testimony before the Congress by the Secretary regarding the budget for rural electrification programs; (2) the authority for transfer by the President to the Secretary of the administration of loans and contracts entered into by the Rural Electrification Administration establish by Executive Order; and (3) the requirement for an annual report to the Congress regarding the Secretary's activities.

(Sec. 778) Requires the Secretary to establish rules and procedures prohibiting borrowers under the rural electrification and telephone direct loan programs or the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act from conditioning availability of water and waste facility services upon acceptance by individuals or entities of electric service from the borrower.

(Sec. 779) Disallows the term of a telephone loan from being determined by the borrower at the time of application.

(Sec. 780) Repeals provisions for the privatization demonstration program permitting borrowers to prepay guaranteed loans made by the Federal Financing Bank by paying the outstanding principal balance due.

(Sec. 781) Repeals provisions for the Rural Business Incubator Fund (a revolving fund providing assistance to small business in rural areas).

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Rural Development Provisions - Amends the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act to set the ceiling for the interest rate at which loans are repayable according to certain municipal obligation market yields. Amends the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to replace provisions for security rural telephone loans or loans under the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act by a mortgage contract which creates a lien in favor of the United States with similar interest rate provisions.

(Sec. 792) Amends the Rural Development Act of 1972 to eliminate the program of competitive grants (carried out in cooperation with colleges and universities) to develop counseling, retraining, and educational assistance for farmers, dislocated farmers, and rural families adversely affected by farm and rural economic conditions.

(Sec. 793) Revises provisions regarding rural development policy cooperative effects to authorize the Secretary, notwithstanding certain procedures for using procurement contracts and cooperative agreements, to enter into such agreements with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and other organizations to improve the coordination and effectiveness of programs and services, including the establishment and financing of interagency groups. Allows cooperators to participate in any cooperative agreement or working group so established by contributing funds or other resources to the Secretary. Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise the definition of "qualified beginning farmer or rancher," for agricultural credit purposes, to increase the amount by which the land owned by such a farmer or rancher may exceed the county's median acreage.

Title VIII: Research Extension and Education - Subtitle A: Amendments to National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 and Related Statutes - Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to replace the National Agricultural Research and Extension Users Advisory Board with the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, which shall remain in existence until September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 805) Repeals authority for the Agricultural Science and Technology Review Board.

(Sec. 807) Directs the Secretary to implement a system to evaluate Federal agricultural research and extension activities.

Authorizes the Secretary to transfer specified funds within the Department to address imminent or emerging threats to food safety and animal and plant health.

(Sec. 808) Revises provisions with respect to food and agricultural sciences education to: (1) authorize grants for teaching and research at primarily minority institutions; (2) authorize grants for agriscience and agribusiness education in secondary education and two-year post-secondary education teaching programs; and (3) extend the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002.

Transfers to the Secretary all functions and duties pertaining to the Future Farmers of America.

(Sec. 809) Extends authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for research grants on the production and marketing of alcohols and industrial hydrocarbons from agricultural and forest products.

(Sec. 810) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to policy research centers for research and education programs concerning public policies' effect on agriculture, environment, and consumers. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

(Sec. 812) Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for the food and nutrition education program.

(Sec. 813) Revises purposes and findings relating to animal health and disease research.

(Sec. 815) Extends authorizations of appropriations through FY 2002 for: (1) continuing animal health and disease research programs (includes aquaculture species within such programs); and (2) research on national and regional animal health or disease problems.

(Sec. 817) Repeals authority for resident instruction at 1890 land-grant colleges.

(Sec. 818) Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for grants to upgrade agricultural and food sciences facilities at 1890 land-grant colleges.

(Sec. 819) Extends through FY 2002 authority and authorization of appropriations for national research and training centers.

(Sec. 820) Repeals the State grant for international trade development centers program.

(Sec. 821) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for agricultural research programs.

(Sec. 822) Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for extension education.

(Sec. 823) Extends the supplemental and alternative crop research program through FY 2002. Eliminates the "pilot project" reference to such program.

(Sec. 824) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for aquaculture research facilities and research and extension programs.

(Sec. 825) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for rangeland research.

Subtitle B: Amendments to Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal the Agriculture and Water Policy Coordination Act (water quality research, education, and coordination).

(Sec. 832) Repeals the education program regarding handling of agricultural chemicals and containers.

