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110th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                          Report
                                                                110-220
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 470
 
                  FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2007

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY

                                   on

                                S. 2302

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS



                                     

                November 2, 2007.--Ordered to be printed
        SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY
                       one hundred tenth congress
                             first session

                       TOM HARKIN, Iowa, Chairman
                SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia, Ranking Member
PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont            RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
KENT CONRAD, North Dakota            THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi
MAX BAUCUS, Montana                  MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky
BLANCHE LINCOLN, Arkansas            PAT ROBERTS, Kansas
DEBBIE STABENOW, Michigan            LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
E. BENJAMIN NELSON, Nebraska         NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota
KEN SALAZAR, Colorado                MIKE CRAPO, Idaho
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio                  JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
ROBERT CASEY, JR., Pennsylvania      CHARLES GRASSLEY, Iowa
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota


110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    110-220

======================================================================




                  FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

                November 2, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Harkin, from the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 
                        submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 2302]

    The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 
reports an original bill (S. 2302) to provide for the 
continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill 
(as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  The purpose of this legislation is to extend, modify, and 
strengthen the nation's policies and programs pertaining to 
food, fiber, agriculture, conservation, rural development, 
agricultural trade and food aid, rural energy initiatives, 
forestry on private lands and research, education, and 
extension encompassing these subjects. Congress most recently 
addressed these programs comprehensively in the Farm Security 
and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L.107-171).
  In brief, the objectives of this bill include protecting and 
increasing income and economic opportunities for farmers and 
ranchers; conserving natural resources and enhancing 
environmental quality on agricultural land; strengthening food 
assistance to low-income families and improving the diets and 
health of all Americans; supporting research, education and 
extension involving food, agriculture and related fields; 
fostering economic growth and a high quality of life in rural 
communities; promoting agricultural trade and providing food 
aid and development assistance to inhabitants of developing 
countries; and spurring the research, development and 
commercial use of agriculturally-based renewable energy and 
biobased products. The legislation will extend these programs 
to cover the 2008 through 2012 crop and fiscal years.

                          Background and Needs

              TITLE I--PRODUCER INCOME PROTECTION PROGRAMS

  For more than 70 years, the United States has supported 
agricultural producers through a variety of farm programs. 
There is a tendency for farm bills to address the most urgent 
concerns of the day, but the overarching objective of Federal 
farm policy has been to provide the support that agricultural 
producers need to withstand the vagaries of markets and weather 
with enough income to support their families and continue 
farming. Early programs relied on supply control through 
marketing quotas and acreage limitations to support the price 
of commodities. More recent policy has stressed planting 
flexibility and has allowed producers to respond to market 
signals in their farming operations.
  The FSRIA of 2002, retained the planting flexibility and 
decoupled payments of the previous farm program, but also 
provided a new counter-cyclical program to provide assistance 
in times of low commodity prices. The bill established full-
fledged programs for soybeans and other oilseed crops and 
replaced the quota system for peanuts with a program that 
mirrored the program for other covered commodities. The bill 
also created a new counter-cyclical program for dairy 
producers.
  Five years later, the U.S. agricultural sector is enjoying 
relatively high prices and a strong financial position. 
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 
Economic Research Service, national net farm income in 2007 is 
forecast to exceed $87 billion, even with record high 
production expenses and a decline in government payments. 
Producers and their organizations expressed general 
satisfaction with the structure and operation of the current 
farm programs. However, there were two general themes in calls 
for changes to existing commodity programs. First, program 
benefits are more generous for some commodities than others. 
Perceived inequities between crops led to calls for rebalancing 
of program support. Second, program benefits under both the 
counter-cyclical and marketing loan programs are triggered by 
low commodity prices. Price-triggered support fails to 
adequately support producers when crop production declines. A 
revenue-based program can provide balanced support when 
production and prices lead to lower farm income.

SUGAR

  Under current law, the United States limits sugar imports and 
the amount of sugar that processors can sell domestically to 
manage the supply of sugar thereby assuring sugar producers a 
minimum price with little or no government cost. However, if 
sugar imports exceed 1.532 million short tons, USDA is no 
longer authorized to impose marketing allotments which limit 
domestic sales. The bill authorizes marketing allotments equal 
to 85 percent of projected domestic sugar consumption for human 
nutrition use.
  The sugar program sets the loan rate for raw cane sugar at 18 
cents per pound. This rate has been in place since 1985, 
despite rising farm input costs over the last 22 years.

DAIRY

  Under current law, the Commodity Credit Corporation purchases 
nonfat dry milk, butter and cheese at prices that are intended 
to support the price of milk at $9.90 per hundredweight. 
Established prices for each product would improve the 
effectiveness and predictability of the price support program.
  The FSRIA of 2002 included a new counter-cyclical program for 
dairy producers. The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program 
compensates producers when the Boston Class I milk price falls 
below $16.94 per hundredweight. The 2002 legislation made 
participating producers eligible to be paid 45 percent of the 
difference, but when the program was extended in 2005, the 
eligible payment percentage was reduced to 34 percent. Payments 
are calculated monthly and are limited to 2,400,000 pounds of 
milk per year per dairy producer.

PAYMENT LIMITATIONS

  Current law limits the payments to producers to $40,000 in 
direct payments, $65,000 in counter-cyclical payments, and 
$75,000 in marketing assistance loans and benefits. However, 
these nominal limits can effectively be doubled through the use 
of the 3-entity rule or through a special rule that allows each 
spouse to receive the maximum payment provided neither spouse 
receives benefits through any other entity. Further, limits on 
marketing assistance loan benefits can effectively be evaded 
through the use of generic commodity certificates and loan 
forfeitures. The exceptions to the payment limitations and the 
payments made to entities have led to a set of rules that are 
not transparent and are difficult to enforce.

SPECIALTY CROPS

  USDA estimates that the production of specialty crops--
fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and other horticultural and 
floricultural crops--in the United States accounts for roughly 
50 percent of total U.S. farmgate sales. Additionally, 
international trade in specialty crops has expanded greatly 
over the past four decades, from $3.4 billion in fruits and 
vegetables in 1961 to nearly $70 billion in 2001. However, 
producers of specialty crops do not receive payments under the 
traditional commodity programs and have historically received 
comparatively little assistance in previous farm bills. Indeed, 
USDA reports that more than 90 percent of commodity program 
subsidy payments go to five crops--corn, soybeans, wheat, rice 
and cotton.
  Nevertheless, producers of specialty crops still face a 
diverse array of challenges in the areas of production-related 
research, pest and disease detection, sanitary and 
phytosanitary issues, trade barriers, as well as increasing 
competition from international producers. Indeed, U.S. imports 
of fruits and vegetables exceed exports by $2.7 billion. 
Programs at USDA designed to assist specialty crop producers 
have traditionally centered around nutrition promotion, 
research, marketing, and technical assistance for addressing 
sanitary and phytosanitary issues in international trade. 
However, the demand for these programs among specialty crop 
producers has far outpaced the resources dedicated to them.
  In addition to the diverse and historically underrepresented 
needs of specialty crop producers in previous farm bills, 
current health issues among the U.S. population indicate a 
strong need for healthier eating habits among Americans, 
including increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. For 
example, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicate 
that only one in five Americans consumes the recommended daily 
amount of fruits and vegetables each day. Additionally, obesity 
rates among children have increased dramatically in the past 
four decades, with almost 20 percent of children age 6 to 11 
being identified as obese in 2004, up from just four percent in 
1963.
  The convergence of these factors has helped to guide the 
Committee's decisions in providing a historic level of support 
for specialty crops in the Food and Energy Security Act of 
2007. The specialty crop subtitle, as well as other titles in 
this legislation, seeks to maintain an adequate supply of safe, 
domestically produced specialty crops by investing in programs 
designed to: (1) address the particular challenges that 
specialty crop producers face in the domestic and international 
arenas; and (2) encourage Americans to consume more healthy 
fruits and vegetables to promote sound nutrition.

RISK MANAGEMENT

  The Federal crop insurance program is a crucial component of 
the farm safety net available for U.S. farmers. In 2007, 
farmers insured more than 271 million acres with either 
catastrophic coverage or buy-up coverage, with an estimated 
crop loss liability of $67 billion, increases of 31 percent and 
97 percent respectively since 2000. These substantial increases 
are attributable both to enhanced participation in the program 
and to a significant increase in the prices of most commodities 
insured under the program.
  The year 2000 also marked the last time that the U.S. 
Congress took an extended look at the Federal crop insurance 
program, which resulted in the Agricultural Risk Protection Act 
of 2000 (ARPA). ARPA provided both reforms to and additional 
resources for the program, aimed at both inducing farmers 
already participating in crop insurance to increase their level 
of coverage under the program and to develop new policies so as 
to attract new participants into the program.
  This program is delivered to producers by private crop 
insurance companies, operating a Federal program under the 
terms and conditions of a Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) 
negotiated with the Risk Management Agency (RMA) of the USDA. 
This partnership presents unique challenges to oversight of the 
program, as there must be sufficient financial incentives for 
companies to provide appropriate service to their customers yet 
not so lucrative as to waste taxpayer dollars.
  Subtitle G of title I of the reported legislation represents 
an effort to both resolve administrative problems that have 
emerged in the seven years since ARPA was enacted and improve 
the financial efficiency of the program, the latter set of 
provisions generating budgetary savings that help address other 
priorities in this legislation.

                         TITLE II--CONSERVATION

  The Food and Energy Security Bill continues the expansion of 
the Federal investment in conservation that was included in the 
FSRIA of 2002 and helps prepare agriculture for challenges 
ahead. Agricultural production and forestry dominate land uses 
in the United States--69 percent of the nation's land is used 
for crop production, grazing land, or forest land, including 
land taken out of production for conservation purposes. With 
such a large proportion of land being used for production, 
farmers are the first line of defense for the environment--
America's ``first conservationists''.
  Farmers, ranchers and forest land owners recognize that good 
conservation is essential in maintaining the productivity of 
their land and in protecting the environment. Conservation 
programs provide technical and financial assistance to 
producers to help them meet the challenges of competing in a 
global marketplace to produce food, feed, fiber and fuel.
  Another increasingly important need is to protect 
agricultural producers from pressure to sell to developers. 
Preserving farmland and ranchland keeps land in production and 
preserves open space. Grassland is an inherently conserving 
land use that protects soil resources and helps clean water 
sources. Purchasing easements from producers eliminates 
pressure to develop land and gives a return on equity that 
helps producers continue to operate.
  Conservation programs have been successful. Through a 
combination of program tools and technical assistance, 
America's farmers and ranchers have reduced soil erosion by 
more than 43 percent in the past two decades. With help from 
these programs, the nation has moved beyond the loss of 
wetlands, and is working toward net gains in wetlands each 
year, primarily due to the efforts of farmers and ranchers. In 
addition, these programs are promoting wildlife habitat and 
benefiting a variety of species, including threatened and 
endangered species. This legislation builds on and strengthens 
the conservation programs that USDA currently administers, with 
increased funding.
  Title II of this legislation helps provide producers with the 
resources and technical expertise they need to meet all 
applicable environmental regulations and achieve conservation 
results that will conserve and improve natural resources like 
soil, water, air, and wildlife habitat, while conserving energy 
and protecting biodiversity, and preserving working farmland 
and ranch land for the future. The conservation title serves as 
an environmental toolkit that allows producers to voluntarily 
adopt new measures to protect natural resources with technical 
and financial assistance from USDA.
  Crop rotation is an important agricultural practice. Certain 
crop rotations can reduce disease and related inputs necessary 
to control disease. Crop rotations can also   promote the more 
efficient use of water that is provided through rainfall or 
irrigation. Optimal crop rotations can be critical to the yield 
and quality of the crop and revenues of the producer. The 
purpose of the CSP crop rotation supplement program is to 
encourage and help producers adopt optimal crop rotations.
  In the Southeast, peanuts are a prime example of a crop that 
responds well to increased rotation lengths. Increased rotation 
lengths help peanut producers conserve water, more effectively 
control disease, reduce inputs to control disease and increase 
productivity. Based on two decades of research, the University 
of Georgia recommends a minimum of three years between peanut 
crops in the same field. The university's research shows higher 
yields are realized and fewer inputs are needed as producers 
move from a three to four year rotation.
  In the Midwest, the dominant crop rotation is a two-year 
annual rotation of corn and soybeans. Research at the 
University of Nebraska and Kansas State University has shown 
that replacing corn with sorghum gives higher yield and yield 
stability under drought conditions. In the Great Plains, 
irrigated agriculture is threatened by periodic drought and 
reduced water availability because of diversion for other uses. 
The Water Optimizer and crop simulation software developed at 
the University of Nebraska are examples of decision-support 
tools that can help farmers sustain productivity and 
profitability by identifying crop rotations that are best 
matched to the available water supply.
  USDA and States should encourage the use of water conserving 
technologies when entering into EQIP and CSP contracts intended 
to promote water conservation. These technologies include all 
techniques that improve irrigation water application efficiency 
including pressurized delivery systems using sprinklers and 
drip irrigation, as well as, advanced surface irrigation which 
combines closed pipelines, surge valves, soil amendments, and 
tailwater recovery techniques. This includes improvements to 
existing irrigation systems and proper maintenance and 
monitoring to ensure that existing systems are operating as 
desired.
  In States facing a severe drought, USDA and States are 
encouraged to give priority to practices that promote water 
conservation. States facing severe drought are those in which 
all or part of the State have received a U.S. Drought Monitor 
designation of D-2, D-3 or D-4 for a significant portion of the 
fiscal year preceding the contract.

                            TITLE III--TRADE

  Trade is and will continue to be a key outlet for U.S. 
agricultural products, with agricultural exports forecast to 
account for about 28 percent of the value of U.S. agricultural 
production in 2007. U.S. agricultural exports were estimated at 
$79 billion in 2007, a nearly 50 percent increase over the 
export level recorded in 2002 and the passage of the FSRIA of 
2002. About half of that increase comes from the grains and 
oilseed complex, from both increased volume and prices and 
another quarter from increased horticultural product exports. 
Not surprisingly, total meat and livestock exports have 
declined over that period, due largely to the discovery of a 
case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. 
cattle supply in December 2003 and the resulting loss of beef 
exports which are only now slowly recovering.
  The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry 
has jurisdiction over two sets of programs that touch on U.S. 
agricultural trade-programs that promote commercial exports of 
U.S. agricultural products, and programs that provide U.S. 
commodities as humanitarian food assistance to developing 
countries. Both sets of programs are addressed in this title. 
Oversight of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements 
involving agriculture is under the jurisdiction of the Senate 
Finance Committee.
  As they appear in the title, the first set includes three 
separate programs which provide humanitarian food assistance to 
address emergency situations or chronic hunger in developing 
countries. The largest of the three, the title II Food for 
Peace program, was first established in 1954 and is conducted 
by the U.S. Agency for International Development, while the 
other two, the Food for Progress program and the McGovern-Dole 
International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program 
are of more recent vintage and are operated by the USDA. A 
fourth program, the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, is 
operated as a reserve of commodities and cash that can be drawn 
upon when existing funds are inadequate to address emergency 
needs.
  The second set includes programs that provide matching funds 
to U.S. companies and trade associations to promote U.S. 
agricultural commodities overseas, which are known as the 
Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development 
Program. Also included are programs which provide guarantees 
for credit allocated for overseas purchase of U.S. agricultural 
products, and programs which provide direct subsidies for U.S. 
agricultural exports.

COMMERCIAL EXPORT PROGRAMS

  Historically, U.S. agricultural exporters have been heavily 
outspent on trade promotion activities by their foreign 
competitors, and a substantial share of that foreign advantage 
is derived from publicly funded programs by the EU and other 
countries. In the late 1990's, promotion of agricultural 
products by foreign countries within the U.S. market totaled 
nearly $100 million annually, which was comparable to what the 
total that the U.S. government was spending through the Market 
Access and Foreign Market Development Programs in all overseas 
markets at that time. U.S. competitors' annual spending on such 
efforts overall exceeds $1 billion annually.
  MAP funding was increased in the FSRIA of 2002, and the 
reported bill looks to continue that process. Since these types 
of programs are clearly ``green box'' under the rules of the 
World Trade Organization (WTO)--thus not subject to 
restrictions--and other forms of export assistance such as 
export subsidies and export credits are likely to be severely 
restricted or even eliminated in the Doha Round if it is ever 
completed, the Committee made the decision that devoting 
increased funding to MAP and FMD would be good investment. 
Economic analyses of the impact of these programs have found 
positive outcomes, with estimated returns per promotion dollar 
ranging from $3.70 to $25.

FOOD AID PROGRAMS

  As a result of the boom in demand for corn due to the 
expansion of ethanol production and the shift of acres into 
corn in response to that higher demand, the prices for the 
range of U.S. commodities used in the various food aid 
programs, such as corn, wheat and wheat flour, vegetable oil, 
and peas and lentils have increased significantly in the last 
year or so. USDA has estimated that the market basket cost of 
commodities used in food aid has increased 35 percent over the 
last year.
  Consequently, some increase in funding will be needed just to 
maintain the purchasing power of the existing Food for Progress 
program, which USDA estimates will have fed 2.5 million people 
in 2007 while supporting education, child development, and food 
security efforts in low-income, food-deficit countries around 
the world. In addition, the decision to zero out appropriations 
for the title I concessional credit program in fiscal 2007 will 
leave the Food for Progress program short of resources in the 
future. This program has relied on carryover transfers from 
title I to supplement the funding the program receives from the 
Commodity Credit Corporation, accounting for about 40 percent 
of the total in recent years.

                      TITLE IV--NUTRITION PROGRAMS

  The Food Stamp Program is the largest Federal food assistance 
program. Since the landmark Food Stamp Act of 1977 was enacted 
into law 30 years ago, the Food Stamp Program has played a 
critical role in assisting low-income American families to 
achieve greater economic security through the receipt of modest 
food assistance benefits. In 2006, the Food Stamp Program 
provided 26.7 million individuals in over 11.7 million 
households with an average of $94 per month at a total cost of 
nearly $33 billion annually, making the Food Stamp Program one 
of the largest Federal anti-poverty initiatives.
  For the fiscal year 2006, 49 percent of food stamp recipients 
were children, 42 percent were non-elderly adults, and 9 
percent were elderly individuals. There are far more food stamp 
households participating in the workforce than there are 
receiving assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy 
Families. 30 percent of food stamp households had earned income 
in 2006, while just 13 receive support through Temporary 
Assistance for Needy Families. The vast majority of food stamp 
households, 84 percent, include a child, a person with a 
disability or an elderly individual, and these households 
collect 89 percent of food stamp benefits. In 2006, the average 
food stamp household received a monthly benefit of $208, had a 
monthly gross income of $673, had a monthly net income of $328, 
and averaged $137 in countable financial resources.
  The Food Stamp Act of 1977 authorizes a Food Stamp Program 
for the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the 
Virgin Islands. Food Stamp Program rules are generally uniform, 
but States have received significant flexibility, mainly 
through the provision of state options, to modify program 
components at their discretion. The Food Stamp Program depends, 
for the most part, on Federal funding. Federal appropriations 
pay for almost all benefits and roughly half the cost of 
administration. Additional administrative costs are carried by 
the States. At the State and local level, the program is 
administered by the offices that run other public assistance 
programs, which are responsible for determining eligibility, 
calculating and issuing benefits, and operating or arranging 
for work and training programs for applicants.
  Applicants for food stamps must have their eligibility 
determined and, if eligible, their benefits issued within 30 
days of application. Very low-income individuals are eligible 
for expedited food stamps and must receive them within 7 days. 
The food stamp assistance unit is a household, typically those 
living together who also purchase and prepare food together. 
Eligibility depends on a series of factors, including gross 
income, net income, and liquid assets. For most, the income 
test confines eligibility to households with monthly gross cash 
income at or below 130 percent of the Federal income poverty 
guidelines, adjusted for family size and inflation. In 
addition, households are subject to a net income test of 100 
percent of the Federal income poverty guidelines, adjusted for 
family size and inflation. Net income is determined by 
deducting from the monthly gross income a standard deduction, 
an earned income deduction, a dependent care deduction, a 
medical deduction, a child support payment deduction, and an 
excess shelter deduction.
  In addition, households with liquid financial resources above 
a certain level are ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp 
Program. For most households, the asset limit is $2,000. For 
households containing an elderly person or a person with a 
disability, the asset limit is $3,000.
  There are also eligibility criteria related to workforce 
participation. Unless exempted, most single, unemployed adults 
ages 18 to 50 without dependent children are prohibited from 
participating in the Food Stamp Program for more than 3 months 
out of a 36 month period, unless they are working no less than 
20 hours per week or participating in a work or training 
program for 20 hours a week.
  Despite progress made in strengthening the Food Stamp Program 
over the years, significant challenges remain for low-income 
households who benefit from the Food Stamp Program and other 
Federal food assistance programs.
  First and fundamentally, the need for Federal food assistance 
has increased in recent years. According to USDA data, hunger 
and food insecurity in the United States have increased 
significantly in recent years. In 2005, the most recent year 
for which data is available, the total number of people living 
in food insecure households was 35.1 million. This number is a 
reduction of several million from 2004. However, even with this 
decrease, there were 4 million more Americans experiencing food 
insecurity in 2005 than in 1999, when 31 million Americans 
experienced food insecurity.
                1999                31.015 million
                2000                33.231 million
                2001                33.642 million
                2002                34.902 million
                2003                36.255 million
                2004                38.196 million
                2005                35.128 million
  Recent trends showing increased food insecurity are 
consistent with recent poverty and income trends. Though median 
U.S. household income increased in both 2005 and 2006, to 
$48,201 in 2006, median household income has stagnated and even 
slightly dropped since 2000. Between 2000 and 2006, median 
household income declined from $49,163 to $48,201. Similarly, 
mean household income for the lowest quintile of the U.S. 
population decreased from $11,892 in 2000 to $11,352 in 2006.
  Since 2000, both the percentage and the aggregate number of 
Americans living in poverty has increased, from 11.3 percent 
and 31.5 million in 2000 to 12.3 and 36.4 million in 2006. 
Similar trends have occurred for child poverty, with the rate 
of child poverty increasing from 16.2 percent in 2000 to 17.4 
percent in 2006, and the number of children living in poverty 
increasing from 11.6 million in 2000 to 12.8 million in 2006.
  Second, as a result of major program cuts enacted in 1996, 
Food Stamp benefits remain low by historical standards, 
averaging slightly more than $1 per person per meal. In 1996, 
the Food Stamp Program was cut significantly as part of welfare 
reform legislation--by nearly $27 billion dollars over a 6 year 
period. The most significant of these cuts, a cut in the 
maximum benefit and a freeze in the standard deduction, remain 
in place today. As a result of these two benefit cuts, food 
stamp benefits in 2008 for a typical family comprised of a 
working parent with two children will be approximately $37 less 
each month, or almost $450 annually, than they would have been 
absent these cuts. In addition, because these cuts remain in 
place for the vast majority of participating households, the 
purchasing power of food stamp benefits for many families is 
eroding every year.
  Third, for various reasons, there are significant aspects of 
the Food Stamp Program which are in significant need of 
modernization or re-examination in order to address changing 
economic realities that low-income families must confront.
  For example, due to lack of Congressional action, there are 
several aspects of the Food Stamp Program that have not been 
adjusted or modernized for many years. In addition to the 
erosion of food stamp benefits noted above, there are 
significant unmet challenges with respect to the treatment of 
assets and the deductibility of child care in the Food Stamp 
Program. The Food Stamp Program asset limit of $2,000, though 
adjusted periodically over the years, has not been meaningfully 
increased since it was set at $1,750 in 1977. Similarly, 
despite rapid increases in the cost of child care, the maximum 
amount of deductible child care costs in the Food Stamp Program 
has increased by only $15 dollars in the past 20 years, from 
$160 when the dependent care deduction was established in 1986, 
to $175 currently.
  In addition, a number of States are embarking on major 
redesigns of the way they operate the Food Stamp Program. In 
some cases, the goal of such changes is improved access, such 
as extended food stamp office hours to accommodate working 
families. In other cases, the goal is administrative 
streamlining or efficiency. Often, this involves closing county 
food stamp offices and requiring households to contact a 
central call center by mail, telephone, fax, or over the web to 
apply for benefits, provide documentation, and report changes. 
Though it is hoped that such initiatives can improve the 
quality of service if administered properly, there is also the 
possibility that they can leave households without recourse if 
the technology breaks down or the state agency lacks sufficient 
staff to keep up with it.
  In a recent study of the Food Stamp Program, the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) recently found that States were 
experimenting with promising approaches to administer food 
stamps more efficiently, but that ``[i]nsufficient information 
is available to determine the results of using alternative 
methods to provide access to the food stamp Program.'' The 
Government Accountability Office recommended that the USDA 
enhance its ability to assess the effects of alternative 
methods on program access, payment accuracy, and administrative 
costs as well as disseminate its findings among the States. 
However, it is not just the USDA that must enhance its ability 
to assess alternative methods of program access. Congress has a 
responsibility to examine such program re-design and 
innovation, to evaluate whether those changes live up to their 
purported promise, and to foster the dissemination of best 
practices to the States.
  In addition to their vital role in fighting food insecurity 
and providing economic security to low-income individuals, 
Federal food assistance programs also have an important 
function in promoting healthy diets and sound nutrition, 
especially among children. The Senate Committee on Agriculture, 
Nutrition, and Forestry has long had jurisdiction over Federal 
school-based child nutrition programs, the importance of which 
are demonstrated by the fact that school-aged children spend a 
significant amount of their time, and consume a significant 
portion of their overall diet, while at school. For this 
reason, Congress has repeatedly sought to identify, support, 
and expand school-based programs that create incentives for 
students, families, and schools to modify snacking behavior, 
increase physical activity, promote healthy snacks and eating 
habits, and encourage informed and good food choices.
  The critical need for strengthening school-based child 
nutrition programs and interventions are clearly justified by 
the current diets of American children. As with recent trends 
pertaining to hunger and economic trends, statistics pertaining 
to child nutrition and diet-related disease portray a situation 
in clear need of immediate improvement.
  Childhood obesity has increased steadily in recent years, 
especially during the past two decades. According to the 
Institute of Medicine report, Progress in Preventing Childhood 
Obesity, ``Obesity rates among American children and youth have 
increased dramatically. Between 1963 and 2004, obesity rates 
quadrupled for older children, those ages 6 to 11 years (from 4 
to 19 percent), and tripled for adolescents, those ages 12 to 
19 years (from 5 to 17 percent). Between 1971 and 2004, obesity 
rates increased from 5 to 14 percent in 2- to 5 year olds.''
  Available research also shows strong association between 
obesity and other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular 
disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is 
the leading cause of death in America, resulting in 500,000 
annual deaths. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease occur 
with much greater frequency among obese children than they do 
among normal weight children. One quarter of children ages 5 to 
10 show early warning signs for heart disease, such as elevated 
blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  Type 2 diabetes, previously known as adult onset diabetes, 
has also increased dramatically in recent years. Though in the 
past, type 2 diabetes generally affected no more than 5 to 10 
percent of the population, current estimates suggest that among 
children born today, the lifetime risk of developing type 2 
diabetes is 30 percent for boys and 40 percent for girls. Among 
African-American and Latino children, the risks are even 
higher.
  Increasing concern about childhood obesity and diet-related 
chronic disease are set against broader information 
demonstrating general shortcomings in children's diets. Among 
school-age children, only two percent meet the dietary 
recommendations for all food groups. For each of the food 
groups, the percentage of children meeting the recommended 
levels were only 14 percent for fruits and 20 percent for 
vegetables. Added sugar also constitutes a major part of 
children's diets, accounting for 20 percent of total food 
energy. The average intake of added sugar ranges from the 
equivalent of 19 teaspoons a day for girls 6-8 years old, to 
the equivalent of 36 teaspoons a day for males 14-18 years old. 
And among females ages 14-18, over two-thirds exceed the 
recommended levels for fat and saturated fat.
  In sum, it is clear that outstanding needs remain both for 
strengthening the economic security of low-income Americans, as 
well as for improving the health and nutrition of American 
children more generally. The purpose of the nutrition title of 
the reported legislation is to respond to these challenges in 
order that low-income families might more easily be able to put 
food on their tables, as well as adopt eating habits, 
particularly among children, that will enable them to live 
healthier, fuller lives.

                            TITLE V--CREDIT

  Entry into agriculture requires a significant amount of 
capital. In recognition of this significant hurdle, Congress 
has focused the Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan programs on 
assisting beginning farmers and ranchers and those with limited 
capital resources. FSA provides direct and guaranteed 
assistance to eligible borrowers to purchase farmland and to 
cover yearly operating expenses. The FSA direct loan portfolio 
has $2.881 billion outstanding loan obligations while the 
guaranteed loan portfolio has $5.478 billion in outstanding 
loan obligations. The Food and Energy Security Act expands 
beginning farmers and ranchers access to FSA loan programs by 
increasing the percentage of funding set aside for beginning 
farmers and ranchers.
  Prior to the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform 
(FAIR) Act of 1996, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers 
were given preference when FSA sold inventory lands. The 
committee mark reestablishes that socially disadvantaged 
farmers be given priority, equal to that of beginning farmers, 
in the first 135 days inventory land is available for sale. The 
committee bill also expands opportunities for socially 
disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the FSA loan programs by 
making them eligible for the FSA down payment loan program.
  FSA direct ownership and operating loans currently have a 
loan limitation of $200,000. These limitations have not been 
adjusted in more than two decades despite the rising cost of 
land, energy and equipment. The committee bill increases these 
limitations to $300,000. In recognition of the new loan 
limitations, direct loan authorization levels also are 
increased.
  The Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 
limited the number of years borrowers are eligible for FSA 
direct and guaranteed loan assistance. These limitations are 
commonly referred to as term limits. Direct loans currently 
have a term limit of seven years with the possibility of a one-
time waiver of up to two additional years of eligibility. 
Guaranteed loans have a term limit of 15 years. Currently 7,000 
borrowers have only one year of eligibility left in the direct 
operating loan program, and another 11,000 have only two years 
left. In the guaranteed loan program, 5,400 borrowers would be 
ineligible for assistance if the current term limit waiver is 
allowed to expire.
  Term limits are often viewed as inflexible limitations that 
do not have exceptions for natural disasters and drastic market 
downturns. Glen Keppy, Associate Administrator of the FSA, 
testified before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry 
Committee last year that term limits continue to be an ongoing 
challenge facing FSA. The FSA guaranteed loan portfolio is 
experiencing historic lows in delinquencies and losses. The 
committee bill eliminates term limits on guaranteed operating 
loans and extends the direct loan term limit by one year. The 
committee bill strengthens borrower training and loan servicing 
requirements to ensure the health of the FSA loan portfolio.
  The Farm Credit System (FCS) provides a source of reliable 
and competitive credit to agriculture and rural areas. It 
obtains the funds it uses for lending primarily through the 
sale of insured debt obligations. As of September 30, 2007, 
investors held $147 billion in FCS debt.
  The Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (FCSIC), an 
independent government-controlled corporation, provides 
protection to investors by administering an insurance fund. The 
insurance fund is required to hold two percent of the 
outstanding debt, also called the secure base amount. The 
statute currently allows FCSIC to collect insurance premiums 
only on outstanding loan volume not on all outstanding debt. 
This has caused the insurance fund to be below the secure base 
amount since 2005. With the estimated growth of the FCS, it is 
projected that it will take several years to recapitalize the 
secure base amount. The committee bill updates the method in 
which FCSIC collects premiums to insure outstanding debt. The 
bill allows FCSIC to collect insurance premiums on all 
outstanding debt, including investments.

               TITLE VI--RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT

  The Committee has broad responsibility for rural development. 
Major rural development programs have been in place since the 
1930s with the passage of the Rural Electrification Act. Since 
then, the Congress has approved a wide variety of rural 
development programs covering infrastructure, community 
facilities and business development. Less than seven percent of 
rural Americans live on farms. Non-farm income amounts to over 
two thirds of the income of farm families.
  Higher costs of infrastructure because of low population 
density necessitate continued needs. Traditional infrastructure 
such as electricity, telephones, water and sewer are joined by 
the need for broadband as well as basic human needs that 
include hospitals and child care. The reality of small towns 
that dot rural America create a need for communities to 
collaborate to have the economic resources and planning 
capacity to better help themselves. While there is considerable 
capital in Rural America, continued assistance is needed 
because of the limited resources of relatively small financial 
institutions that serve in rural areas and the limited venture 
capital funds that flow beyond the major metropolitan areas.

                          TITLE VII--RESEARCH

  Agricultural research, extension, and education programs 
serve the food and agriculture sector, consumers of American 
agricultural products, and rural communities in the United 
States. These programs mainly involve two research agencies at 
the USDA: the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the 
intramural research agency and the Cooperative State Research, 
Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), the grant-
administering research agency. The mission of these agencies 
aim to increase production and innovation in the agriculture 
sector, improve the safety, quality, and nutrition of the food 
supply, improve conservation of the environment, and support 
rural communities, among other objectives. Two other agencies 
at the Department that support this mission are the Economic 
Research Service (ERS) and the National Agricultural Statistics 
Service (NASS).
  Agricultural research, extension and education are critical 
to the future of an efficient and innovative agriculture system 
that must provide food, fiber, and now energy, for an 
increasing population, while improving natural resources. The 
challenges that lie ahead in the future are numerous, and 
Federal investments in agricultural research, extension, and 
education should be increasing accordingly.
  Despite the increasing demands placed on agricultural 
research, extension and education, the Congressional Research 
Service reports that Federal funding for agricultural research 
has only slightly increased in real dollars over the past two 
decades. Since the FSRIA of 2002 was enacted, funding for the 
agricultural research, extension, and education programs have 
increased by an estimated $150 million. Meanwhile, recent 
studies from the Economic Research Service, as well as Iowa 
State University and Yale University, have concluded that for 
every Federal dollar spent on agricultural research, extension 
and education, ten dollars worth of benefits are returned to 
the economy. Although the public benefits of agricultural 
research, extension, and education programs are great, Federal 
funding of such programs is poor.
  The main objectives of the research title in this legislation 
are to increase competitive grant opportunities for basic and 
applied agricultural research and to strengthen the research, 
extension and education components administered by USDA through 
the land-grant university system. In order to achieve these 
objectives, this bill reauthorizes various programs and 
research initiatives currently under the auspices of CSREES 
that were established by various Acts of Congress, including 
the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching 
Policy Act of 1977, the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and 
Trade of 1990, and the Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Education Reform Act of 1998. This legislation also provides 
new funds for a specialty crops research initiative and the 
Organic Research and Extension Initiative established in the 
FSRIA of 2002.
  However, the additional funding provided in this bill is not 
enough to respond to decades of nearly level Federal funding 
and the increasing need for agricultural research, extension, 
and education. In addition to difficulty in attracting 
sufficient funding, the research programs administered by USDA 
are viewed by some as a collection of unfocused programs 
without great emphasis on competitive grant programs, and as 
inadequate in providing support to infrastructure programs for 
the land-grant college and university system. These are all 
issues that must be addressed in order to continue providing 
solutions and improving the response to issues that farmers, 
consumers, and rural communities are facing.
  The critical piece of the research title that attempts to 
solve these issues is the transformation of CSREES into a 
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The re-
structuring of CSREES into NIFA includes the creation of 
offices at NIFA dedicated to basic or fundamental research, 
applied research, education programs, and the infrastructure, 
or land-grant, network. These offices will increase the 
visibility of competitive programs at USDA's research agencies, 
and will strengthen infrastructure programs at the land-grant 
system.

                          TITLE VIII--FORESTRY

  There is an estimated 354,000,000 acres of non-industrial 
private forestland in the United States under private 
ownership. Non-industrial private forests play a significant 
role in providing clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and 
recreational opportunities. The Forest Service has estimated 
44,000,000 acres of non-industrial private forest will be 
converted to non-forest uses by 2030. The Food and Energy 
Security Act recognizes the important benefits that non-
industrial private forest provide and looks improve cooperation 
and focus of conservation activities on these forests to 
enhance the benefits these forests provide.
  The Forest Service's State and Private Forestry programs are 
in the midst of a redesign that will help the Forest Service 
better account for appropriated money by offering competitive 
funding. The reported legislation creates a program that 
provides Federal assistance to States to develop comprehensive 
statewide assessment and plan which identifies the critical 
forest resources. These assessments and plans will provide a 
comprehensive framework to help States prepare for competitive 
funding.
  Forest provides communities many economic, cultural, and 
environmental benefits. Many forests surrounding communities 
face significant development pressure. It is widely recognized 
that the potential loss of these forestlands is a significant 
threat facing the future of forests. Conversion to non-forest 
use and fragmentation of forests jeopardize forest health and 
ecological functions. Few communities have the necessary 
financial capacity and technical expertise to conserve and 
carefully manage private forestlands that protect their water 
supply, support a timber-based economy, protect wildlife 
habitat, and enhance recreational opportunities, scenic beauty 
and quality of life for local residents. The reported 
legislation establishes a grant program that will provide 
Federal matching grants to help county or local governments, 
Indian tribes, or non-profit organizations acquire forest areas 
threatened by conversion to non-forest uses or are 
economically, culturally, or environmentally important to 
communities.
  In 1994, President Bill Clinton issued an executive 
memorandum to all Federal departments about the nature of 
tribal governments. This memorandum recognized the need to set 
forth principles to ensure that Federal agencies recognize 
Indian tribes' sovereign status and improve government-to-
government relationships.
  The Forest Service commissioned a National Tribal Relations 
Task Force in 1999 to develop recommendations to improve 
relations with Indian tribes. The task force recommended tribal 
access to forest products for traditional purposes; temporary 
Forest Service land closure for tribal traditional activities; 
and reburial of human remains on National Forest System lands 
as a way to foster a better working relationship between the 
Forest Service and Indian tribes.
  The National Tribal Relations Program Implementation team in 
2003 supported the findings of 1999 task force, and suggested 
that the Forest Service should improve tribal participation in 
the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act forest stewardship 
programs.
  In the fall of 2006, the Forest Service sent a legislative 
proposal to Congress that addressed the findings of the 1999 
and 2003 taskforces. The reported legislation builds off of the 
Forest Services proposals to improve government-to-government 
relations between the Forest Service and Indian tribes.

                            TITLE IX--ENERGY

  There has been a steadily increasing recognition of the role 
of the agricultural sector in the nation's energy economy over 
the past 3 decades, as reflected by the inclusion of energy-
related provisions in each of the farm bills passed by the 
Congress since 1977. By 2002, the increasing importance of 
energy production and use in the agricultural sector led to 
inclusion of an energy title in the FSRIA of 2002 for the first 
time. This energy title in the FSRIA of 2002 included 
provisions supporting the development and commercialization of 
biofuels as well as the development and use of biobased 
products, both of which reduce the nation's dependence on 
fossil fuels. It also provided support for improvements in 
energy use in the agricultural sector through grants and loan 
guarantees for the purchase of renewable energy systems and the 
adoption of energy efficiency projects by farmers, ranchers, 
and rural small businesses. Finally, the energy title in the 
2002 bill called for increased emphasis on bioenergy research 
and development.
  Since the FSRIA of 2002 was passed, the nation has become 
significantly more concerned about energy issues, including the 
security of adequate energy supplies, increasing energy costs, 
and environmental and climatic effects of energy use. Of 
paramount concern is the nation's increasing dependence on 
imports of petroleum and natural gas. Oil imports have grown 
from 60 percent of total U.S. consumption of oil in 2000 to 
66.5 percent in 2006, and natural gas imports also have grown 
during that same period, from 11 percent to 16 percent of total 
U.S. consumption of natural gas. Petroleum imports are of 
particular concern because a significant portion of those 
imports come from nations that are unfriendly to the United 
States or politically unstable. Energy price increases have 
added to concerns about the nation's energy economy. Crude oil 
prices averaged $47 per barrel during the 3-year period from 
2004 through 2006, compared with an average of only $24 per 
barrel from 2000 through 2002. Similarly, wellhead natural gas 
prices increased from an average of $3.54 per million British 
thermal units (mBtu) during the period from 2000 through 2002 
to $6.40 per mBtu over the period from 2004 through 2006. The 
fact that over 85 percent of domestic greenhouse gas emissions 
result from the production, conversion and use of energy has 
also spurred interest in new approaches to energy systems.
  These energy concerns have led to a strong interest in 
increasing production and use of renewable energy, including 
biofuels and other forms of bioenergy, and electricity and 
thermal energy from renewable energy systems. Renewable energy 
production has experienced strong expansion since the FSRIA of 
2002 was passed. Biofuels production in 2006 totaled over 5 
billion gallons, almost 3 times the production in 2001. Wind 
power generation also experienced a 3-fold increase from 2001 
to 2006 in the United States. Even with these increases, the 
total contributions of renewable energy to our national energy 
supplies is quite small--approximately 7 percent, with 
hydropower representing over 40 percent of that. However, 
energy resource assessments generally indicate that there is 
significant room for growth of domestic renewable energy 
production. For example, wind resources can easily supply as 
much as 20 to 40 times current levels of windpower generation. 
Similarly, biofuels production has the potential to be many 
times greater than current levels.
  The purpose of the energy title is to establish policies and 
programs that will enable a significantly larger contribution 
to our nation's energy needs from bioenergy and renewable 
energy production in our agricultural sector, and to improve 
the management of energy systems in that sector. For bioenergy, 
the most important need is to support and accelerate the 
development and commercialization of technologies for producing 
biofuels and biobased products from cellulosic biomass 
feedstocks. At the present time, the bulk of biofuels and 
bioproducts are produced using, principally, corn and soybeans, 
and energy derived from these grain-based feedstocks is 
expected to continue to expand. However, extensive research 
into the production and conversion of cellulosic biomass into 
biofuels, bioproducts and bioenergy indicates that this 
approach offers the potential for agriculture to make 
significantly larger energy contributions while conserving 
resources and protecting the environmental quality. Successful 
commercialization of cellulosic bioenergy requires a broad 
range of actions, including support for farmers and 
agricultural producers to begin to grow biomass feedstocks, 
support for development of equipment for harvesting, transport 
and preprocessing of the cellulosic biomass feedstocks, support 
for demonstration and evaluation of biomass conversion 
technologies that have shown promise in laboratory research, 
support for commercialization of proven conversion processes in 
full-scale, plants, and identification and development of the 
infrastructure needed to support broad national use of 
significantly larger levels of biofuels. In addition, 
continuing support is needed for research on biomass crop 
species, for regional research on agronomic practices to inform 
farmers and agricultural producers as they transition to the 
production of biomass crops, and for continuing research on the 
broad range of cellulosic biomass conversion technologies, all 
of which will significantly increase the contributions of 
domestically-produced biofuels in the decades to come. Finally, 
in order to ensure that soil and ecosystem and environmental 
resources are not harmed by this new and significant transition 
to large-scale production of cellulosic bioenergy, additional 
studies need to be conducted to better understand the potential 
impacts of various crops, cropping practices, and conversion 
technologies.
  Enabling greater domestic renewable energy production and 
improved energy management in the agricultural sector will 
benefit the entire nation as well as helping agricultural 
producers and their rural business neighbors with their local 
energy needs. The FSRIA of 2002 initiated a program of support 
for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency projects 
that has supported hundreds of projects and has leveraged about 
10 times as much funding as was invested by the Federal 
government. Expansion of this fledgling program will support 
thousands of similar projects which, taken together, will 
decrease use of fossil energy both in the agricultural sector 
and across the United States. A specific need is to accelerate 
the installation of systems for converting animal manures to 
energy--a process with both energy and environmental benefits.
  Over the life of this legislation, a number of additional 
energy programs and studies are needed in the agricultural 
sector and rural areas. Continuing research on the role of the 
agricultural sector in climate change is needed to complement 
national and regional activities and policies directed toward 
this issue. Specifically, it is imperative to better manage 
greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector, and 
understand the potential for carbon sequestration in 
agricultural production and forest management, including the 
potential benefits associated with the use of biochar as a soil 
conditioner. The production of woody biomass and the use of 
wood in community energy systems provide another approach 
complementing our existing energy sources while improving local 
energy systems. A study of the potential for manufacturing 
nitrogen fertilizer using renewable energy could help address 
the concerns over the current trend toward increasing 
fertilizer imports and rising prices while offering 
opportunities for rural economic development. Finally, there is 
a need to provide technical guidance and financial support for 
rural communities that are intent on assessing their current 
energy systems and on formulating strategies for transitioning 
to energy systems that are less dependent on fossil energy and 
have lower environmental and climatic impacts.