(Sec. 834) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for: (1) the national genetics resources program; and (2) the national agricultural weather information system.

(Sec. 836) Repeals: (1) the research and grant program concerning production, preparation, processing, and storage of agricultural products; and (2) the plant and animal pest and disease control program.

(Sec. 838) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for the livestock product safety and inspection program.

(Sec. 839) Repeals: (1) the plant genome mapping program; and (2) specialized research programs.

(Sec. 841) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for: (1) the agricultural telecommunications program; and (2) the national centers for agricultural product quality research.

(Sec. 846) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 with respect to the assertive technology program for farmers with disabilities for: (1) special demonstration grants; and (2) the national grant for technical assistance, training, and dissemination.

(Sec. 847) Repeals demonstration project authority.

(Sec. 848) Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for the National Rural Information Center Clearinghouse.

(Sec. 849) Repeals authority for the global climate change technical advisory committee. Authorizes appropriations through FY 2002 for the global climate change program.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Research Provisions - Amends the Critical Agricultural Materials Act to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for critical agricultural materials research.

(Sec. 862) Amends the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for: (1) 1994 land-grant status institutions; and (2) institutional capacity building grants.

(Sec. 863) Amends the Smith-Lever Act to make 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University, and the University of the District of Columbia eligible for funds under such Act.

(Sec. 865) Amends the Research Facilities Act to revise agricultural research facilities provisions. Defines "agricultural research facility" and "food and agricultural sciences." Sets forth project approval criteria. Directs the Secretary to develop a Federal research facilities strategic plan. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act Amendments of 1985 to extend the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for Federal agricultural research facilities.

(Sec. 866) Amends the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act to extend the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for competitive research grants. Increases set-asides for mission-linked systems research.

(Sec. 867) Amends Federal law to repeal certain cotton crop reporting requirements.

(Sec. 868) Amends the Rural Development Act of 1972 to eliminate: (1) the Extension Service rural economic and business development program; and (2) research grant authority. Directs the rural development extension programs to promote capacity building.

(Sec. 869) Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act Amendments of 1985 to repeal the human nutrition research reporting requirement.

(Sec. 871) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to eliminate grant authority for upgrades to 1890 land-grant college extension facilities.

(Sec. 872) Amends Federal law to transfer the fish research and experimentation program from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture (Department). Designates (and transfers to the Department) the Fish Farming Experimental Laboratory in Stuttgart and Kelso, Arkansas, as the Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center.

(Sec. 873) Amends the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 to make the Department the lead agency under such Act. Redefines "aquaculture."

Directs the Secretary to develop and implement a Department of Agriculture Aquaculture Plan. Authorizes the Secretary to maintain a National Aquaculture Information Center at the National Agricultural Library.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) treat private aquaculture as agriculture; and (2) be responsible for private aquaculture policy coordination, development, and implementation. Extends the authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for aquaculture activities of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior.

(Sec. 874) Amends Federal law to authorize the National Arboretum to grant concessions, charge fees, license its name and logo, and accept voluntary services.

(Sec. 875) Directs the Secretary to request the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of the Agricultural Research Service. Obligates funds for such purpose.

(Sec. 876) Amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act to direct the Secretary to establish standards for the labeling of domestic and imported lamb and mutton.

(Sec. 877) States the sense of the Senate that the Department should continue to make methyl bromide alternative research and extension activities a high priority.

Title IX: Agricultural Promotion - Subtitle A: Popcorn - Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act - Directs the Secretary to issue an order to finance and implement a program of popcorn research, promotion, market development, and consumer information. Requires: (1) such order to establish a Popcorn Board; and (2) producer referenda.

Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: Canola and Rapeseed - Canola and Rapeseed Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act - Directs the Secretary to issue an order to finance and implement a program of canola and rapeseed research, promotion, market development, and consumer information. Requires: (1) such order to establish a National Canola and Rapeseed Board; and (2) producer referenda.

Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Kiwifruit - National Kiwifruit Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act - Directs the Secretary to issue an order to finance and implement a program of canola and rapeseed research, promotion, market development, and consumer information. Requires: (1) such order to establish a Kiwifruit Board; and (2) producer referenda.

Subtitle D: Commodity Promotion and Evaluation - Authorizes the Secretary to require that each industry-funded generic promotion program (for an agricultural commodity) shall provide for an independent program evaluation.