                           TITLE X--LIVESTOCK

  Livestock, poultry and egg industries consistently play an 
integral role in U.S. agriculture. The value of U.S. livestock 
and poultry production in 2007 is estimated to be $125.7 
billion. The marketing, regulation and health of the livestock 
and poultry industries are either partially or entirely 
governed by the Agricultural Marketing Act, Agricultural Fair 
Practices Act, Packers and Stockyards Act and the Animal Health 
Protection Act.
  The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et 
seq.) was enacted to aid in the distribution and marketing of 
agricultural products, including research, market aids and 
services and regulatory activities. Two programs that were 
amended to this Act are the livestock mandatory reporting 
program, which provides price, supply and demand information; 
and the mandatory country of origin labeling program, which 
requires retailers to provide consumers labeling information on 
the origin of meat and meat products, fruits and vegetables, 
fish and peanuts. This Act is enforced by the Agricultural 
Marketing Service (AMS) at the Department of Agriculture.
  The Agricultural Fair Practices Act of 1967 (7 U.S.C. 2301 et 
seq.) was enacted to ensure farmers are free to join together 
voluntarily in cooperative organizations and require standards 
of fair practices of handlers in their dealings in agricultural 
products. This Act is currently enforced by the Agricultural 
Marketing Service (AMS) at the Department of Agriculture.
  The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) 
was enacted to regulate livestock marketing activities at 
public stockyards and the operations of meat packers and live 
poultry dealers. The Act prohibits unfair, deceptive, unjustly 
discriminatory and anti-competitive practices. This Act is 
currently enforced by the Grain Inspection, Packers and 
Stockyards Administration at the Department of Agriculture.
  The Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.) was 
enacted in 2002 to prevent, detect, control and eradicate 
diseases and pests and protect animal health and the health and 
welfare of the people of the United States. This Act is 
enforced by the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
at the Department of Agriculture.
  In the past 10 years, the animal industry has become more 
consolidated and vertically integrated to gain efficiencies and 
market competitiveness. According to data provided by the 
University of Missouri, in April 2007, four firms control 84 
percent of the procurement of cattle and four firms control 66 
percent of the procurement of hogs. Four firms control roughly 
59 percent of the procurement of broilers.
  Contracting in livestock agriculture has also increased 
steadily in the past 10 years. Production contracts, a method 
of marketing when the producer finances and builds facilities 
to house livestock or poultry, and the firm provides the feed, 
medications, and owns the livestock or poultry, have increased. 
According to data provided by the Economic Research Service 
(ERS) at the Department of Agriculture in 2006, the percent of 
production value for cattle under production contract 
represented 25 percent in 2003 compared to 11 percent in 1997. 
The percent of production value for hogs under production 
contracts represented 50 percent in 2003 compared to 31 percent 
in 1997. The percentage of production value for poultry and 
eggs under production contracts represented 87 percent in 2003 
compared to 80 percent in 1997.
  According to University of Missouri data, direct ownership of 
livestock has increased in the hog industry. In 2007 direct 
ownership of hogs by packers is roughly 22 percent, compared to 
16 percent in 2002. According to data from the Department of 
Agriculture, direct ownership of cattle has stayed more 
consistent at 5-7 percent in 2007, compared to roughly 6-10 
percent in 2002.
  In February 2007, the Grain Inspection, Packers and 
Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) released a congressional 
mandated report authored by the Research Triangle Institute 
(RTI) International. The report concluded that the use of 
alternative marketing arrangements, including packer ownership, 
from October 2002 through March 2005 was estimated at 38 
percent of the fed beef cattle volume, 89 percent of the 
finished hog volume, and 44 percent of the fed lamb volume sold 
to packers. In aggregate, the report concluded that 
restrictions on the use of alternative marketing arrangements 
for sale of livestock to meat packers would have negative 
economic effects on livestock producers, meat packers, and 
consumers. The report also concluded that alternative marketing 
arrangements also are associated with lower cash market prices, 
with a much larger effect occurring for finished hogs than for 
cattle.
  On April 18, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to garner the 
views of producers and organizations for the next farm bill. 
Some discussion during the hearing involved proposed 
legislation that would ban packer ownership of livestock. 
During the hearing, some industry groups testified that 
increased direct ownership of livestock by packers increased 
the packer's ability to withhold purchases from the open market 
for extended periods of time. Other groups testified that 
banning packer ownership of cattle limits producer 
opportunities to respond to consumer demands for specialized 
products.
  Consolidation and vertical integration in the livestock and 
poultry industries are not in and of themselves violations of 
the Packers and Stockyards Act or other laws. However, the 
increased consolidation, vertical integration, increased 
contracting and other marketing practices have led some to 
believe that greater emphasis on oversight and enforcement of 
the Packers and Stockyards Act by the Department of Agriculture 
is needed. In testimony given on April 17, 2007, to the House 
Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry by Mr. James E. 
Link, Administrator for the Grain Inspection, Packers and 
Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) at the Department of 
Agriculture stated that, ``increased consolidation calls for 
increased vigilance by the Packers and Stockyards program due 
to the increasingly complex nature of new marketing and 
procurement practices, and to the arguably increased potential 
for anti-competitive behavior.''
  On several occasions, the Committee has expressed concern 
with the Department of Agriculture's ability or commitment to 
enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act over the past decade. 
Most recently in March 2006, the Committee held a hearing in 
response to a January 2006 audit by the Department of 
Agriculture's Inspector General. The Department of Agriculture 
Inspector General's audit stated that the Grain Inspection, 
Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) at the Department 
of Agriculture had not established an adequate control 
structure and environment that allows the agency to oversee and 
manage its investigative activities. The audit also revealed 
that the agency had not taken sufficient actions to strengthen 
operations in response to findings previously reported by the 
Inspector General in February 1997 and the Government 
Accountability Office in September 2000. The 1997 audit 
uncovered disagreements between the Department of Agriculture's 
Office of General Counsel (OGC) and GIPSA over interpretation 
of the Act. GIPSA also in the 1997 audit expressed concern over 
OGC's commitment to enforcing the Act.
  During the March 2006 hearing, the Grain Inspection, Packers 
and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Administrator James E. 
Link submitted testimony regarding recent management and 
structure reforms instituted at GIPSA in response to both the 
Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability 
Office. These reforms included the implementation of 37 
directives and 20 policy memoranda to provide management 
direction on investigations. In early 2007, GIPSA investigators 
went through formal training for investigations and complex 
competition investigations. According to the Department of 
Agriculture, as a result of these actions, GIPSA referred more 
enforcement cases to the Office of General Counsel in fiscal 
year 2007 than in any year in the recent past. The Committee 
however is unclear if these increased activities represent the 
necessary reforms needed at GIPSA.
  The Committee is interested in new processes and technology 
that will convert animal manure into bioenergy. Animal manure 
is a valuable resource for farmers, and when handled properly 
it benefits farmers and our nation's food production, helps 
diversify our sources of domestic energy and, through 
conversion to bioenergy, it can boost the economies of rural 
communities. Some in the agriculture and bioenergy fields have 
raised concerns about potential liabilities and regulatory 
requirements associated with the storage, transportation and 
use of animal manure for the purpose of normal agricultural 
operations and bioenergy production. The Committee is aware 
that these concerns about potential economic, liability and 
regulatory costs may impede the productive use of manure.

                         Summary of Provisions

              TITLE I--PRODUCER INCOME PROTECTION PROGRAMS

DIRECT PAYMENTS, COUNTER-CYCLICAL PAYMENTS, AND MARKETING LOANS

  To address the inequities between crops, the legislation 
increases target prices for wheat, grain sorghum, barley, oats, 
soybeans, and other oilseeds and establishes target prices for 
the pulse crops. As a result, target prices are closer to a 
common percentage of the average cost of production to produce 
the crops. The bill also raises loan rates for wheat, barley, 
oats, other oilseeds, wool, and honey and establishes a loan 
rate for large chickpeas. These loan rates were set at levels 
that are at least 85 percent of recent price experience.

PEANUTS

  The peanut provisions contained in this bill continue the 
peanut program that was established under the FSRIA of 2002. 
The direct payment rate, marketing loan rate, and target price 
are all unchanged in this bill.
  The marketing loan program originally established under FSRIA 
of 2002 provided payments for storage, handling, and other 
associated costs for peanuts placed in the marketing loan 
program for the 2002 through 2006 crop years. FSRIA of 2002 
authorized the use of Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to 
provide payments for storage, handling, and associated costs 
for peanuts in the loan in order to ensure appropriate storage 
and handling because of the unique perishable nature of 
peanuts. Unfortunately, payments were not provided for the 2007 
crop year for peanuts because of budgetary constraints during 
FSRIA of 2002 consideration. In order to continue to ensure the 
appropriate storage and handling of peanuts placed under loan, 
this bill requires the Secretary to pay any handling and 
associated costs (but not storage) incurred at the time the 
peanuts are placed under loan for the 2007 through 2012 peanut 
crop years. These payments would be repaid when the loan 
peanuts are redeemed. However, the Secretary would pay the 
storage, handling, and associated costs for peanuts placed 
under loan that are forfeited. The purpose of this provision is 
to not only ensure the continued proper and adequate storage 
and handling of peanuts in the loan but also to guarantee that 
these costs are not taken out of a producer's loan proceeds at 
the time the peanuts are placed in the loan. This should ensure 
that producers receive the full value of the marketing loan.

COTTON

  The Committee appreciates the recommendation of the cotton 
industry to reform the upland cotton marketing loan program as 
provided in sections 1204 and 1210. Savings achieved from these 
changes and the reduction in the cotton target price fund a 
short-term economic assistance program for the struggling 
domestic textile industry under section 1207(c).
  The elimination of the Step 2 program in the Deficit 
Reduction Act of 2005 and increased competition in the world 
market exposed weaknesses in the operation of the upland cotton 
marketing assistance loan. Concerns were expressed that loan 
premiums available for certain qualities of upland cotton were 
not reflective of the market and that some qualities of upland 
cotton were over-valued in the loan. By making modifications to 
the upland cotton loan program, the Committee aims to correct 
the existing method of determining the premiums and discounts 
applicable to the marketing assistance loan in order to make it 
reflective of true market values.
  The Committee recognizes that the upland cotton marketing 
loan program will undergo another significant change in the 
next marketing year when the Department is expected to modify 
its determination of the adjusted world price (AWP).
  The Cotlook A Index for Northern Europe delivery, used by the 
Department in determining the AWP for purposes of the upland 
cotton marketing loan program, has been in place for over 40 
years. Ten years ago, Europe consumed over 6 million bales of 
cotton per year, or around seven percent of the world's total, 
and accounted for a significant share of world trade. Estimated 
consumption continues to decline, to less than two percent of a 
much increased world total, with further sharp declines 
projected. By contrast, Asia now accounts for more than half of 
the world's cotton mill use.
  Because the market continues to evolve, Cotton Outlook, the 
leading commercial provider of international cotton market 
information and analysis, will discontinue North European A 
index values beginning August 1, 2008. This will require a 
change in how the Department determines the AWP for the upland 
cotton marketing loan program.
  The Committee understands from the Department that it has the 
authority to make appropriate adjustments for determining and 
calculating the AWP. The Committee requests that the Department 
ensure that an accurate world price is discovered in the 
absence of a North European index and appreciates communication 
from the Department about any changes that may be made. The 
Committee encourages the Department to make any changes in a 
manner that ensures a seamless transition for the program, for 
the Department, and for the entire cotton industry.

AVERAGE CROP REVENUE

  The bill establishes a new Average Crop Revenue (ACR) program 
that covers both yields and price - crop revenue. The ACR will 
provide producers a choice between current commodity programs 
and a revenue option. With the ACR option, which is similar to 
legislation proposed by Senators Durbin and Brown, each 
producer will decide which of these two approaches works better 
for their farming operation.
  This optional program provides participating producers with a 
new state-level revenue counter-cyclical payment, recourse 
loan, and fixed payment in lieu of the current marketing loan, 
counter-cyclical program, and direct payment. The new program 
would generate payments on a crop-specific basis whenever 
average per-acre revenue at the state level falls below the 
per-acre state guarantee. The state level guarantee equals 90 
percent of the product of the expected state average yield and 
the three-year moving average (including the current year) of 
the insurance price used in revenue insurance products in the 
U.S. crop insurance program.
  The ACR provides an alternative to existing support programs 
through creation of an optional, two-tier revenue protection 
program. Farmers would rely on crop insurance coverage to 
manage risks that occur on their individual farms, which the 
farm program would supplement when widespread losses occur at 
the state level. The ACR addresses both price and yield issues.
  As amended in Committee by Senator Roberts, farmers will have 
the choice beginning with the 2010 crop year, to participate in 
the revenue protection program or to remain in the traditional 
farm program. Once a producer decides to participate in the 
ACR, the decision will apply through the 2012 crop year and 
apply to all covered commodities on the farm. The program will 
provide producers a fixed payment of $15 per acre on the total 
base acres on the farm. In addition, participants in the ACR 
will be eligible for state-level revenue protection on 85 
percent of the base acres on a crop-by-crop basis. The revenue 
component will generate payments whenever the average per-acre 
revenue for the crop in the State falls below the state 
guarantee. The Roberts amendment adopted in committee removed 
the linkage between the ACR program and the crop insurance 
program. In accepting the amendment, the Committee expressed 
its support for the crop insurance program as a viable risk 
management tool for producers.

SUGAR

  The legislation increases the loan rate for raw cane sugar in 
one-fourth cent increments from the current rate to 19 cents 
per pound for the 2012 crop. The loan rate for refined beet 
sugar is set at 128.5 percent of the loan rate for raw cane 
sugar.
  Sugar imports from Mexico have the potential to disrupt the 
balance between the U.S. sugar supply and demand for sugar in 
the United States. To help manage the supply of sugar, the bill 
includes a new feedstock flexibility program which requires the 
Secretary to purchase eligible sugar and to make that sugar 
available to bioenergy producers in a manner that ensures that 
the sugar program is operated at no cost to the Federal 
government.

DAIRY

  The bill restores the payment percentage to 45 percent and 
increases the quantity of milk that is eligible for payment to 
4,150,000 pounds of milk per year per producer.
  Dairy producers in areas subject to Federal milk marketing 
orders are not able to contract with manufacturers for milk 
deliveries. The bill authorizes milk producers and dairy 
cooperatives to voluntarily enter into forward price contracts 
with milk handlers. The authority to enter into contracts 
terminates on September 30, 2012, but contracts can cover sales 
through September 30, 2015.

PAYMENT LIMITATIONS

  The payment limitations provisions in the bill require the 
Secretary to attribute payments made to a legal entity to the 
natural persons who own the legal entity. If the fourth-tier of 
ownership is that of a legal entity and not a natural person, 
the Secretary shall reduce the amount of the payment by the 
amount that represents the indirect ownership by the fourth-
tier legal entity.
  Payment limits are set at $40,000 in direct payments and 
fixed ACR payments; and $60,000 in counter-cyclical and revenue 
ACR payments. Each spouse is eligible for a separate payment 
limitation, although only one spouse has to meet the 
qualification of personal labor or active personal management.
  Current law restricts commodity and conservation payments to 
individuals and entities with less than $2,500,000 in adjusted 
gross income (AGI) unless 75 percent or more of the income is 
from farming, ranching, or forestry operations. This limit is 
lowered to $1,000,000 for 2009; and $750,000 for 2010 and 
subsequent crop years. However, if 66.66 percent or more of the 
adjusted gross income is from farming, ranching, or forestry, 
the AGI limit does not apply.

                            SPECIALTY CROPS

SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANTS

  The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is administered by 
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and provides 
flexible grant funding to state departments of agriculture to 
invest in programs and projects that support production-related 
research, commodity promotion, product quality enhancement, 
consumer health, food safety and other programs that enhance 
the competitiveness of specialty crop producers. The block 
grant program received approximately $15,000,000 in 
appropriated funding in fiscal year 2007, and has been very 
popular in States with significant specialty crop production. 
This provision greatly expands the program, providing mandatory 
funding amounts in fiscal years 2008 through 2011 of 
$60,000,000, $65,000,000, $70,000,000, $75,000,000, 
respectively.

                            RISK MANAGEMENT

STATUTORY LOSS RATIO

  Under this subtitle, operation of the Federal crop insurance 
program moves to a fully actuarially sound basis, establishing 
a new statutory national loss ratio of 1.0. Previously, the 
program was allowed some leeway in meeting the objective of 
actuarial soundness, with the statutory loss ratio set at 
1.075. This provision generates budgetary savings.

CONTROLLED BUSINESS

  This subtitle bars farmers from collecting commissions as 
agents on certain policies if more than 30 percent of their 
total commissions are derived from policies sold to operations 
that they or their immediate family have a beneficial interest 
in.

ADMINISTRATIVE FEE FOR CATASTROPHIC COVERAGE

  Farmers currently have the opportunity to acquire so-called 
catastrophic coverage, which provides some assistance in the 
event of widespread losses, for the cost of $100 per crop. The 
level of this modest administrative fee is doubled in this 
subtitle to $200, generating budgetary savings.

ORGANIC SURCHARGE PROHIBITION

  Subtitle G also includes a provision prohibiting RMA from 
charging an arbitrary 5 percent surcharge on all crop insurance 
policies for organic crops. A surcharge on organic crops will 
only be allowed if greater yield variability and loss history 
for organic crops compared to otherwise identical crops grown 
conventionally can be documented on an individual crop by crop 
basis.

PREMIUM REDUCTION PLAN

  The subtitle repeals section 508(e)(3) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act. This authority was utilized beginning in 2003 to 
offer the Premium Reduction Plan (PRP) which allowed companies 
to provide discounts to farmers buying crop insurance if they 
could generate savings from the Administrative and Operating 
(A&O;) expense reimbursement they receive from RMA. However, the 
consensus view among industry participants and observers was 
that the regulations formally adopted for the 2006 reinsurance 
year to implement PRP did not permit the program to perform as 
intended.
  The Secretary will also be required to commission an 
independent study which will examine past discounting 
mechanisms, as well as recommend new ways for approved 
insurance providers to offer discounts or other ways to allow 
price competition in the Federal crop insurance program. All 
these options must be considered in light of their impact on 
the viability of the Federal crop insurance program. The study 
is to be completed within 18 months of enactment of the 
legislation.

REIMBURSEMENT RATE

  Farmers currently have the option of purchasing policies 
based on aggregate loss experience at the county level, rather 
than traditional policies which reflect losses incurred on 
individual farms. Since such area policies do not require 
adjustment of individual claims in order to calculate the size 
of indemnities to be paid, the decision has been made that the 
share of total premium dollar to be paid to cover expense 
reimbursement can be reduced for such policies. This provision 
generates budgetary savings.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

  Under current law, Congress established a procedure under 
which companies and other interested groups could develop 
proposals for new crop insurance products and submit them for 
approval to the Board of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation, and then be reimbursed for expenses if the 
proposal is approved. Over the last 7 years, that procedure has 
not been utilized as often as had been hoped because it 
requires groups to make an extensive up-front investment 
without any assurance of a return on their investments. 
Recognizing that problem, the committee bill provides an 
alternative process for developing crop insurance products, in 
the form of reimbursement grants.

RENEGOTIATION OF THE STANDARD REINSURANCE AGREEMENT

  The SRA represents the standing contract on financial terms 
and compliance requirements between the USDA and the private 
companies involved in delivering the Federal crop insurance 
program. It was last renegotiated in 2005, but current law 
provides no authority for additional renegotiations. This 
subtitle would permit subsequent renegotiations every five 
years, but not prior to the 2013 reinsurance year, unless 
unexpected adverse circumstances develop for the companies. 
This exception can only be invoked after the Secretary has 
notified the relevant Committees of Congress.

FUNDING FROM INSURANCE FUND

  ARPA legislation in 2000 provided mandatory funds for 
allocating contracts for research and development and 
reimbursement of expenses for developing new products, since at 
the same time it prohibited RMA from undertaking such 
activities. A determination has been made to reduce funds 
available for these purposes. This provision generates 
budgetary savings.

CONTRACTS FOR ADDITIONAL CROP POLICIES

  This subtitle requires USDA to enter into contracts to 
develop policies to insure dedicated energy crops, to insure 
aquaculture operations, to study how to incorporate the use of 
skiprow cropping practices, and to improve organic insurance 
coverage. A separate provision requires development of a 
camelina proposal for Board consideration.

ADMINISTRATIVE FEE FOR NONINSURED CROP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

  Farmers raising crops not currently covered under the Federal 
crop insurance program have the ability to acquire some 
protection against losses by participation in the Noninsured 
Crop Assistance Program (NAP). Those participants now pay a 
modest administrative fee of $100 per crop; in this 
legislation, the fee is doubled to $200 per crop. This 
provision generates budgetary savings.

                         TITLE II--CONSERVATION

DEFINITION OF BEGINNING FARMER OR RANCHER

  This definition, which applies to all of title XII, amends 
the definition of beginning farmer or rancher to allow the 
Secretary to include a fair and reasonable test of net worth. 
This will allow the Department to better provide accelerated 
and targeted assistance to new farmers, while ensuring that 
resources are not diverted from more deserving producers with 
limited means. The Committee intends that the Department will 
utilize automated tools and quantifiable means of identifying 
producers under this section.

CONSERVATION COMPLIANCE

  Provides for better review of conservation compliance 
provisions. Also requires assessment of graduated penalties for 
good faith violations, technical and minor violations, or 
minimal effect violations, based on seriousness of the 
violation. The Committee recognizes these statutory 
improvements are critical.

CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM

  The bill reauthorizes the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 
and maintains the current 39.2 million acre enrollment 
authorization. The list of Conservation Priority Areas is 
expanded to include the Prairie Pothole Region, the Grand Lake 
St. Mary's Watershed, and the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. The 
bill adds pollinator habitat as a program purpose of the CRP. 
The Committee intends that this provision apply to both native 
and managed pollinators.
  The bill exempts land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve 
Enhancement Program from the county acreage cap. It also 
expands eligibility of the pilot program for enrollment of 
wetland and buffer acreage to include shallow water areas 
devoted to commercial pond-raised aquaculture. Pollinator and 
fish habitat are added as permissive criteria to consider when 
evaluating CRP offers. The bill also adds a preference for 
selecting offers of local residents when all other factors are 
equal.
  The bill also contains two new initiatives: a new flooded 
farmland provision that would make closed basin lakes or 
potholes in the prairie pothole region, if five acres are 
submerged for the preceding three crop years, eligible for 
continuous signup enrollment; and a Wildlife Habitat Program 
for land enrolled in CRP and devoted to softwood pine stands to 
improve the condition of wildlife habitat.
  The Committee understands there has been some complication in 
local areas with restricting access to buffers while gleaning 
the crop residue in a field. Short term access to buffers that 
are adjacent to fields should be allowed post harvest without a 
reduction in payment. While grazing of the buffer is not 
intended in this action, the proximity to the field crop 
residue makes restricting access difficult. Due to the short 
term nature of this activity (60 days maximum), it should not 
result in a reduced payment and should be done in accordance 
with the contract.

WETLANDS RESERVE PROGRAM

  The bill reauthorizes the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and 
provides funds to enroll 250,000 acres per year through 2012. 
Improved easement valuation methods are included to ensure that 
producers are receiving fair compensation for enrolling their 
lands in the program.
  This legislation allows Indian Tribes to participate through 
30-year contracts, which shall be paid at the same rate as a 
30-year easement. It also provides a new Wetlands Reserve 
Enhancement Program that will allow WRP program resources to be 
matched with State and local level contributions, better 
leveraging the public investment.

HEALTHY FORESTS RESERVE PROGRAM

  The bill reauthorizes the Healthy Forest Reserve Program 
(HFRP), replaces 99-year easements with permanent easements, 
allows Indian Tribes to participate through 30-year contracts, 
which shall be paid at the same rate as 30-year easements, and 
removes the restriction on total acreage that can be enrolled 
in the program. The HFRP also provides an authorization of 
appropriations.

COMPREHENSIVE STEWARDSHIP INCENTIVES PROGRAM

  The bill creates an umbrella Comprehensive Stewardship 
Incentives Program (CSIP) with two components: The 
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the 
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM

  The biggest single change in the conservation title is the 
restructuring of the Conservation Security Program into the 
Conservation Stewardship Program. The new program provides for 
enrollments and eliminates the need for watershed-based, 
rotational signups that have been utilized in the past. The 
bill also eliminates the current Tier structure utilized in the 
CSP. It eliminates three of the four payment types, but retains 
the maintenance payment concept. Under the program, producers 
will receive enhancement payments for maintaining existing 
conservation systems and adding additional conservation 
treatment above the minimum requirements for program 
eligibility. The new program adopts a ranking process to screen 
contract offers to prioritize the most environmentally 
beneficial contracts. Individuals can receive additional 
enhancement payments for on-farm research, demonstration or 
training. Individuals may receive no more than $25,000 
(aggregate) in enhancement payments for demonstration projects.
  The CSP is open to all agricultural producers, including 
producers of livestock, specialty crops and program crops. To 
be eligible to participate, producers will be required to 
address soil and water resources at a level to be set by the 
Secretary, defined as the ``stewardship threshold,'' as well as 
adequately address other resources, and agree to address at 
least one other resource of concern to the stewardship 
threshold. Contract offers could be made at any time; USDA will 
rank the contracts based on statutory criteria to select offers 
that maximize conservation benefits. Producers whose offers are 
accepted would qualify for cost-based enhancement payments, 
limited to no more than $240,000 over a 6 year contract.
  This newly streamlined and improved CSP will enroll 13.273 
million new acres in each fiscal year, with a maximum 
enrollment of 79.638 million new acres through 2017. A national 
average annual cost per acre is established at $19. The bill 
also includes a provision for acre allocation to States. No 
State shall have allocated fewer than the lesser of 20,000 
acres or 2.2 percent of the number of acres of eligible land in 
the State.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM

  The bill reauthorizes the Environmental Quality Incentives 
Program (EQIP) and funds the program at $1,270,000,000 in 2008 
and 2009, and $1,300,000,000 thereafter. Compared to the FSRIA 
of 2002, this bill would provide $1,070,000,000 more in 
mandatory funding over the period from 2008-2012 than the 
previous 5 year period. Forest management, fuels management and 
pollinator habitat are highlighted as eligible activities. New 
incentives are available to foster conservation planning and 
organic farming. The bill includes a $165 million initiative to 
address natural resource concerns in the Chesapeake Bay 
watershed.
  The bill expands authority under Conservation Access for 
technology transfer through farmer-based or industry workshops 
and expands the Conservation Innovation Grants component of 
EQIP and clarifies that the intent is to develop and transfer 
conservation technology. The Conservation Innovation Grant 
provision is amended to make non-industrial private forest land 
eligible for project emphasis.

FARMLAND PROTECTION PROGRAM

  The bill reauthorizes the Farmland Protection Program at 
baseline levels. The program purpose emphasizes limiting 
nonagricultural uses of the land. Improvements are made to the 
program aimed at streamlining the enrollment process and 
shortening the time necessary to complete easements and record 
deeds. The legislation protects the taxpayer investment in the 
easements and eliminates the requirement that a pending offer 
for an easement be in place prior to USDA funding which 
sometimes presented a barrier to participation. The Committee 
expects timely implementation of Farmland Protection projects.

GRASSLAND RESERVE PROGRAM

  The bill reauthorizes the Grassland Reserve Program and 
changes the program to provide for only permanent or 30-year 
easements, or 30-year contracts. The program emphasizes 
preservation of large, intact landscapes of native and 
naturalized grassland and shrubland. It protects those lands 
from the threat of conversion to other uses, supports grazing 
operations, and maintains and improves plant and animal 
biodiversity.

CONSERVATION PROGRAMS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES MARKETS

  Environmental services markets, such as carbon markets and 
water quality trading, present new opportunity for agricultural 
and forest landowners and operators. This provision directs the 
Secretary of Agriculture to use a collaborative process that 
leverages existing activities and draws upon the expertise of 
private entities, academic experts and government agencies to 
establish a framework to facilitate the participation of 
farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forest land owners 
in environmental services markets. The framework will include 
uniform standards, accounting procedures, reporting protocols 
and registries, and verification processes. The potential role 
for third party service providers in the verification of 
environmental services benefits will be considered. The 
Secretary is expected to report to Congress on: (1) framework 
implementation status within 90 days of enactment; (2) the 
adequacy of existing research and methods to quantify 
environmental services benefits, and technical guidelines 
within 180 days of enactment; (3) the progress made in this 
process; rates of participation by farmers, ranchers and forest 
land owners; and recommendations for improvement within 18 
months of enactment.

                            TITLE III--TRADE

FOOD AID TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

  The United States government is currently involved in 
multilateral negotiations within the WTO and discussions in 
other international forums which involve rules governing the 
operation of international food aid programs. It has been 13 
years since the U.S. Congress established negotiating 
principles on these matters, so the trade title updates those 
principles to reflect the current negotiating environment.

PROVISION OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES

  Under current law, non-governmental organizations 
participating in title II programs are permitted to draw 
between 5 and 10 percent of their total project funding as cash 
to cover overhead and administrative expenses. That provision 
is changed so that the share to cover such expenses is to be 
not less than 7.5 percent.

ADMINISTRATION

  In order to make more effective use of available resources 
for food aid, it is important to provide additional flexibility 
in and improve the timeliness of evaluation and reporting on 
the operation of title II. In this section, several such steps 
are taken to achieve recommendations of the 2007 GAO study on 
U.S. food aid programs, to the extent that recommendations 
cannot be adopted through individual or collective agency 
action.

PILOT PROGRAM FOR LOCAL CASH PURCHASE

  In recent years, there has been increased interest around the 
world in providing funds for local purchase of food for 
distribution in developing countries, rather than shipping it 
from developed countries. In order to study this concept more 
thoroughly, this title authorizes a pilot program for local or 
regional purchase of food to address humanitarian emergencies 
at $25 million annually for 4 years. Such a step will enable us 
to learn more about the conditions under which this approach 
might work and where it would not. The U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID) is directed to conduct a 
review of local cash purchase already underway by the United 
Nation's World Food Program, other donor countries, and private 
voluntary organizations. The information from this review would 
be used in developing the guidelines, and also be incorporated 
into the study on the pilot that Congress will look at in the 
next farm bill.

AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

  While the regular amount appropriated for the title II 
program has been effectively frozen at about $1.2 billion 
annually, the number of emergencies around the world needing 
humanitarian food assistance has expanded. As a result, the 
amount provided for non-emergency, development assistance under 
this program has declined considerably. This title includes a 
provision which requires USAID to reserve $600 million of their 
funds appropriated for title II for development assistance 
projects, giving USAID no authority to shift money out of that 
so-called safe box.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION PARTICIPATION IN THE RESOLUTION OF TRADE 
                    DISPUTES

  Most trade analysts believe that the 2005 WTO case pursued 
successfully by the Government of Brazil against U.S. cotton 
programs will encourage other WTO members to file similar cases 
against other aspects of U.S. domestic farm policy. In order to 
bolster the confidence of U.S. farm groups in the efforts of 
U.S. officials to defend U.S. programs in WTO dispute 
settlement cases, this title requires the Secretary to include 
representatives of U.S. non-governmental organizations as 
observers when proceedings in such cases are held. Those 
representatives must meet certain requirements established in 
this section.

EXPORT CREDIT PROGRAMS

  Aspects of U.S. export credit programs were successfully 
challenged in the 2005 WTO Brazil cotton case, and thus must be 
modified to bring the United States into compliance with the 
panel's rulings in this case. The GSM-103 Export Credit 
Guarantee Program (with loan guarantees in length of between 3 
and 10 years) is repealed. A statutory 1 percent cap on loan 
guarantee fees for the GSM-102 program is also eliminated in 
response to the case. The Supplier Credit Program is also 
repealed, as it was subject to multiple defaults in recent 
years.
  A limit on the maximum length of guarantees for the GSM-102 
program of 180 days is also imposed beginning in fiscal 2013. 
This provision generates budgetary savings, as do the steps 
taken above.

MARKET ACCESS PROGRAM

  The Market Access Program is reauthorized through fiscal 
2012, and additional funds provided above the current $200 
million annually, increasing in $10 million increments through 
fiscal 2011.

EXPORT ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

  Authority for this program established in the 1985 Food 
Security Act is repealed, since it has not been used for more 
than 10 years and represents a form of trade-distorting subsidy 
that is expected to be eliminated when the ongoing round of 
multilateral negotiations in the WTO is completed.

FOREIGN MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

  The Foreign Market Development Program is reauthorized 
through 2012, and additional funds above the current $34.5 
million annually are provided, with $5 million increases in 
fiscal 2008 and 2009, and a $10 million increase for fiscal 
2010.

VOLUNTARY CERTIFICATION OF CHILD LABOR STATUS OF AGRICULTURAL IMPORTS

  As part of preparations for implementing the Trafficking 
Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102), the committee 
bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture, in cooperation with 
the Secretary of Labor, to develop standards that importers of 
agricultural products into the United States could choose to 
use to certify that those products were not produced with the 
use of abusive forms of child labor.

FOOD FOR PROGRESS PROGRAM

  The Food for Progress Program is reauthorized through 2012, 
and the annual cap on funds for transportation of commodities 
under this program is raised from $40 million to $48 million 
for fiscal years 2008-2010.

BILL EMERSON HUMANITARIAN TRUST

  Statutory authority for the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust 
is modified to clarify that both cash and commodities may be 
held under the Trust, and rationalizes the rules under which 
they may be used to address unanticipated emergencies

                      TITLE IV--NUTRITION PROGRAMS

STRENGTHENING THE FOOD PURCHASING POWER OF LOW-INCOME AMERICANS

  A major benefit loss enacted in the mid nineteen-nineties, 
and the cut that deepens with each passing year, results from a 
freeze in the ``standard deduction'' in the Food Stamp Program. 
Similar to income tax rules, food stamp rules allow households 
to subtract a standard deduction from their income to reflect 
the cost of non-food essentials such as clothing and 
transportation. Prior to 1996, the standard deduction was 
indexed to inflation, since basic living expenses rise with 
inflation. However, Congress froze the standard deduction in 
1996, resulting in a deep cut in benefits that erodes the 
purchasing power of food stamp benefits with every passing 
year.
  As a result of the cut to the standard deduction, as well as 
an across the board food stamp benefit cut enacted at the same 
time, in 2008, a typical working parent with two children will 
receive about $37 less in food stamps each month than they 
would have received had the 1996 cuts not occurred. By 2017, 
the average benefit reduction from those cuts will reach almost 
$45 a month (in 2008 dollars). In fact, by 2017 the benefit 
cuts enacted in 1996 will cost a typical working parent of two 
the equivalent of more than one and a half months' worth of 
food stamps each year.
  In the FSRIA of 2002, Congress changed the standard deduction 
from a flat $134 for all households to 8.31 percent of the 
indexed Federal poverty income guidelines or $134, whichever is 
higher. This helped larger households (since the poverty 
guidelines are higher for larger households) raise their 
benefit levels and stop the erosion of their benefits. But the 
2002 change has had no effect thus far on households with three 
or fewer members, a group that makes up three-quarters of all 
food stamp households. For these households, the standard 
deduction is scheduled to remain frozen at $134--and benefits 
will continue to erode in purchasing power--for another 7 to 31 
years.
  This provision of the bill would immediately end benefit 
erosion due to the freeze in the standard deduction by first 
increasing the standard deduction to $140 per family and then 
by indexing the standard deduction to inflation, effective 
October 1, 2007.

SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES WITH CHILD CARE EXPENSES

  For those families that have preschool or young school-age 
children, high quality, affordable child care is a critical 
support for finding and keeping employment. According to the 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 90 percent 
of families receiving child care assistance through the Federal 
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program reported 
needing child care in order to work or attend education and 
training programs.
  The absence of stable, affordable, quality child care poses a 
significant hurdle to families that are trying to maintain 
employment. A statewide household survey in Minnesota found 
that 20 percent of parents reported child care problems that 
interfered with getting or keeping a job within the prior year 
and 37 percent reported having lost time or income due to a 
child care problem other than a sick child. Additionally, a 
survey of employees across multiple industries found that 45 
percent of parents miss at least one day of work every six 
months due to a child care breakdown and 65 percent are late to 
work or leave early due to child care issues.
  To encourage low-income families to participate in the 
workforce, the Food Stamp Act allows limited deductions for the 
cost of dependent care expenses. However, the maximum allowable 
deductions--currently set at $175 a month--have not been 
indexed for inflation and have not meaningfully kept pace with 
the cost of child care. Whereas child care costs have increased 
by 150 percent over the past 20 years, the dependent care 
deduction in the Food Stamp Program has increased by only 10 
percent, and at $175 a month is equal to just over one-quarter 
of the average monthly cost of child care, which was $631 in 
2006. Due to the fact that some low-income families may have 
other Federal or state child care assistance available to them, 
or may rely on informal child care arrangements, many low-
income families may not incur child care expenses near national 
average market rates. However, low-income families do pay 
considerably greater portions of their income for child care 
than do other families. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 
poor families that pay for child care spend roughly three times 
the share of their income on it as other families do (25 
percent compared with 7 percent).
  This provision helps low-income families to offset the high 
cost of child care by removing the current cap on the child 
care deduction.
  According to the Congressional Budget Office, this provision 
will benefit 100,000 households containing 320,000 individuals. 
Each household is projected to receive an average of an 
additional $39 per month in food stamp benefits.

ENCOURAGING RETIREMENT AND EDUCATION SAVINGS AMONG FOOD STAMP 
                    RECIPIENTS

  To qualify for the Food Stamp Program, applicants must have 
total countable liquid assets that do not exceed a dollar limit 
of $2,000 for most households, and $3,000 for households with 
elderly members or members with a disability. Program rules 
vary in their treatment of retirement savings accounts, with 
some such accounts exempted from asset limits and others 
treated against the limits. Program rules also count 
educational savings accounts such as 529 accounts against 
program asset limits. These restrictive asset policies 
discourage or even prohibit low-income families from saving the 
very resources that could prevent them from falling into 
poverty.
  This section makes three changes related to the food stamp 
program's resource, or asset limit: (1) it increases the asset 
limit to $3,500 for most households, or $4,500 for households 
containing an elderly person, or a person with a disability, 
and indexes the limit to inflation thereafter; (2) it 
harmonizes program rules pertaining to tax-recognized 
retirement accounts and excludes certain additional retirement 
accounts from counting as a resource; and (3) it excludes tax-
recognized education savings accounts from counting as a 
resource.
  According to the Congressional Budget Office, exempting tax-
recognized retirement and educational savings accounts from the 
calculation of assets in the Food Stamp Program will enable 
100,000 families to newly participate in the Food Stamp 
Program. Additionally, CBO estimates that increasing and 
indexing the asset limit will benefit 100,000 households 
containing 230,000 individuals.

FACILITATING SIMPLIFIED REPORTING

  In the FSRIA of 2002, Congress gave States the option to 
simplify the rules under which most food stamp participants 
inform the State about their income and circumstances. 
Previously, some working families had essentially been required 
to submit paperwork every month and to reapply for food stamps 
every three months--a process that could take multiple trips to 
the welfare office and several hours away from work.
  The State option to allow simplified reporting allowed these 
household to participate in the Food Stamp Program for 6 months 
without reporting changes in income, except for those that 
would put them over the gross eligibility income eligibility 
guidelines. Over 45 States have adopted the new option (called 
``simplified reporting''), which has proven one of the most 
successful state options in the FSRIA of 2002. It has reduced 
paperwork burdens on States and families and has been a major 
factor in the sustained drop in state food stamp error rates.
  Unfortunately, due to an oversight in the options design in 
2002, States are not currently allowed to apply these 
simplified reporting rules to several categories of households: 
the elderly and disabled, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and 
the homeless. As a result, States must operate at least two 
reporting systems, each of which require specialized forms, 
staff training and policies. Additionally, elderly and disabled 
households with a 12-month eligibility certification period 
must report any change in circumstances.
  This provision addresses the current administrative burdens 
on States by allowing them to apply simplified reporting rules 
to elderly, disabled, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and 
homeless households. For the elderly and disabled, it would 
allow States to assign them a 12-month reporting period that 
matches their eligibility certification period. For migrant and 
seasonal farmworkers and homeless households, it would allow 
reporting and eligibility certification periods longer than 
what is typically four months.

ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYED ADULTS

  In 1996, Congress limited food stamp eligibility for 
unemployed, childless adults to 3 months out of a 36 month 
period. The population affected is very poor and typically has 
very limited employability due to low education, low skills and 
mental health problems. In fact, the few food stamp households 
that contain unemployed adults without children have an average 
monthly gross income ($354) and net income ($159) around half 
of that of food stamp households without such individuals ($673 
and $333 respectively). In addition, unemployed, childless 
adults who receive food stamps have average total countable 
assets of only $60, just half of that of households without 
unemployed, childless adults. Many have no income other than 
food stamps and often qualify for no other benefits; the up to 
$150 in monthly food stamps they may receive for only 3 months 
out of three years is the only safety net they have.
  The Senate has consistently voted in favor of less 
restrictive limits for unemployed adults without children, 
voting in the mid-90s to allow unemployed, childless adults to 
receive food stamps for 6 months out of a 12 month period, and 
in the 2002 to allow benefits for 6 months out of a 24 month 
period.
  This provision would change the current eligibility 
restrictions for single, unemployed adults from the current 
time-limit of 3 months out of every 36 month period, with a 
possibility for an additional 3 months, to 6 months of 
automatic eligibility out of every 36 month period. According 
to the Congressional Budget Office, when this provision is 
fully phased in it will increase food stamp participation by 
9,000 individuals per month, with an average benefit cost of 
$142 per month.

TRANSITIONAL BENEFITS OPTION

  One of the highly successful provisions of the FSRIA of 2002 
gave States the option to provide up to five months of 
transitional food stamps to families that leave Temporary 
Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance, without 
requiring the family to reapply or submit any additional 
paperwork or other information. The provision was designed to 
help address a problem that had arisen after the implementation 
of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families--many families that 
left welfare for work were not staying connected to food 
stamps, despite remaining eligible. Currently, approximately 20 
States operate transitional food stamps, with additional States 
adopting the option each year.
  While most poor families with children that receive cash aid 
receive that assistance through a Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families-funded program, some States have established 
state-funded cash assistance programs for certain groups of 
poor families with children. These state-funded programs afford 
States greater flexibility to develop services and supports 
that can serve these families appropriately. Families in these 
programs often are working toward the goal of stable 
employment. However, when families in these programs find jobs, 
they are ineligible for transitional food stamp benefits, even 
if the State has chosen to provide transitional food stamps to 
similarly-situated families that leave Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families.
  This provision would change the law to give States the option 
to provide transitional food stamps to families with children 
that leave a state-funded cash assistance program, which if 
adopted by the State will ensure that all families 
transitioning from welfare to work stay connected to the work 
supporting benefits provided by the Food Stamp Program, 
regardless of how that cash assistance program is financed.

UPDATING THE MINIMUM BENEFIT

  Under current food stamp rules, one- and two-person 
households that qualify for a monthly benefit amount of less 
than $10 receive a $10 ``minimum benefit.'' The minimum benefit 
was put in place when the current benefit calculation rules 
were established in the Food Stamp Act of 1977, on the 
rationale that a larger benefit would give small households--
primarily individuals and couples who are elderly or have a 
disability--a greater incentive to participate in the program. 
The vast majority of households that receive the minimum 
benefit (almost 90 percent) have income from Supplemental 
Security Income and/or Social Security.
  Because the minimum benefit has not been adjusted for 
inflation in almost 30 years, households that receive it can 
purchase only about one-third as much food as they could have 
when the minimum benefit went into effect.
  This provision increases the minimum benefit by setting it at 
10 percent of the maximum benefit for a household of one, 
effective in fiscal year 2009. CBO estimates that this change 
will benefit 650,000 households containing 780,000 individuals.

THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

  While food stamps are the first line of defense in the 
domestic food assistance system, for many families, food stamp 
benefits run out before the end of the month, leaving them 
struggling to provide food for themselves and their children. 
Food banks play a vital role in helping these families to put 
food on their tables. The Emergency Food Assistance Program 
(TEFAP) supports America's food banks and community food 
providers by providing States with commodity foods that are in 
turn made available to food banks to be distributed to eligible 
low-income households. This provision helps strengthen The 
Emergency Food Assistance Program by significantly increasing 
the amount of Federal commodity purchases for States, from 
$140,000,000 annually to $250,000,000.

FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PROGRAM

  Whereas the Fruit and Vegetable Program was previously 
offered to a limited number of States, the program established 
by this section would operate in every State in the country. 
Each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia would be 
entitled to a minimum grant of 1 percent of the funds made 
available to carry out the program in a given fiscal year. 
Additional funding would be made available to each State based 
upon the proportion of the population of a State to the 
population of the United States.
  States would be responsible for selecting schools to 
participate in the Program and would be required to ensure that 
each school chosen to participate in the program is a school in 
which not less than 50 percent of the students are eligible for 
free- or reduced-price meals. In addition, a State would be 
required to give priority to schools with the highest 
proportion of children who are eligible for free- or reduced-
price meals. The Fruit and Vegetable Program authorized by this 
provision differs from the current program in that it limits 
program participation to elementary schools only. Previously, 
elementary and secondary school participated equally in the 
program. Finally, USDA is required to ensure that at least 100 
schools chosen to participate in the program are schools on 
Indian reservations.
  Under this provision, States would retain flexibility 
regarding the per-student grant provided under the program 
provided that the grant would be not less than $50 and not 
greater than $75 dollars. If every State in the country choose 
to participate in the program using the $50 per student annual 
grant amount, the funded level of $225,000,000 would enable 
approximately 4.5 million low-income elementary school children 
to participate in the program.

                            TITLE V--CREDIT

FARM SERVICE AGENCY LOAN PROGRAMS

  Congress has directed the Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan 
programs to help beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged 
farmers and limit resource farmers. The Farm and Energy 
Security Act strengthens Congress's direction by increasing 
direct loan limitations and authorization levels; increasing 
the funding set aside in the FSA loan programs; and 
strengthening borrower protection provisions.

FARM CREDIT SYSTEM INSURANCE CORPORATION

  Current law allows the Farm Credit System Insurance 
Corporation to collect insurance premiums only on outstanding 
loans. This has lead to the insurance fund to fall below the 
statutorily required secure base amount of two percent. The 
Farm and Energy Security Act allows FCSIC to collect insurance 
premiums on all outstanding debt, including investments. This 
will allow the insurance fund to recapitalize and be consistent 
with the basic insurance principle of collecting insurance on 
all outstanding debt.

               TITLE VI--RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT

ASSISTANCE FOR DAY CARE

  $40 million in mandatory funds is provided for grants, loans 
and loan guarantees for the construction and enlargement of day 
care facilities through the Community Facilities Program for 
rural hospitals in cities of less than 20,000 people. Many 
families find that both parents must work to provide for a 
family's needs. There is a real shortage of proper day care 
available in many rural areas. Without proper day care many 
families with young children have difficulty staying in a rural 
area. Proper day care is very important to young children.

ASSISTANCE TO RURAL HOSPITALS

  $50 million in mandatory funds is provided for loans and loan 
guarantees to rural hospitals through the Community Facilities 
Program for rural hospitals in cities of less than 20,000 
people. That sum could support over $1 billion in assistance. 
While hospitals are now eligible for that program, the level of 
resources available is very limited and the needs are very 
considerable. The intention is that the funds will generally be 
used for equipment that will improve patient care and allow 
hospitals to computerize their records, allowing hospitals to 
better work with larger hospitals where special expertise is 
needed. There is also a priority for those hospitals that work 
with other institutions to more efficiently purchase the 
equipment and software that is needed. Up to date equipment is 
crucial for quality care.

PRIORITY FOR COMMUNITY FACILITY PROGRAMS

  This section establishes a priority is created for those 
projects where there is a substantial local match provided for 
Federal assistance.

SEARCH GRANTS

  The SEARCH grant program has been modified to provide 100 
percent funding using a simplified application process for 
feasibility studies, design and technical assistance. Eligible 
communities include those that are under 2,500 people and are 
financially distressed.

LOCALLY PRODUCED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

  This provision expands the Business and Industry Loan and 
Loan Guarantee Program in regard to those who aggregate and 
sell locally grown agricultural products. A priority is created 
for assistance to those that aggregate and sell at wholesale, 
locally grown foods. A portion of the assistance provided may 
be used for loans or loan guarantees to retail or institutional 
facilities to improve their facilities or to provide outreach 
for underserved communities in both rural or urban areas.

DEFINITION OF RURAL

  A general definition of rural area is established to assure 
that USDA rural development resources are not misallocated. The 
definition defines urban areas as those that are (1) in a city 
of 50,000 people or more (2) are in the urbanized area that 
surrounds those cities as defined by the Census Bureau each 10 
years and (3) those clusters of census blocks that are 
contiguous to each other and to the urbanized area and in which 
each of the census blocks has 200 or more housing units per 
square mile. Rural is the areas that are not urban. The purpose 
of the third criteria is to assure that areas that have become 
urban since the last decennial census are not considered rural.
  The Department is not required to actually determine the 
housing units under the third criteria, but may make an 
estimation. However, if an applicant provides evidence that the 
estimation was in error, a correction will be made.
  Special rules for the Island of Oahu and Puerto Rico are made 
because cities in these areas are effectively counties.
  In addition to the general rule, various programs also 
exclude any city of a certain size. Those additional 
requirements for programs such as the community facilities 
program, the broadband program and the water and waster 
programs have not been changed.

RURAL MICROENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

  $40 million in mandatory funds are provided for the funding 
of the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program. This provision 
establishes a program to provide low and moderate income 
individuals with the skills necessary to establish new small 
businesses in rural areas, and to provide continuing technical 
assistance through local organizations as these new small 
businesses begin operating. Funds will be provided through 
Microenterprise Development Organizations to provide the 
technical assistance. The funds will also provide the resources 
for long term small loans of $50,000 or less.

NATIONAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

  The bill continues the National Rural Development 
Partnership, which is composed of a Coordinating Committee and 
state rural development councils.

NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS REGIONAL AUTHORITY

  The bill re-establishes the Northern Great Plains regional 
authority. The program has not functioned because the President 
never submitted nominations for a Federal chairperson or an 
Indian Chairperson. The legislation allows the Authority to 
operate without the Federal member if there is a nomination is 
not approved within 180 days and provides for an election of 
the Indian Chairperson by Indian leaders. A variety of changes 
are made in the detailed role of the Authority.

RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT PROGRAM

  This provision permits USDA to make grants, guarantee 
debentures and enter into participation agreements with Rural 
Business Investment Companies. To be a Rural Business 
Investment Company (RBIC), a company must be for-profit, have 
an experienced management team, and invest in rural areas. USDA 
may guarantee the issuance of debentures for terms up to 15 
years for up to 300 percent of the private capital of the 
company, increasing the amount of equity that may be invested. 
The program provides for the collection of assets in cases 
where the Federal Government makes a payment on a debenture. It 
provides for grants of up to $1 million to RBICs to provide 
technical assistance to enterprises in which the RBICs invest, 
and sets the minimum private capital requirements of the RBICs 
at $5 million. Generally, $10 million is needed to issue 
insured debentures with flexibility by USDA, and 75 percent of 
the investments must be made in rural areas. Investment by 
banks and Farm Credit System institutions are limited to 5 
percent of capital with certain additional limitations.
  The program has been modified to eliminate excessive fee 
requirements that were provided in the earlier program and to 
not provide for coordination with the Small Business 
Administration.

FULL FUNDING OF PENDING RURAL DEVELOPMENT WATER AND WASTEWATER LOAN AND 
                    GRANT APPLICATIONS

  This provision provides $135 million in mandatory funding to 
reduce pending qualified applications for water and waste 
disposal grants. Applications in the pre-application phase are 
not eligible for funding under this provision. The funds in the 
account established under this section will be available only 
after funds appropriated in the annual appropriations act for 
fiscal year 2008 for these loans, loan guarantees and grants 
have been exhausted.

RURAL COLLABORATIVE INVESTMENT PROGRAM

  $135 million is provided in mandatory funding for the Rural 
Collaborative Investment Program. The goal of the program is to 
have self identified rural areas, generally of more than 25,000 
people come together to develop plans to maximize additional 
quality jobs and to improve the quality of life in the area. 
The expectation is that each area will include a number of 
communities that will join together to improve the ability to 
develop a set of goals and specific plans for the region. Each 
region is unique. Each area has its advantages and its 
limitations. Some areas have unique historical features where 
restoration and proper development can result in considerable 
tourism. Every area has collections of existing manufacturing 
facilities that can attract associated businesses.
  The program provides for Federal financial assistance that is 
to be matched. However, receiving planning assistance is not 
required. A national board and a national institute are 
provided to acquire knowledge of what types of actions tend to 
work best including the methods by which local boards can be 
most effective.
  A key element of success is the ability of a local board to 
develop a plan that includes a considerable infusion of 
capital.
  The promotion of community foundations is an important 
element of the program. There are tremendous financial 
resources locally available in the hands of farmers and 
business leaders who have a love for their local communities. A 
portion of those funds could be attracted to community 
foundations if effective plans are developed on how funds could 
be beneficially used. The Rural Collaborative Investment 
Program includes financial assistance to community foundations.
  Up to $6 million through an innovation grant is to be 
provided to those regional boards that develop the most 
effective plans to help in their implementation. In addition, 
those areas will receive a priority for rural development 
programs. However, there is an expectation that many of those 
who do not receive an innovation grant will have gained through 
the development of a plan for job creation and to improve the 
area's quality of life. In many cases, areas will be able to 
implement their plans without an innovation grant.

ENHANCEMENT OF ACCESS TO BROADBAND SERVICE IN RURAL AREAS

  This provision continues the broadband program with a variety 
of changes. Five years ago, the focus of this program was to 
provide for the availability of broadband to cities in rural 
areas so businesses that would have difficulty operating 
without broadband would have this necessary utility. There is 
still a real need of many businesses for broadband which 
remains unmet. But, broadband is also becoming a basic utility 
for families as well. There is a need to not only provide 
broadband to cities in Rural America but also to the areas 
beyond city boundaries.
  The Committee modified the program to reduce the burdens of 
the application process beyond those provided for in the 
recently revised rules and to provide requirements for the 
disclosure of certain basic information in applications.
  The Committee worked to limit the degree to which the program 
would provide assistance that placed new providers into 
competition with existing providers. But, the measure also 
recognizes that there are circumstances in which competition 
needs to occur as a secondary impact of providing service to 
additional consumers in an economically feasible manner. For a 
loan to occur, there is a requirement that not less than 25 
percent of households in the specified area of an application 
must not have economical access to terrestrial broadband 
service. This is the point of balance decided upon.

CONNECT THE NATION ACT

  This provision provides that the Secretary of Commerce shall, 
subject to appropriations, make grants to help develop and 
implement statewide initiatives to identify and track the 
availability and adoption of broadband service. It is based on 
the highly successful program in Kentucky.

SUBSTANTIALLY UNDERSERVED TRUST AREAS

  The bill defines substantially underserved trust areas as the 
trust lands of native Americans where there are more than 20 
percent of the population without basic infrastructure 
including telephone, electricity, broadband and water. The 
Secretary may provide assistance at more advantageous terms in 
these cases and may waive certain requirements.

TELEMEDICINE AND DISTANCE LEARNING SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS

  The provision is extended through 2012. The program is 
expanded to cover libraries and public television equipment 
needed for the shift to digital signals, particularly 
transmitters and transponders. The public television program 
was authorized under a separate program in the last 
authorization.

VALUE-ADDED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

  The bill provides for a continuation of the Value-added 
Agricultural Product Marketing Development Grants Program. The 
size of the maximum grant was limited to $300,000 to provide 
assistance to a larger number of users with the limited 
resources that are available. The legislation was expanded to 
include the aggregation of locally grown foods. The sale of E-
85 fuel was explicitly made an allowable renewable energy use.

LOANS FOR HOUSING AND RELATED FACILITIES FOR DOMESTIC FARM LABOR

  The bill expands the Domestic Farm Labor housing program to 
include housing for those low income workers who process foods 
as well as those who work on unprocessed foods. The program 
provides low interest loans or grants for the construction 
improvement or purchase of housing and related facilities.

                          TITLE VII--RESEARCH

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE

  In the FSRIA of 2002, a task force was commissioned to make 
recommendations to improve agricultural research programs at 
the Department. A key recommendation from the task force report 
was the establishment of a National Institute of Food and 
Agriculture, an independent institute at USDA that would focus 
on basic or fundamental research. This legislation addresses 
this recommendation, while considering the needs of the land-
grant infrastructure system, by restructuring CSREES and 
replacing it with NIFA. The Director of NIFA is a distinguished 
scientist, appointed by the President, and reports directly to 
the Secretary of Agriculture. These features give the NIFA 
Director the authority to transform CSREES into a prominent 
scientific research agency, while still providing for the needs 
of the food and agriculture sector through the cooperative 
extension service and agricultural education programs. This 
bill also requires the Undersecretary of Research, Education, 
and Economics to coordinate programs at ARS and NIFA, and 
requires the heads of the two agencies and their staffs to meet 
on a regular basis in order to integrate and focus the missions 
of these agencies at USDA.

MINORITY-SERVING INSTITUTIONS

  The growing needs of minority-serving land-grant institutions 
call for greater participation in programs available to the 
land-grant system as well as increased access to formula funds, 
the funds that provide resources for state experiment stations 
and the cooperative extension service in each State and are 
distributed on a formula basis. This legislation clarified 
participation of 1890 institutions, the historically black 
land-grant institutions, and the University of the District of 
Columbia, a minority-serving land-grant university, in programs 
such as the Extended Food and Nutrition Education Program.

NEW AUTHORIZATIONS

  This legislation includes new authorizations for research and 
education initiatives to respond to the need for increased 
agricultural research. These include a farm and ranch safety 
education initiative, a rural entrepreneurship and enterprise 
facilitation program, an international agricultural science and 
technology fellowship program, and a rural technology program 
to support the growing agriculture-based renewable energy 
workforce, among others. Also included in this legislation are 
modifications to existing authorized programs to address 
growing needs and to provide technical fixes that ensure the 
intent of these programs is carried out.

INCREASED FUNDING IN KEY AREAS

  This legislation provides $80 million to a specialty crop 
research initiative to address the needs of specialty crop 
growers. It also provides $80 million for the existing Organic 
Research and Extension Initiative.

                          TITLE VIII--FORESTRY

COOPERATIVE FORESTRY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

  The Food and Energy Security Act establishes national 
priorities for private forest conservation. The national 
priorities provide Congressional direction for how Cooperative 
Forestry Assistance Act funding should be directed. As the 
Forest Service's state and private forest programs move toward 
competitive funding, a Federal assistance program is 
established to help States identify the critical forestry 
resources and needs of the State. The reported legislation also 
establishes a community forest program that assists communities 
to protect private forestlands threatened by conversion to non-
forest use.

TRIBAL ASSISTANCE

  Since 1994 the Federal government has been working to 
establish better government-to-government relationships with 
Indian tribes in recognition of their sovereign status. The 
reported legislation builds off of recommendations from the 
Forest Service and looks to foster a better working 
relationship between the Forest Service and Indian tribes.

                            TITLE IX--ENERGY

BIOMASS CROPS

  A biomass crop transition assistance program is established 
to support farmers as they begin to produce biomass crops to be 
used as bioenergy feedstocks. The program provides grants for 
establishing perennial biomass crops as well as incentive 
payments in subsequent years to encourage production of 
renewable biomass. The Secretary also is authorized to provide 
assistance to agricultural producers for initiating production 
of annual crops intended for use as biomass feedstocks. In 
addition, biomass crop producers will be eligible for payments 
for each ton of biomass delivered to biomass conversion 
facilities, with payment rates established by the Secretary to 
reflect estimated costs of biomass harvesting, storage and 
transportation.
  The bioenergy program that was established in the FSRIA of 
2002, and expired in 2006, is reinstated and revised to 
emphasize feedstock purchases for production of advanced 
biofuels, which excludes corn ethanol. In determining feedstock 
payments, the Secretary is to consider the facility production 
levels, feedstock prices, and the net non-renewable energy 
content of advanced biofuels, provided that adequate data is 
necessary for its determination.

BIOREFINERIES AND REPOWERING

  A program of grants is established to support development and 
construction of pilot and demonstration-scale biorefineries 
intended to establish the commercial viability of emerging 
processes for production of advanced biofuels. Grants may cover 
up to 50 percent of eligible costs.
  A program of loan guarantees is established to support 
construction of commercial biorefineries using proven 
conversion technologies for producing advanced biofuels. Loan 
guarantees may cover loans for amounts up to 80 percent of 
project costs, with a cap of $250 million per project. 
Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have offered 
ownership opportunities within the local area.
  A third program of grants and loan guarantees is established 
to encourage repowering of existing biorefineries, power plants 
or manufacturing facilities in order to replace their use of 
fossil fuels with biomass or other forms of renewable energy. 
Grants supporting repowering projects are limited to 20 percent 
of project costs, and loan guarantees are limited to loans 
covering amounts up to 80 percent of project costs with a cap 
of $70 million per project.

RURAL ENERGY MANAGEMENT

  The FSRIA of 2002 established a program of grants to support 
energy audits and energy assistance for farmers, ranchers and 
rural small businesses. However, funds have not been 
appropriated for this program. This legislation establishes the 
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in section 9007 which 
reinstates that program by authorizing the Secretary to provide 
grants to state agencies, regional, state-based or tribal 
energy organizations, universities, rural electric cooperatives 
or public power entities, non-profit organizations, or similar 
entities to carry out such energy audit and assistance 
programs.
  The FSRIA of 2002 also established a program of grants and 
loan guarantees to support renewable energy systems or energy 
efficiency projects for farmers, ranchers and rural small 
businesses. The REAP continues that program, and provides for 
production incentive payments in lieu of grants for renewable 
energy projects.
  This legislation also establishes a grant and loan guarantee 
program specifically to support the installation of energy from 
animal manure facilities under REAP, and provides that 15 
percent of the funding for REAP shall be dedicated to energy 
from animal manure facilities.
  This provision also sets aside 20 percent of the funding for 
REAP to be allocated for projects with Federal costs of $20,000 
or less.

BIOENERGY RESEARCH

  This legislation continues the Biomass Research and 
Development Act of 2000, as amended by the FSRIA of 2002, which 
provides for competitive grants to conduct research and 
development on a broad range of bioenergy issues, including 
biomass crop species development, crop research, harvesting, 
transport and storage technologies, and biomass conversion 
technologies and byproduct utilization. This provision also 
continues implementation of this research program as a 
collaborative effort between the Departments of Agriculture and 
Energy with the Biomass Research and Development Board and the 
Biomass Technical Advisory Committee.
  This legislation also continues the Sun Grant program of 
regionally-based biomass and bioenergy research, providing 
competitive research grants through 5 specified Sun Grant 
centers at land-grant universities. This legislation also 
establishes a subcenter for bioenergy research in the western 
Sun Grant region.
  This legislation also calls on the Secretary to establish a 
program of regional biomass crop research experiments at 10 
land grant universities that are selected competitively. These 
will be on-going crop experiments to develop the region-
specific information necessary for farmers and foresters to 
effectively produce biomass crops for bioenergy feedstocks, 
including information on appropriate species, nutrient uses and 
other agronomic practices, and feedstock harvesting and 
handling information.

OTHER PROVISIONS

  This legislation continues to support marketplace acceptance 
of bioenergy, biofuels and biobased products. It continues the 
biodiesel fuel education program, the Federal procurement 
program for biobased products, and the labeling program for 
biobased products. It extends the definition of biobased 
product to include biobased intermediates such as biobased 
monomers and polymers used in other products. It also 
establishes a program to promote markets for biobased products.
  This legislation establishes a study of the infrastructure 
needs for a significant expansion of the production and use of 
biofuels, including feasibility of pipelines and other biofuel 
transport systems, and resource needs such as biorefinery water 
requirements.
  This legislation establishes a program of research and 
development into the production and use of woody biomass for 
bioenergy. It also establishes a program of grants for 
community wood energy systems for use in schools or other 
community facilities.
  This legislation establishes a program of research and 
demonstration projects on the production and use of biochar as 
a soil conditioner and a means for carbon sequestration.
  This legislation establishes a study of methods for 
calculating the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions for 
biofuels and conventional fuels, including recommendations for 
simplified methodologies for such analysis.
  This legislation establishes a program to support rural 
communities with assessments of their energy systems and with 
the development of community strategies for improving their 
energy systems.
  This legislation established a voluntary program for 
certification of renewable biomass used for production of 
biofuels.
  This legislation requires a study of the potential for rural 
production of nitrogen fertilizer using renewable energy.
  This study establishes an entity within the USDA to provide 
oversight and coordination among departmental energy programs, 
to maintain a database of information and best practices across 
such programs, and to serve as a primary contact for 
coordination with related Federal and state energy programs and 
other related activities.
  This legislation establishes a renewable energy research and 
development program to be conducted in conjunction with the 
Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.
  This legislation establishes a dairy nutrient management and 
energy development program to be carried out in the Northeast 
region.
  This legislation establishes a program to equip 5 farmsteads 
with model energy production and use systems in 5 different 
regions for demonstration purposes.
  This legislation includes a Sense of the Senate section that 
calls for the Secretary to collaborate with the Secretaries of 
Energy and Transportation and the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency in studying the feasibility and 
advisability of approving higher levels of ethanol blends for 
use in motor vehicles.

                           TITLE X--LIVESTOCK

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING

  Mandatory country of origin labeling for meat, meat products, 
fruits, vegetables, fish, and peanuts was first enacted in the 
FSRIA of 2002 (P.L. 107-171) in an effort to provide consumers 
with additional information regarding the country of origin of 
certain covered commodities. To resolve issues involving 
implementation and to provide further direction to the 
Department of Agriculture, this legislation would provide 
clarifications to the existing program relating to multiple 
countries of origin, and livestock intended for immediate 
slaughter. Clarifications were also provided for labeling of 
ground meat.

AGRICULTURAL FAIR PRACTICES

  It was brought to the attention of the Committee that some 
producers have alleged that firms have discriminated against 
them for working to form an association of producers, 
particularly in the poultry industry. Concerns have also been 
raised that the disclaimer clause in section 5 of the 
Agricultural Fair Practices Act has made it difficult for the 
Department of Agriculture to effectively enforce it. The 
disclaimer clause potentially allowed handlers to forego doing 
business with an association of producers. The additions and 
modifications in this Act ensure that a producer that forms an 
association of producers is fully covered under the Act. It 
also removes section 5 of the Act and requires the Secretary of 
Agriculture to define through rulemaking what is considered to 
be reasonable standards for normal dealing between a handler 
and association of producers. It also adds a requirement that 
handlers bargain in good faith with an association of 
producers. This is important because in the past, producers in 
some instances have been interpreted to be merchants under the 
uniform commercial code. The uniform commercial code does not 
require merchants to bargain in good faith with other 
merchants.

SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR AGRICULTURAL COMPETITION

  The legislation would designate a special counsel for 
agricultural competition. The special counsel will be 
equivalent to an Under Secretary and report to the Secretary. 
The special counsel will provide twice each year a report to 
Congress that details the Department of Agriculture's 
enforcement activities of the Packers and Stockyards Act and 
Agricultural Fair Practices Act.

ARBITRATION

  Witnesses at a Committee hearing on April 18, 2007, raised 
several concerns with having arbitration as the sole dispute 
resolution option for producers. The costs associated with 
arbitration can easily total $20,000 or more depending on the 
case. The Department of Agriculture has also raised concerns 
about the increased use of arbitration in livestock and poultry 
contracts. In response, the Committee makes arbitration in 
livestock and poultry contracts voluntary. Both parties may 
utilize arbitration, if, after the conflict arises, both 
parties agree to its use. This concept of making arbitration 
voluntary is not new to Congress as similar language was used 
to make arbitration voluntary in motor vehicle franchise 
contracts in 2002.

BAN ON PACKER OWNERSHIP

  This legislation prohibits packers from owning or feeding 
livestock directly, through a subsidiary or through an 
arrangement that gives the packer operational, managerial, or 
supervisory control over the livestock, to such an extent the 
producer is no longer materially participating in the 
management or production of the livestock. Packers are exempt 
from this legislation if they own livestock within 14 days 
before slaughter, if they are a cooperative, if they are not 
required to report under section 212 of the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1635a), or if they own one 
livestock processing plant.

STUDY ON BIOENERGY OPERATIONS

  The Committee includes a provision that requires the 
Secretary, acting through the Chief Economist, to conduct a 
report on the potential economic, liability and regulatory 
issues, including potential costs, associated with animal 
manure used in normal agricultural operations and as a 
feedstock in bioenergy production.

                        TITLE XI--MISCELLANEOUS

                   SUBTITLE A--AGRICULTURAL SECURITY

               PART I--GENERAL AUTHORITY AND COORDINATION

AGRICULTURAL SECURITY

  This legislation includes provisions to strengthen the role 
of the USDA in providing for the agricultural security of the 
United States. The agriculture and food sectors are critical 
infrastructures essential to the health and well-being of 
American citizens, foreign customers and food aid recipients. 
Agriculture- and food-related industries are responsible for 15 
percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product and the 
expansion of international markets for US agricultural products 
is essential to the growth of those industries. Therefore, the 
Committee finds that it is vital to protect our agricultural 
resources from intentional and accidental introductions of 
agricultural pests, diseases, contaminants and pathogenic 
agents.

                       SUBTITLE B--OTHER PROGRAMS

FORECLOSURE

  Currently there is a USDA guidance that prohibits loan 
foreclosures when there is a pending claim of racial 
discrimination against the Department. This provision ratifies 
the USDA guidance by establishing a moratorium on loan 
foreclosures when a racial discrimination claim is pending. It 
further requires the USDA Inspector General to submit a report 
on whether loan foreclosure proceedings have been implemented 
according to the applicable laws and regulations.

OUTREACH AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED FARMERS 
                    AND RANCHERS

  This provision builds on USDA's outreach and technical 
assistance services in order to enhance greater participation 
of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in USDA 
programs. It provides, among other things, a stronger focus on 
program participation and requires that grants made under this 
section go to organizations that have a demonstrated track 
record of improving program participation.

ACCURATE DOCUMENTATION IN THE CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE IMPROVED DATA 
                    REQUIREMENTS

  In order to facilitate with USDA's resource allocation to 
socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, the Committee is 
expanding upon the Department's data collection requirements. 
Resource allocation should be aided with the requirement that 
socially disadvantaged farmers are accurately reflected in the 
Census of Agriculture.

OUTREACH FOR FARMWORKERS

  The Committee is addressing the needs of farmworkers through 
several provisions. Through the creation of an Office of 
Farmworker Coordinator, informational assistance will be 
provided during times of natural disasters and to farmworkers 
who are starting their own farming businesses. There is a 
provision to authorize emergency grants for non-profit 
organizations in the assistance of low-income and migrant and 
seasonal farmworkers after natural disasters. Grants are also 
authorized to assist agricultural employers and farmworkers for 
purposes such as job training, short-term housing, workplace 
literacy and health and safety instruction.

CONGRESSIONAL BIPARTISAN FOOD SAFETY COMMISSION

  In the FSRIA of 2002, a Food Safety Commission was 
established to evaluate the U.S. food safety system. This 
Commission never met because the FSRIA of 2002 required 
appropriated funds for the appointment of members to the 
Commission, and funds were not made available subsequent to the 
enactment of the FSRIA of 2002. Because of the recent focus on 
food safety concerns due to microbial contaminations of 
different food and agricultural products this year and 
subsequent food-borne illness cases caused by such 
contamination events, this legislation establishes a food 
safety commission similar to that in FSRIA of 2002, but with 
key differences that make this commission a stronger proponent 
of changing the U.S. food safety system. This legislation 
establishes a Bipartisan Congressional Food Safety Commission 
to evaluate and make recommendations on closing existing gaps 
in the U.S. food safety system.

GRANTS TO REDUCE PRODUCTION OF METHAMPHETAMINES FROM ANHYDROUS AMMONIA

  This provision authorizes grants to assist eligible entities 
in reducing the amount of methamphetamine that is produced from 
an anhydrous ammonia fertilizer nurse tank.

INVASIVE PESTS, HAWAII

  This legislation includes provisions to protect Hawaii's 
unique ecosystem, which is highly susceptible to invasive 
species because of the combination of isolation of the Hawaiian 
islands and high passenger, baggage and cargo traffic to the 
islands. The provisions in this legislation allows state 
officials in Hawaii to take action against invasive pests and 
diseases, and requires USDA's Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service and other Federal agencies to coordinate 
more closely with state officials in combating invasive 
species.

                          Legislative History

REGIONAL FARM BILL FIELD HEARING: ALBANY, GA

  On June 23, 2006, the Committee held a regional field hearing 
in Albany, GA. Witnesses included: Douglas Cobb, Georgia Corn 
Growers Association; Chuck Coley, Vienna, GA; Mark Detweiler, 
Georgia and Florida Soybean Association Board of Directors, 
American Soybean Association; Armond Moris, Georgia Peanut 
Commission and Southern Peanut Farmers Federation; Bill Brim, 
Lewis Taylor Farms, Tifton, GA; Murray Campbell, First United 
Ethanol, LLC; Carl Perry, Farmer of sugarcane, beans, citrus 
and cattle, Moore Haven, FL; Tom Thompson, Georgia Milk 
producers, Inc.; James Strickland, Georgia Cattlemen's 
Association Members, National Cattlemen's Beef association; R. 
C. Hunt, Pork Producers, Wilson, NC; Mike Giles, Georgia 
Poultry Federation, Gainesville, GA; Elizabeth DesPortes 
Dreelin; Jim Ham, Georgia Association of Conservation District 
Supervisors and the National Association of Conservation 
Districts.

REGIONAL FARM BILL FIELD HEARING: CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO

  On July 17, 2006, the Committee held a regional field hearing 
in Cape Girardeau, MO. The first panel of witnesses included: 
National Grain Sorghum Producers; Neal Bredehoeft, American 
Soybean Association; Paul Combs, Missouri Rice Council; Allen 
Helms, National Cotton Council; Terry Hilgedick, Missouri Corn 
Growers Association and Environmental Resources Coalition; John 
Thaemert, National Association of Wheat Growers. The second 
panel of witnesses included: Jonathan Held, Wine America; Larry 
Purdum, Dairy Farmers of America; Ray Rogers, Arkansas Farm 
Bureau State Forestry Committee; Dean Sonnenberg, Sunflower 
Association. The third panel of witnesses included: Mike 
Briggs, National Turkey Federation; Jim Hinkle, National Wild 
Turkey Federation; Mike John, National Cattlemen's Beef 
Association.

REVIEW OF USDA DAIRY PROGRAMS

  On July 20, 2006, the Committee held a hearing to review the 
USDA Dairy Programs. Witnesses included: Joseph Glauber PhD., 
United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC; 
Charles Breckendorf, National Milk Producers Federation, 
Tomball, TX; Leon Berthiaume, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, 
Inc., Swanton, VT; Jim Green, Kemps LLC/HP Hood LLC on behalf 
of International Dairy Foods Association, St. Paul, MN; Ken 
Hall, Dairy Producer, Terrenton, ID.

REGIONAL FARM BILL FIELD HEARING: HARRIS, PA

  On July 21, 2006, the Committee held a regional field hearing 
in Harrisburg, PA. The first panel of witnesses included: Keith 
Eckle, Specialty Crop Industry; Klaas Martin, Organic Farming 
Research Foundation; Carl Shaffer, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; 
Richard Wilkins, Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association. The second 
panel included: Don Cotner, Cotner Farms; Christine Phillips, 
Hetz, Fairview Evergreen Nurseries and Pennsylvania Landscape 
and Nursery Association; James Shirk, Shirk Farm and 
Pennsylvania State University. The third panel included: Logan 
Bower, Professional Dairy Managers Pennsylvania; David 
Hackenberg, American Beekeeping Federation; Joe Jurgielewicz, 
PennAg Industried Association; Robert Ruth, National Pork 
Producers Council.

REGIONAL FARM BILL FIELD HEARING: ANKENY, IA

  On July 24, 2006, the Committee held a regional field hearing 
in Ankeny, IA. Witnesses giving testimony included: Bruce 
Brockshus, Associated Milk Producers; Ron Heck, Iowa Soybean 
Association; Charlottee Ousley, Canned and Frozen Food Growers 
Coalition; Keith Sexton, Iowa Corn Growers Association; Craig 
Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; Chris Peterson, Iowa Farmers 
Union and the National Farmers Union; Ron Rosmann, Sustainable 
Ag Coalition; Jim Dean, United Egg Producers; Steve Kerns, Iowa 
Pork Producers Association; Eric Nelson, R-CALF, USA; Bill 
Scheitler, Iowa Cattlemen's Association.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE'S USE OF CONSERVATION PROGRAM 
                    TECHNICAL SERVICE PROVIDERS

  On July 27, 2006, the Committee's Subcommittee on Forestry, 
Conservation and Rural Revitalization held a hearing to review 
the USDA's use of conservation technical service providers. 
Witnesses giving testimony included: Sara Braasch, Regional 
Assistant Chief, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; 
James Chapin, Director, Western Region, Association of 
Consulting Foresters of America; David Goad, Deputy Director, 
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; Gene Schmidt, Executive 
Board Member, National Association of Conservation Districts; 
Doug Wolf, Member of the Board of Directors for the National 
Pork Producers Council.

H.R. 4200--THE FOREST EMERGENCY RECOVERY AND RESEARCH ACT

  On August 2, 2006, the Committee's Subcommittee on Forestry, 
Conservation and Rural Revitalization held a hearing to 
consider H.R. 4200, the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research 
Act. Witnesses giving testimony included: the Honorable Mark 
Rey, Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, 
United States Department of Agriculture; Honorable Lynn 
Scarlett, Deputy Secretary, United States Department of the 
Interior; Jim Crouch, Executive Director, Ouachita Timber 
Purchasers Group, Russellville, AR; Sue Kupillas, Executive 
Director, Communities for Healthy Forester; Charlie Ringo, 
Oregon State Senator, Beaverton, OR; Alan Thompson, 
Commissioner, Ravalli County, MT, on behalf of the National 
Association of Counties; John A. Helms, Ph.D., Professor 
Emeritus of Forestry, University of California, Berkley, on 
behalf of the Society of American Foresters; Jim Karr, Ph.D., 
Ecologist and Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, 
Seattle, WA; Robert L. Krepps, St. Louis County Commissioner, 
Duluth, MN; Leah W. MacSwords, Director and State Forester, 
Kentucky Division of Forestry, on behalf of the National 
Association of State Foresters.

FIELD HEARING ON THE 2007 FARM BILL: MOSCOW, ID

  On August 11, 2007, the Committee held a regional field 
hearing in Moscow, ID to discuss the 2007 farm bill. Witnesses 
giving testimony included: Tim Dillin, Grain Producers of 
Idaho, Porthill, ID; Keith Esplin, Potato Growers of Idaho, 
Blackfoot, ID; Jim Evans, USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, 
Genesee, ID; John Vanderwoude, United Dairymen of Idaho, Nampa, 
ID; Kyle Hawley, Idaho Association of Soil Conservation 
Districts, Moscow, ID; Lloyd Knight, Idaho Cattle Association, 
Roberts, ID; Terry Mansfield, Idaho Department of Fish and 
Game, Boise, ID; Rebecca Miles, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID; 
Laird Noh, The Nature Conservancy of Idaho, Kimberly, ID; 
Gregory Bohach, College of Agriculture and Life Science, 
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID; Christine Frei, Clearwater 
Economic Development Association, Lewiston, ID; Lorraine Roach, 
Idaho Rural Partnership, Grangeville, ID; Roger Simon, the 
Idaho Food Bank, Boise, ID.

REGIONAL FARM BILL HEARING: REDMOND, OR

  On August 15, 2006, the Committee held a field hearing in 
Redmond, OR to discuss the farm bill. Witnesses giving 
testimony included: Barry, Bushue, Oregon Family Bureau 
Federation, Salem, OR; Sharon Livingston, Oregon Cattlemen's 
Association, Salem, OR; Sherman Reese, National Association of 
Wheat Growers, Pendleton, OR; Ray Souza, Mel-Delin Dairy, 
Turlock, CA; Pete Brentano, Oregon Nurserymen Association, 
Wilsonville, OR; Ernest Gallo, Wine Institute and California 
Association of Wine Grape Growers, Modesto, CA; Klaren Koompin, 
Potato Growers of Idaho, American Falls, ID; Ted Lorensen, 
Oregon Department of Forestry, Salem, OR; Jim Bernau, 
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner, OR; Jennifer Euwer, Pear 
Bureau Northwest and Northwest Horticulture Association, Hood 
River, OR; Doug Krahmer, Oregon Blueberry Commission, St. Paul, 
OR; Mark Wettstein, Nyssa-Nampa Beet Growers Association, 
Ontario, OR.

REGIONAL FARM BILL HEARING: GRAND ISLAND, NE

  On August 16, 2006, the Committee held a field hearing in 
Grand Island, NE to discuss the farm bill. The first panel of 
witnesses included: Steve Ebke, President, Nebraska Corn 
Growers Association, Daykin, NE; David Hilferty, Nebraska Wheat 
Growers Association, Grant, NE; Doug Nagel, National Sorghum 
Producers, Davey, NE; Steve Wellman, American Soybean 
Association, Syracuse, NE. The second panel of witnesses 
included: Duane Kristensen, Chief Ethanol Fuel, Inc., Hastings, 
NE; Doug Nuttleman, Dairy Farmers of America, Stromsburg, NE; 
Keith Olsen, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Grant, NE; Roy Stoltenberg, 
Nebraska Farmers Union, Cairo, NE. The third panel of witnesses 
included: Jim Hanna, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, 
Brownlee, NE; Bill Luckey, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, 
Columbus, NE; Dwight Tisdale, Nebraska Sheep and Goat 
Producers, Kimball, NE; Jay Wolf, Nebraska Cattlemen, Inc., 
Albion, NE.

REGIONAL FARM BILL HEARING: GREAT FALLS, MT

  On August 17, 2006, the Committee held a field hearing in 
Great Falls, MT to discuss the farm bill. Witnesses giving 
testimony included: Tony Belcourt, Intertribal Agriculture 
Council, Box Elder, MT; Eric Doheny, Montana Farmers Union, 
Dutton, MT; Dave Henderson, National Barley Growers 
Association, Cut Bank, MT; Dave McClure, Montana Farm Bureau, 
Bozeman, MT; Dale Schuler, President, National Association of 
Wheat Growers, Carter, MT; Paul Tyler, U.S. Canola Association, 
Moore, MT; Michael Beltz, U.S. Dry Bean Council, Hillsboro, ND; 
Gary Bonestroo, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Clovis, NM; Jim 
Evans, USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Genesee, ID; Sid 
Schutter, National Potato Council, Manhattan, MT; Bill Donald, 
National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Montana Stockgrowers 
Association, Mellville, MT; Leo McDonnell, R-Calf USA, 
Columbus, MT; Betty Sampsel, Montana Wool Growers Association, 
Stanford, MT; Mike Wendland, National Association of 
Conservation Districts and Montana Conservation District, 
Rudyard, MT.

REGIONAL FARM BILL FIELD HEARING: LUBBOCK, TX

  On September 8, 2006, the Committee held a regional field 
hearing in Lubbock, TX. Witnesses giving testimony included: 
Ricky Bearden, National Cotton Council and Texas Cotton 
Producers, Plains, TX; Troy Skarke, National Sorghum Producers, 
Claude, TX; Jimmy Wedel, Corn Producers Association of Texas, 
Muleshoe, TX; Tommy Womack, National Association of Wheat 
Growers, Tulia, TX; Ted Higginbottom, Western Peanut Growers 
Association, Seminole, TX; Dennis Holbrook, Texas Produce 
Association and Texas Citrus Mutual, Mission, TX; Dale Murden, 
Rio Grande Calley Sugar Growers, Monte Alto, TX; L.G. Raun, 
U.S. Rice Producers Association and USA Rice Federation, El 
Campo, TX; Bill Battle, Catfish Farmers of America, Tunica, MS; 
Mike Berger, Association of State Wildlife Agencies, Austin, 
TX; Keith Broumley, Dairy Farmers of America, Hico, TX; Barry 
Mahler, Association of Conservation Districts, Iowa Park, TX; 
Dale Smith, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association 
and Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Amarillo, TX.

FIELD HEARING TO CONSIDER THE EFFECT OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS' 
                    OPERATION OF THE APALACHICOLA-CHATTAHOOCHEE-FLINT 
                    AND ALABAMA-COOSA-TALLAPOOSA RIVER BASINS ON 
                    GEORGIA'S AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY: COLUMBUS, GA

  On October, 24, 2006, the Committee held a field hearing to 
examine the efficiency of the Corps of Engineers' Operation of 
the Apalacachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and Alabama-Coosa-
Tallapoosa river basins in Columbus, GA. The first panel 
included: Honorable Sonny Perdue, Governor of Georgia. The 
second panel included: Joseph Schroedel, South Atlantic 
Division Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Atlanta, GA. 
The third panel included: Mike Gaymon, Columbus, GA Chamber of 
Commerce, Columbus, GA; Steven Singletary, Georgia Soil & Water 
Conservation Commission, Blakely, GA; Dick Timmerberg, West 
Point Lake Coalition, LaGrange, GA; Jimmy Webb, Flint River 
Water Council, Leary, GA.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AMERICA'S ROLE IN ENHANCING NATIONAL ENERGY 
                    SECURITY

  On January 10, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
agriculture and rural America's role in enhancing national 
energy security and reducing dependence on foreign oil. 
Witnesses testifying included: Dr. Keith Collins, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC; Michael Pacheco, 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO; Honorable 
Philip Sharp, Ph.D., Resources for the Future, Washington, DC; 
Read Smith, 25 X 25 steering Committee, Wheat, Small Grains, 
and Cattle Producer, St. John, Washington; Gene Gourley, 
National Pork Producers Council, Iowa Pork Producers 
Association, Webster City, IA; Loni Kemp, The Minnesota 
Project, Canton, MN; Ron Miller, Aventine Renewable Energy 
Holdings, LLC, Perkin, IL; John Sellers, Iowa State Soil 
Conservation Committee, American Forage and Grassland Council, 
Corydon, IA; Roger Webb, Strategic Energy Institute, Georgia 
Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.

WORKING LAND CONSERVATION: CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM AND 
                    ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM

  On January 17, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
working land conservation relating to the Conservation Security 
Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The 
witnesses on the first panel included: Arlen Lancaster, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, DC; Lisa Shames, Natural Resources and Environment, 
U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC. The 
second panel was comprised of four members including Craig Cox, 
Soil and Water Conservation Service, Ankeny, IA; Jim Ham, 
Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, 
Smarr, GA; Duane Hovorka, Farm Bill Outreach Coordinator, 
National Wildlife Federation, Kathleen Merrigan, Agriculture, 
Food and Environment Program, Tufts University, Boston, MA.

THE ROLE OF FEDERAL FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IN FAMILY ECONOMIC 
                    SECURITY AND NUTRITION

  On January 31, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to begin 
gathering information and data relating to the role of Federal 
food assistance programs in family economic security and 
nutrition. Witnesses testifying included: Robert Dostis, 
Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger; Robert Greenstein, 
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Sigurd Nilsen, 
Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues, Government 
Accountability Office; Rhonda Stewart, Hamilton, OH; Bill 
Bolling, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta, GA; Luanne 
Francis, Health Care for all, Kingsley House, New Orleans; 
Frank Kubik, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Focus: Hope, 
Detroit, MI; Melinda Newport, Nutrition Services, Chickasaw 
Nation, Ada, OK.

DISCUSSION OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FARM BILL PROPOSAL

  On February 7, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Bill proposal. 
Witnesses giving testimony included: Honorable Michael Johanns, 
Secretary of Agriculture; Keith Collins, Chief Economist, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture; Charles Conner, Deputy Secretary of 
Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

HEARING TO DISCUSS RURAL DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

  On February 13, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
rural development challenges and opportunities. Witnesses who 
appeared before the Committee included: Charles Fluharty, Rural 
Policy Research Institute, Truman School of Public Affairs, 
Columbia, MS; Chuck Hassebrook, Center for Rural Affairs, 
Lyons, NE; Mary Holz-Clause, Agricultural Resource Center, Iowa 
State University, Ames, IA; Vernon Kelley, Three Rivers 
Planning and Development District; Joe Sertich, Chair Rural 
Community College Alliance, Chisholm, MN.

CHILD NUTRITION AND THE SCHOOL SETTING

  On March 6, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss the 
current and future role of the Committee in children's 
nutrition. Witnesses who appeared before the Committee 
included: Kelly Brownell, Rudd Center for Food policy and 
Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT; Mary Lou Hennrich, 
Community Health Partnership, Portland, OR; Teresa Nece, Food 
and Nutrition, Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, IA; Susan 
Neely, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Beverage 
Association, Washington, DC; Janey Thornton, Child Nutrition 
Director, Hardin County School District, Elizabethtown, KY.

INVESTING IN OUR NATION'S FUTURE THROUGH AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH

  On March 7, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to examine the 
research title of the farm bill. Witnesses who appeared before 
the Committee included: Gale Buchanan, Research, Education, and 
Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC; Jeff 
Armstrong, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; William Danforth, 
vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, Washington University, 
St. Louis, MO; Alan Leshner, American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, Washington, DC; Francis Thicke, 
Radiance Dairy Farm, Fairfield, IA.

COLORADO VIEWS ON FEDERAL AGRICULTURE AND RURAL POLICIES: THE 2007 FARM 
                    BILL

  On March 12, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
Colorado views on Federal agriculture and rural polices related 
to the 2007 farm bill. During this hearing testimony was hear 
by two panels. The witnesses on the first panel included: Alan 
Foutz, Colorado Farm Bureau; Kent Peppler, Rocky Mountain 
Farmers Union; Dr. Gary Peterson, Colorado State University; 
John Stulp, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture; Dusty 
Tallman, Colorado Wheat Growers; Alan Welp, Colorado Sugar Beet 
Growers. The second panel was comprised of five witnesses, 
including: Roger Mix, Colorado Potato Administrative Committee; 
Randy Loutzenhiser, Colorado Association of Conservation 
Districts; Terry Fankhauser, Colorado Cattleman's Association; 
Kathy White, Colorado Anti- Hunger Network; Doug Zalesky, 
Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Association.

2007 FARM BILL OPPORTUNITIES FOR VERMONT AND THE NORTHEAST

  On March 12, 2007, the Committee held a field hearing in 
Montpelier, VT. This hearing addressed opportunities in the 
2007 farm bill relating to Vermont and the rest of the 
Northeast. During this hearing testimony was given by the 
following individuals: Honorable James Douglas, Governor of 
Vermont; Jacklyn Folsom, Vermont Farm Bureau, Cabot, VT; Mark 
Magnan, Dairy Farmer, Fairfield, VT; John Roberts, Butterwick 
Farms, West Cornwall, VT; James Daley, Northern Forest 
Alliance, Stowe, VT; Richard Hall, East Montpelier, VT; Enid 
Wonnacott, Northeast Organic Farmers of Vermont, Richmond, VT; 
Linda Berlin, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, 
Burlington, VT; Andrew Meyer, Vermont Soy, Hardwick, VT; 
Willard Rowell, Highgate Center, VT.

EXAMINING THE PERFORMANCE OF U.S. TRADE AND FOOD AID PROGRAMS FOR THE 
                    2007 FARM BILL

  On March 21, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to examine 
the performance of U.S. trade and food aid programs. The 
witnesses on the first panel included: William Hammink, Office 
of Food for Peace, U.S. Agency for International Development, 
Washington, DC; Tomas Melito, International Affairs and Trade 
Team, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC; 
Michael Yost, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Washington, DC. The second panel included: Timothy 
Hamilton, Food Export Association of the Midwest USA and Food 
Export USA-Northeast, Chicago, IL; David Kauck, Care USA, 
Richmond, VT; Charles Sandefur, Alliance for Food Aid, and 
President, Adventist Development and Relief Agency 
International.

NORTHERN PLAINS PRIORITIES IN THE 2007 FARM BILL: FARGO, ND

  On April 3, 2007, the Committee held a hearing in Fargo, ND 
to discuss the northern plains priorities in the 2007 farm 
bill. Witnesses who appeared before the Committee included: 
Honorable John Hoeven, Governor, State of North Dakota; Roger 
Johnson the commissioner of North Department of Agriculture; 
Robert Carlson, North Dakota Farmers Union; Bill Hejl, Red 
River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association; Jocie Iszler, North 
Dakota Renewable Energy Partnership; Brian Kramer, North Dakota 
Farm Bureau; Mike Martin North Dakota Grain Growers 
Association; Paul Thomas, Northern Pulse Growers Association; 
Kevin Waslaski, Northern Canola Grower Association.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF BIOFUELS: CELLULOSIC ETHANOL AND THE 2007 FARM 
                    BILL

  On April 4, 2007, the Senate Agriculture Committee's Energy, 
Science, and Technology subcommittee held a hearing in 
Brookings, SD. Six witnesses testified at this hearing: Kevin 
Kephart, Sun Grant Initiative for the North Central Region, 
South Dakota State University; Don Endres, VeraSun Energy; Jeff 
Fox, Poet Energy; Jensen Reid, South Dakota Corn Growers; Anna 
Rath, Ceres, Inc.; Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever.

FIELD HEARING TO EXAMINE FEDERAL FOOD AND NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

  On April 10, 2007, the Committee held a field hearing in 
Atlanta, GA. The purpose of this hearing was to examine Federal 
food and nutrition assistance programs. Witnesses giving 
testimony included: Clarence Carter, Food Stamp Program, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Washington DC; Alan Essig, Georgia 
Budget and Policy Institute, Alanta, GA; Mary Dean Harvey, 
Division of Family and Children Services, Atlanta, GA; Taquana 
Spicer, Clayton County, GA.

IOWA AND NEBRASKA VIEWS ON FEDERAL AGRICULTURE AND RURAL POLICIES: THE 
                    2007 FARM BILL: COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA

  On April 14, 2007, the Committee held a field hearing in 
Council Bluffs, IA to discuss and consider the views of the 
States of Iowa and Nebraska regarding Federal policies on 
agriculture and rural issues. Witnesses who appeared before the 
Committee included: Varel Bailey, American Farmland Trust, 
Anita, IA; Debra Houghtaling, Executive Director, Grow Iowa 
Foundation, Greenfield, IA; Steve Killpack, Neola, IA; Chris 
Peterson, Clear Lake, IA, on behalf of the Iowa Farmers Union; 
Matt Schuitteman, Sioux City Center, IA, on behalf of the Iowa 
Farm Bureau Federation; John Crabtree, Center for Rural 
Affairs, Lyons, NE; Duane Sand, Iowa Natural Heritage 
Foundation, Des Moines, IA; Tom Scwarz, Bertand, NE; Jeffrey 
Stroburg, CEO and Chairman, Renewable Energy Group, Inc., 
Ralston, IA; Wendy Wintersteen, Dean, College of Agriculture, 
Director, Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment 
Station, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS 
                    TODAY--PART I

  On April 18, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
the economic challenges and opportunities facing agricultural 
producers. During this hearing testimony was given by two 
panels. The witnesses on the first panel included: Peter 
Carstensen, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law 
School, Madison, WI; Scott Hamilton, Poultry Grower, Phil 
Campbell, Alabama; Lynn Hayes, Farmers' Legal Action Group 
(FLAG), Inc., St. Paul, MN; Mary Muth, Food and Agricultural 
Policy Research Program, RTI International, Research Triangle 
Park, NC; Tim Schmidt, Pork Producer, Hawarden, IA. The second 
panel included: Burdell Johnson, American Sheep Industry 
Association, Tuttle, ND; Eric Nelson, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action 
Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, Moville, IA; Joy 
Philippi, National Pork Producers Council, Burning, NE; Joy 
Queen, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Waynesville, NC; 
William Roenigk, National Chick Council, Washington, DC; Ron 
Truex, United Egg Producers, Warsaw, IN.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS 
                    TODAY--PART II

  On April 24, 2007, the Committee held a second hearing to 
discuss the challenges and opportunities American agricultural 
producers face. The witnesses on the first panel included: 
Kathie Arnold, National Organic Coalition, Truxton, NY; Mark 
Brady, American Honey Producers Association, Waxahuchie, TX; 
Emily Jackson, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, 
Ashville, NC. The second panel included: Bill Brim, Georgia 
Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Tifton, GA; A.G. 
Kawanura, secretary of Agriculture, State of California, 
Sacramento, CA; Phil Korson, Cherry Marketing Institute, 
Lansing, MI; Maureen Marshall, United Fresh Produce 
Association, Elba, NY; John Rice, W.S. Apple Association, 
Gardners, PA. The third panel included: Clint Fall, Midwest 
Dairy Coalition, Litchfield, MN; Randy Jasper, National Family 
Farm Coalition Muscoda, WI; Jerry Kozak, National Milk 
Producers Federation, Arlington, Virginia; Eugene Robertson, 
Pine Grove, LA; Connie Tipton, International Dairy Foods 
Association, Washington, DC.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS 
                    TODAY--PART III

  On April 25, 2007, the Committee held the final hearing of 
its three-part series focused on the challenges and 
opportunities facing American agricultural producers. The 
hearing consisted of three panels of witnesses. The first panel 
included: Reverend David Beckmann, Bread for the World, 
Washington, DC; Tom Buis, National Farmers Union, Washington, 
DC; Bill Flory, American Farmland Trust, Winchester, ID; Bob 
Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation, Columbus, TX. The 
second panel included: Paul Combs, USA Rice Federation , 
Kennett, MO; John Hoffman, American Corn Growers Association, 
White Cloud, KS; Ken McCauley, National Corn Growers 
Association, White Cloud, KS; Larry Mitchell, American Corn 
Growers Association, Washington, DC; John Pucheu, National 
Cotton Council, Tranquility, CA; Dusty Tallman, National 
Association of Wheat Growers, Brandon, CO. The third panel 
included: Jim Evans, USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Genessee, 
ID; Evan Hayes, National Barley Growers Association, American 
Falls, ID; Armond Morris, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, 
Ocilla, GA; Dale Murden, National Sorghum Producers, Monte 
Alto, TX; Lynn Rundle, North American Millers Association, 
Manhattan, KS; John Swanson, National Sunflower Association, 
Mentor, MN.

CONSERVATION POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FARM BILL

  On May 1, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
conservation policy recommendations. The witness on the first 
panel included: Honorable Jim Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin, 
Madison, WI; Honorable Robert Menendez, a U.S. Senator from New 
Jersey. The second panel included: John Hansen, Nebraska 
Farmers Union, Lincoln, NE, on behalf of the National Farmers 
Union; Bob Harrington, State Forester, Missoula, MT; Ferd 
Hoefner, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Washington DC; 
Julie Sibbing, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC; 
Olin Sims, National Association of Conservation District, 
McFadden, Wyoming.

FARM BILL POLICY PROPOSALS RELATING TO FARM AND RURAL ENERGY ISSUES AND 
                    RURAL DEVELOPMENT

  On May 9, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to discuss 
policy proposals relating to rural energy and development. The 
witnesses on the first panel included: Honorable Glenn English, 
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, 
Virginia; Robert Grabarski, National Council of Farmer 
Cooperatives, Arkdale, WI; Jimmy Matthews, Georgia Rural Water 
Association, Barnesville, GA; Steve Slack, Ohio Agricultural 
Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, 
Wooster, OH. The second included: Howard Learner, Environmental 
Law and Policy Center, Chicago, IL; Lee Lynd, Dartmouth 
College, Thayer School of Engineering, Hanover, NH; Neil Rich, 
Riksch Biofuels, Crawfordsville, IA; Daniel De La Torre Ugarte, 
Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, the University of 
Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

2007 FARM BILL: EXPANDING MONTANA'S AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES

  On July 2, 2007, the Committee held a field hearing in Great 
Falls, MT, to address Montana's possible agricultural 
opportunities. Witnesses included: Jim Taber, Montana Farm 
Bureau, Shawmut, MT; Alan Merrill, Montana Farmers Union, Great 
Falls, MT; Darin Arganbright, Montana Grain Growers, Carter, 
MT; Colette Gray, Great Falls, MT; Dave Hinnaland, Montana 
Woolgrowers, Circle, MT; Steve Roth, Stockgrowers, Big Sandy, 
MT; Brett DeBruycker, Montana Cattlemen, Dutton, MT.

COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

  On October 24, 2007, the Committee met in open session to 
mark up the legislation. Those members in attendance included: 
Senators Harkin, Chambliss, Leahy, Conrad, Baucus, Lincoln, 
Stabenow, Nelson, Salazar, Brown, Casey, Klobuchar, Lugar, 
Cochran, Graham, Roberts, Coleman, Crapo, Thune, and Grassley. 
The Chairman's mark of an original bill was presented on 
October 24, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. Committee Members made opening 
statements, and an en bloc amendment containing technical 
changes and agreed-upon amendments to the legislation were 
accepted by voice vote.
  The Committee proceeded by considering amendments to each 
title of the Chairman's mark. The Committee approved a motion 
offered by Senator Conrad that any amendment offered to the 
bill that included an increase in spending must also include an 
offset.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Salazar and Senator 
Nelson to reduce base acres on land that has been developed for 
commercial or industrial use and has been subdivided and 
developed into multiple residential units, non-farming, uses, 
or is otherwise no longer intended to be used in conjunction 
with farming operations. The amendment was withdrawn with the 
agreement to include a similar provision in the manager's 
amendment when the reported legislation is considered on the 
Senate floor.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Casey with Senators Brown 
and Stabenow to provide an additional payment under the MILC 
program if the price of feed exceeds specified levels. A roll 
call vote was taken. The amendment was defeated by roll call 
vote of 9 yeas and 12 nays.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Casey with Senator Brown 
to mandate price reporting and transparency for dairy products. 
This amendment was adopted by voice vote.
  Senator Casey offered an amendment to require the Department 
of Agriculture to determine the current cost of feed and fuel. 
This data will be used to determine what changes are necessary 
to `make allowances' in Federal milk marketing orders to 
balance the price paid to dairy farmers and the profit margin 
guaranteed to dairy processors. The amendment was adopted by 
voice vote.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Thune with Senators 
Baucus, Nelson, and Salazar to extend the period during which 
certain offices of the Farm Service Agency remain in operation 
through fiscal year 2012. The amendment was adopted by voice 
vote.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Nelson to ensure any 
rating of crop insurance premiums associated with the Average 
Crop Revenue program is actuarially sound. Senator Nelson's 
amendment was adopted by voice vote.
  An amendment was discussed by Senator Roberts to make 
substantive changes to the Average Crop Revenue program. The 
amendment would remove any relationship between the Average 
Crop Revenue program and a producer's crop insurance premium 
rate and indemnity. The amendment would replace the provisions 
that tied payments to planted acres with provisions that make 
payments on 85 percent of base acres. The amendment would apply 
a $60,000 payment limitation to the revenue portion of the 
Average Crop Revenue program payments. The amendment would 
offer producers a one-time election to participate in the 
Average Crop Revenue program. The amendment would reduce the 
reimbursement paid to crop insurance providers for 
administrative and operating expenses by three percentage 
points from the rates in effect as of the date of enactment 
except that this reduction would not apply in a State in which 
the loss ratio exceeds 1.2 for the crop year. The outlined 
provisions and the Average Crop Revenue were discussed at 
length with general agreement to resume discussion of the 
amendment the following day.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Thune to allow producers 
to claim loan deficiency payments without having to market the 
loan commodity at the time the loan deficiency payment is 
requested. The amendment was accepted with the general 
understanding that the provision could be modified in a 
Managers' amendment to the reported legislation for 
consideration on the Senate floor.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Roberts with Senators 
Leahy and Crapo to strike a modification of the payment 
limitation that applies to the Environmental Quality Incentives 
Program, as included in the legislation. The amendment was 
adopted by roll call vote of 13 ayes and 8 noes.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Lugar to allow the 
President to submit to Congress corrective legislation if, 
after appeals, a final determination is made by the WTO that a 
U.S. commodity program, violates our trade commitments. The 
amendment was withdrawn.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Stabenow to increase 
seniors' eligibility for the Commodity Supplemental Food 
Program. The amendment was withdrawn.
  An amendment was offered by Senator Lugar to increase the 
minimum benefit under the Food Stamp Program and The Emergency 
Food Assistance Program, increase the asset limit for most 
families from $2,000 to $3,000 for most households and from 
$3,000 to $4,000 for households with elderly or disabled 
persons. The amendment would adjust these asset limits for 
inflation. It would increase the minimum food stamp benefit 
from $10, to 10 percent of the Thrifty Food Plan for a single 
person household and increase funding for the The Emergency 
Food Assistance Program to $250 million annually over five 
years and also adjust for inflation. The amendment was offset 
by a $1.7 billion decrease over five years in Direct Payments. 
Senator Lugar's amendment was defeated by roll call vote of 4 
ayes and 17 nays, at which time, the Committee adjourned.
  On October 25, 2007, the Committee reconvened in open session 
to continue consideration of the legislation.
  Senator Stabenow offered an amendment to clarify the 
definition of ``specialty crops''. The definition was amended 
to exclude aquaculture, but include herbal crops and sod 
turfgrass. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
  No amendments pertaining to the credit title were offered.
  An amendment was introduced by Senator Casey to prohibit the 
use of eminent domain to condemn private property used in 
agricultural production or under conservation easements if the 
land is in the siting of interstate electric transmission 
facilities. The amendment was defeated by voice vote.
  No amendments pertaining to the research, forestry, or energy 
titles were offered.
  Amendments offered to the livestock and miscellaneous titles 
were withdrawn at the time they were offered.
  Senator Roberts proposed a modified amendment that would 
require producers who elect to participate in the Average Crop 
Revenue program to enroll in either 2010, 2011, or 2012, with a 
requirement that once the producer elects to participate in the 
alternative program, the producer would remain in the Average 
Crop Revenue program through the 2012 crop year. Because of a 
revised budget score, the modified amendment changed the 
reduction in the reimbursement rate for administrative and 
operating costs to 2 percentage points below the rates in 
effect as of the date of enactment while maintaining the 
snapback provision in States with loss ratios greater than 1.2. 
After a brief recess, Senator Roberts offered his amendment as 
previously discussed with a commitment to determine whether the 
payments could be raised depending on the budget score. There 
was a general discussion on whether it was appropriate to 
increase the rate of the fixed payments or whether the 
percentage of acres eligible for the fixed payments should be 
increased. It was generally agreed that the modification would 
be to the payment percentage. Further discussion led to an 
agreement to apply additional savings, if any, to the nutrition 
priorities contained in the amendment offered previously by 
Senator Lugar. The Roberts amendment, as modified, was adopted 
by voice vote.
  The legislation, as amended and subject to technical changes, 
was reported out by voice vote with the requisite quorum 
present, at which point the Committee adjourned.

                            Estimated Costs

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                                  November 1, 2007.
Hon. Tom Harkin,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for the Food and Energy 
Security Act of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jim Langley.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.
Food and Energy Security Act of 2007
    Summary: The legislation would amend and extend the major 
farm income support, food and nutrition, land conservation, 
trade promotion, rural development, research, forestry, energy, 
specialty crops, and crop insurance programs administered by 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
    CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would increase 
direct spending for those programs by $3.2 billion over the 
2008-2012 period and $3.3 billion over the 2008-2017 period, 
assuming that many expiring programs are extended pursuant to 
rules governing baseline projections. When combined with 
estimated spending under CBO's baseline projections for those 
programs, enacting the bill would bring total spending for 
those USDA programs to $283 billion over the 2008-2012 period 
and $600 billion over the 2008-2017 period.
    The legislation would authorize discretionary 
appropriations over the 2008-2012 period for existing and new 
USDA programs involving research and education, nutrition, 
trade promotion, rural development, credit assistance, 
forestry, and conservation initiatives. However, CBO has not 
yet completed an estimate of the discretionary costs of 
implementing those provisions.
    The legislation contains three intergovernmental mandates 
as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). It would 
increase the stringency of conditions of assistance under the 
Food Stamp program, preempt state laws governing production 
contracts for livestock or poultry, and preempt state laws that 
require the disclosure of information to the public. CBO 
estimates that the total cost of complying with those mandates 
would not exceed the threshold established in UMRA ($66 million 
in 2007, adjusted annually for inflation).
    The bill contains several private-sector mandates, as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Those mandates 
would expand the country-of-origin labeling program, prohibit 
packers from owning livestock, require certain processors, 
poultry dealers, and financial institutions to comply with 
reporting or inspection requirements, and place requirements on 
poultry and livestock agreements. CBO has limited information 
about the incremental costs of compliance for the expansion of 
the country-of-origin labeling program and the prohibition on 
owning livestock. Consequently, we cannot determine whether the 
aggregate cost of the private-sector mandates in the bill would 
exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA ($131 million 
in 2007, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of the legislation, including all amendments 
adopted by the committee, is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 270 
(energy), 300 (natural resources and environment), 350 
(agriculture), 450 (community and regional development), and 
600 (income security).
    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the end of calendar year 2007. 
The legislation would provide direct spending authority for 
most of the USDA programs authorized, amended, or created by 
the legislation through the 2008-2012 period. Following the 
baseline projection rules in section 257 of the Balanced Budget 
and Emergency Deficit Control Act, CBO displays the estimated 
10-year cost of the legislation by assuming that many of those 
programs continue to operate indefinitely beyond that five-year 
authorization period.
    The legislation's estimated cost over the 10-year period 
reflects commodity program provisions that would shift about 
$7.0 billion in government costs from within the 2008-2017 
period until after 2017. In addition, certain crop insurance 
program provisions would shift about $1.5 billion in expenses 
from within the 2008-2017 period until after 2017, and shift 
$1.3 billion of collections for crop insurance coverage from 
years beyond 2017 to fiscal years within the 2008-2017 period. 
Together, those changes would shift about $9.8 billion in net 
government costs from within the 2008-2017 period until after 
2017.

                            ESTIMATED CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING AND REVENUES UNDER THE FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                               -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  2008      2009      2010      2011      2012      2013      2014      2015      2016      2017    2008-2012  2008-2017
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Title I, Producer Income
 Protection Programs:
    Estimated Budget Authority       112        22      -631    -3,700      -585       419       395       346       123       134     -4,782     -3,365
    Estimated Outlays.........        77        87      -608    -3,677    -3,380       412       398       346       123       121     -7,501     -6,101
Title II, Conservation:
    Estimated Budget Authority       642       805     1,074     1,118     1,142       806       728       702      -729    -2,242      4,781      4,046
    Estimated Outlays.........       452       674     1,008     1,110     1,180     1,054       793       718      -717    -2,235      4,424      4,037
Title III, Trade:
    Estimated Budget Authority        15        32        49        40        37       -32       -40       -40       -40       -40        173        -19
    Estimated Outlays.........        17        32        49        40        37       -15       -39       -40       -40       -40        175          1
Title IV, Nutrition Programs:
    Estimated Budget Authority       469     1,018     1,194     1,303     1,428        32        33        34        35        36      5,413      5,583
    Estimated Outlays.........       304     1,027     1,202     1,307     1,432       176        29        32        34        35      5,271      5,577
Title V, Credit Programs:
    Estimated Budget Authority       100         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0        100        100
    Estimated Outlays.........      -110      -108      -128        36        32        27        22        16         8        -1       -278       -206
Title VI, Rural Development:
    Estimated Budget Authority       400         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0        400        400
    Estimated Outlays.........        19        80       109        87        60        32        10         3         0         0        355        400
Title VII, Research and
 Related Matters:
    Estimated Budget Authority        32        32      -168      -168      -168      -200      -200      -200      -200      -200       -440     -1,440
    Estimated Outlays.........        16        26         2       -68      -128      -184      -194      -200      -200      -200       -152     -1,130
Title IX, Energy:
    Estimated Budget Authority       940        70        70        15         5         0         0         0         0         0      1,100      1,100
    Estimated Outlays.........        58       156       260       301       245        60        11         7         2         0      1,020      1,100
Title X, Livestock Marketing,
 Regulatory, and Related
 Programs:
    Estimated Budget Authority         1         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0          1          1
    Estimated Outlays.........         1         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0         0          1          1
Title XI, Miscellaneous:
    Estimated Budget Authority       -11       -34       -35       -36       -37       -37       -38       -39       -40       -41       -153       -348
    Estimated Outlays.........       -11       -34       -35       -36       -37       -37       -38       -39       -40       -41       -153       -348
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Budget           2,700     1,945     1,553    -1,428     1,822       988       878       803      -851    -2,353      6,592      6,057
         Authority............
        Estimated Outlays.....       823     1,940     1,859      -900      -559     1,525       992       843      -830    -2,361      3,163      3,332

                                                                   CHANGES IN REVENUES

Estimated Revenues............         2         2         2         2         2         2         2         2         2         2         10         20

          MEMORANDUM

Estimated Spending Under
 Baseline Assumptions:
    Estimated Budget Authority    55,311    56,069    56,298    57,121    58,545    59,992    61,644    62,054    65,148    68,145    283,344    600,327
    Estimated Outlays.........    54,542    55,380    55,447    56,614    58,338    59,861    61,530    61,994    65,065    68,010    280,321    596,781
Estimated Total Spending Under
 the Bill:
    Estimated Budget Authority    58,011    58,014    57,851    55,693    60,397    60,980    62,522    62,857    64,297    65,792    289,936    606,384
    Estimated Outlays.........    55,365    57,320    57,306    55,714    57,779    61,386    62,522    62,837    64,235    65,649    283,484   600,113
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Changes in spending are measured relative to CBO's March 2007 baseline projections.

Title I: Commodity programs

    Title I would reauthorize and amend the farm commodity 
support programs administered by USDA. CBO estimates that 
enacting title I would reduce direct spending by $7.5 billion 
over the 2008-2012 period and by $6.1 billion over the 2008-
2017 period, relative to our baseline estimates of continuing 
USDA's commodity programs as they operate under current law. 
(The current-law authorization of those programs expired on 
September 30, 2007, although some final payments will be made 
after that date.) Major components of that estimate are 
described below.
    Choice Between Program Benefits. Producers would be 
required to make a single choice for all eligible crops on a 
farm between a new program, the Average Crop Revenue Program 
(ACRP), and traditional program benefits (direct payments, 
countercyclical payments and nonrecourse loan program 
benefits), beginning with the 2010, 2011, or 2012 crop.
    The new ACRP program would provide producers with a fixed 
payment equal to $15 per acre on 100 percent of their base 
acres (i.e., historical acres of program crops), and a variable 
revenue payment on 85 percent of their base acres. The variable 
payment would be determined for farms on a state-by-state 
basis. It would be paid whenever the actual average state 
revenue per acre for a crop (actual state yield times the 
harvest-time price) was less than the guaranteed revenue. The 
revenue guarantee would equal 90 percent of the expected 
average revenue per acre by state for an eligible crop. The 
payment would be equal to 90 percent of the shortfall in 
average revenue per acre from the level guaranteed for a crop 
for each state.
    To estimate the cost of the programs, CBO compared the 
benefits to producers of choosing the traditional program 
versus the ACRP. We expect that producers would choose the 
program with the greater benefits, based on the crop mix on 
their farm. Some crops (e.g., corn and soybeans) are typically 
grown on the same farm, so the choice of program option would 
likely be made on a combination of benefits, rather than for 
the individual crops. CBO expects that producers of feed 
grains, wheat, and soybeans would tend to choose the ACRP 
program, while growers of upland cotton, rice, and peanuts 
would tend to choose traditional program benefits.
    Compared to current law, on a crop-year basis, the choice 
between traditional programs and the ACRP would increase 
government costs by $4.7 billion over 10 years. However, on a 
fiscal-year basis, the choice between traditional programs and 
the ACRP would reduce government costs by $2.4 billion over 10 
years because the schedule for ACRP payments would be slower 
than traditional payments. Thus, some of the costs of the new 
program would not occur until after 2017.
    ACRP Payments. CBO estimates that ACRP payments would have 
a value of $14 billion for crop years 2008-2012; however, only 
$4 billion of that cost would be paid in fiscal years 2008-
2012. Likewise, we estimate that ACRP payments would have a 
value of $40 billion for crop years 2008-2017, but only $29 
billion would be paid in fiscal years 2008-2017. This 
difference in the value of the payments and the cost recorded 
on the budget is largely caused by the requirement that the 
ACRP payments be delayed until the second fiscal year after the 
crop is harvested.
    Traditional Direct and Countercyclical Payments for Covered 
Commodities. In addition to offering the proposed ACRP, the 
legislation would authorize USDA to continue direct payments to 
producers of grains, oilseeds, and cotton who choose not to 
enroll in the new program. Advance payments (a portion of a 
producer's final payment made before the end of each fiscal 
year) would be eliminated beginning with the 2012 crop. When 
taking into account producer choice, total direct payments 
would be reduced by $8.2 billion over the 2008-2012 period and 
$25.8 billion over the 2008-2017 period.
    The legislation would increase target prices under the 
countercyclical payment provision for all eligible crops except 
corn, cotton, and rice. Corn and rice target prices would 
remain the same, while cotton would be reduced by less than 1 
percent. Countercyclical payments also would be authorized for 
the first time for legumes. Advance countercyclical payments 
would be eliminated beginning with the 2011 crop. Costs due to 
changes in target prices would be offset by reduction in 
traditional countercyclical payments from producers who choose 
ACRP, for a net reduction of $328 million over the 2008-2012 
period and $1.9 billion over the 2008-2017 period.
    Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments. For producers who 
choose not to enroll in the ACRP, the legislation would 
reauthorize USDA's crop loan and marketing loan programs for 
the commodities that are currently eligible to receive those 
benefits, but the legislation would provide for higher loan 
rates than under current law for wheat, barley, oats, minor 
oilseeds, graded wool, and honey, and reduce loan rates 
relative to current law for dry peas and lentils. The bill also 
would reduce cotton loan benefits based on changes to the way 
quality is taken into account when determining loan repayment 
rates. Under the bill, loans and loan-deficiency payments would 
be authorized for the first time for large chickpeas. In 
addition, the legislation would authorize a new payment of 4 
cents per pound of cotton processed by domestic cotton mills 
through June 30, 2013. CBO estimates that provision would cost 
about $420 million over 10 years. Changes in loan rates, 
together with producers forgoing loan benefits to participate 
in the ACRP, would result in a net reduction of loan program 
benefits of $4.2 billion over the 2008-2017 period.
    Payment Limits. The legislation would amend provisions of 
current law designed to limit total USDA benefit payments to 
producers (known as payment limitations). Under the 
legislation, producers would be denied program payments if the 
average of their three-year adjusted gross income (AGI) is more 
than $1 million in 2009, or more than $750,000 in subsequent 
years, unless at least two-thirds of that income is derived 
from agriculture.
    Under the legislation, USDA would be required to attribute 
all commodity and conservation payments directly to a person or 
entity, and limit each person to a direct payment (including 
the fixed component under the ACRP) of no more than $40,000. 
Traditional countercyclical payments would be limited to 
$60,000 per person. No limits would be placed on marketing loan 
benefits or the revenue component of ACRP. CBO estimates that 
those changes to payment limitation provisions would reduce 
spending on USDA benefit programs by $191 million over the 
2008-2012 period and $456 million over the 2008-2017 period, 
relative to the costs of operating the programs under current 
law.
    Peanuts. For producers who do not enroll in the ACRP, the 
legislation would authorize payments from the Commodity Credit 
Corporation (CCC) to eligible peanut producers for handling and 
related charges for peanuts placed under loan. Those payments 
would be repaid by producers when the loans are redeemed. If 
peanut loans were forfeited, CCC would pay producers for the 
cost of storage, handling, and related costs. CBO expects that 
the payment of all storage and handling costs would increase 
the forfeiture of peanut loans by about 10 percent, at a cost 
of $84 million for the 2008-2012 period, and $175 million for 
the 2008-2017 period.
    Sugar. Section 1501 would increase the loan rate for sugar 
cane by a quarter of a cent per year, from $0.18 per pound in 
2008 to $0.19 per pound in 2012. The loan rate for beet sugar 
would be increased to 128.5 percent of the cane rate, up from 
the current rate of 127.2 percent. CBO estimates that, under 
the bill, the cost of the sugar program would increase by $80 
million over the 2008-2012 period and by $289 million over the 
2008-2017 period. In addition, under the legislation, a 
Feedstock Flexibility Program would subsidize the use of sugar 
as a feedstock in the production of ethanol. By increasing the 
demand for sugar, CBO estimates that the legislation also would 
reduce the cost of the sugar support program by $108 million 
over the 2008-2012 period and $287 million over the 2008-2017 
period. The net effect of the legislation on the sugar program 
would be a reduction in spending of $28 million over five years 
and an increase in spending of $2 million over the next 10 
years.
    Dairy. The legislation would reauthorize the Milk Income 
Loss Contract (MILC) program and would increase the payment 
factor from 34 percent to 45 percent of the difference between 
the monthly Boston Class I price and average milk prices. The 
total quantity of milk eligible for payment would increase from 
2.40 million pounds to 4.15 million pounds per dairy operation 
per year. Those increases would only be applicable through 
August 31, 2012. At that time, the payment rates and poundage 
limits would revert to the levels specified in current law. CBO 
estimates that those increases in MILC program parameters would 
increase costs by $456 million over the 2008-2017 period.
    Specialty Crops. The legislation would add several new 
provisions to support specialty crops. CBO estimates that those 
provisions would cost $388 million over the 2008-2017 period. 
All of those provisions would be applicable only through the 
2012 crop.
    Crop Insurance. Under the bill, beginning with the 2012 
crop, payments from farmers to the government for crop 
insurance coverage would be moved forward one year, while 
federal payments to private insurance companies for their 
delivery expenses and underwriting gains in this program would 
be delayed one year. Those shifts between the fiscal years in 
which collections and payments are made in the crop insurance 
program would be repeated in the following years as well. Thus, 
the bill would have the effect of shifting one year of 
collections into the 2008-2017 period from the years after 
2017, and shifting one year of payments from the 2008-2017 
period into the period after 2017. CBO estimates that those 
adjustments would reduce spending over the 2008-2012 period by 
$2.8 billion. Spending over the 2008-2017 period would be 
reduced by the same amount.
    Other amendments to the crop insurance program would reduce 
the target loss ratio and delivery expenses, increase the fees 
farmers pay for catastrophic crop insurance coverage and for 
the noninsured assistance programs, and reduce the insurance 
benefits available to farmers that convert native grassland to 
crop land. In addition, mandatory funding for reimbursements 
for product development expenses and risk management 
partnerships would be reduced, while the availability of 
funding for efforts to detect fraud would be increased. CBO 
estimates that those changes would reduce direct spending by 
$713 million over the 2008-2012 period and $1.7 billion over 
the 2008-2017 period.

Title II: Conservation programs

    This title would reauthorize and expand land conservation 
programs administered by USDA. CBO estimates that enacting 
those provisions would increase net spending by $4.4 billion 
over the 2008-2012 period and by $4.0 billion over the 2008-
2017 period. Significant changes in conservation programs would 
include:
           Expanding enrollment in the Wetland Reserve 
        Program by 250,000 acres per year through 2012, with no 
        further enrollment beginning in 2013, at an estimated 
        cost of $1.7 billion over the 2008-2012 period and $1.9 
        billion over the 2008-2017 period;
           Providing $2.3 billion to fund existing 
        Conservation Security Program (CSP) contracts through 
        2017. Beginning in fiscal year 2008, enrollment in a 
        modified Conservation Stewardship Program would be 
        limited 79.638 million acres, at an average cost of $19 
        per acre. CBO estimates that those modifications would 
        increase direct spending by $2.0 billion over the 2008-
        2012 period and $1.3 billion over the 2008-2017 period;
           Providing a total of $240 million to 
        purchase additional easements in the Grasslands Reserve 
        Program over the period 2008-2017;
           Providing $112 million over the 2007-2017 
        period for a new program to improve wildlife habitat on 
        acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program; and
           Adding $20 million per year for a new 
        Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program 
        to encourage landowners to allow public access for 
        wildlife-dependent recreation and $33 million per year 
        for a new Chesapeake Bay Program to reduce nutrient and 
        sediment runoff.

Title III: Trade programs

    Title III would amend the trade promotion and food 
assistance programs administered by USDA and the U.S. Agency 
for International Development (USAID) and extend the 
authorization for those programs through 2012. The legislation 
would increase limits on direct spending for several programs. 
CBO estimates that enacting title III would increase direct 
spending by $175 million over the 2008-2012 period and $1 
million over the 2008-2017 period.
    Limit Repayment Period of GSM Export Credit Guarantee 
Program. Section 3102 would reduce the repayment period for 
loans guaranteed under the GSM Export Credit Guarantee Program 
to six months, beginning in fiscal year 2013, for a savings of 
$157 million over the 2008-2017 period. The legislation also 
would eliminate the Supplier Credit Program and increase loan 
origination fees for an additional savings of $48 million over 
that period.
    Increased Funding for the Market Access Program. Section 
3103 would reauthorize and increase funding for the Market 
Access Program, an export promotion program funded through CCC. 
The legislation would increase annual funding for the program 
through 2012. CBO estimates that direct spending would increase 
under the legislation by $94 million over the 2008-2012 period 
and $102 million over the 2008-2017 period.
    Other Programs. The legislation also would increase 
spending through 2012 for USDA's Foreign Market Development 
Program and for the Food for Progress Program. CBO estimates 
that, together, those changes would increase direct spending by 
$104 million over the 2008-2017 period.

Title IV: Nutrition programs

    Title IV would reauthorize the Food Stamp program (renaming 
it the Food and Nutrition Program) and make it permanent. It 
also would make several temporary changes to the program that 
would expire in 2012. Consistent with the budget baseline 
projection rules in section 257 of the Deficit Control Act, the 
costs of extending the Food Stamp program are included in CBO's 
baseline and are therefore not included in the costs 
attributable to this bill. CBO estimates that those costs would 
total about $397 billion over the 2008-2017 period.
    In addition, title IV would reauthorize and modify related 
nutrition programs and make most of them permanent. The most 
significant changes affecting costs are summarized below. CBO 
estimates that enacting title IV would increase direct spending 
by $5.3 billion over the 2008-2012 period and $5.6 billion over 
the 2008-2017 period, relative to CBO's baseline projections.
    Deductions From Income. The legislation includes two 
provisions that would increase the amount that households can 
deduct from gross income in determining their level of 
benefits. Under current law, the standard deduction is set at 
8.31 percent of the net income threshold by household size, or 
a minimum of $134 per month. This bill would increase the 
minimum standard deduction to $140 in fiscal year 2008 and 
index that amount in subsequent years to changes in the 
Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U). In addition, 
the bill would eliminate the cap on the amount of dependent 
care costs that a household can deduct from income. That 
deduction is currently capped at $200 a month for dependents 
under the age of 2 and at $175 for other dependents. Under 
those two provisions, households would, on average, receive 
higher benefits than under current law because less of their 
income would be considered available for purchasing food. Those 
provisions would expire in 2012, and the deductions would 
revert to their previous levels. Together, CBO estimates that 
those two increases in allowable deductions would increase 
direct spending by $1.6 billion over the 2008-2012 period.
    Changes to Asset Limits. In addition to the income test, 
households that are not considered categorically eligible for 
food stamps must have countable assets of less than $2,000--or 
$3,000 for households with an elderly or disabled member--to 
participate in the program. This legislation would raise the 
asset limit in fiscal year 2008 to $3,500 for most households 
and to $4,500 for elderly and disabled households. In 
subsequent years, these levels would be indexed to the annual 
change in the CPI-U (measured over the 12-month period ending 
each June) and rounded to the nearest lower $250 increment. In 
addition, the bill would exclude certain retirement and 
education savings accounts from the asset calculation. CBO 
estimates that those provisions, which would expire in 2012, 
would increase direct spending by $1.5 billion over the 2008-
2012 period.
    Changes to Reporting Requirements. The bill would give 
states the option to modify and expand requirements to simplify 
reporting for households that include elderly, disabled, or 
migrant individuals. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act 
of 2002 gave states the option to limit, for most households, 
the frequency of reporting on changes in household 
circumstances to every six months, unless household income 
exceeds the gross income limit. Under the bill, states would 
have the option to establish a 12-month simplified reporting 
period for elderly or disabled people without earnings. 
Homeless and migrant people also would be eligible for 
simplified reporting with shorter reporting periods. This 
change to the Food Stamp program would be permanent, and CBO 
estimates that it would increase direct spending by $123 
million over the 2008-2012 period and just over $300 million 
over the 2008-2017 period.
    Unemployed Adults. The bill would change the time limit for 
participation by able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) 
in the Food Stamp program for the 2009-2012 period. Under 
current law, individuals between the ages of 18 and 50 who are 
not disabled and do not have dependents are limited to three 
months of Food Stamp benefits in a 36-month period, unless they 
meet a work requirement or are eligible for a waiver. ABAWDs 
are eligible for a subsequent three months of benefits if they 
requalify for benefits by meeting the work requirement but 
later lose their job or no longer participate in job training. 
This legislation would extend the initial period of eligibility 
to six months and eliminate the period of subsequent 
eligibility. Those amendments would take effect on October 1, 
2008, and expire at the end of 2012. CBO estimates that this 
provision would increase direct spending by $64 million over 
the 2009-2012 period.
    Transitional Food Stamps. This legislation would grant 
states the option to provide up to five months of Food Stamp 
benefits to households with children leaving public assistance 
programs that are solely state-funded. Under current law, 
states have the option to provide transitional food stamps to 
households leaving the TANF program. The provision would expand 
eligibility to programs funded entirely with state funds 
through 2012. The benefit would be based on the level the 
household received just prior to leaving the state program, 
adjusted for the loss of cash assistance and, at state option, 
for information from other assistance programs. CBO estimates 
that this provision would increase direct spending by $58 
million over the 2008-2012 period.
    Minimum Benefits. Under current law, the minimum benefit 
for households of one or two persons is $10 a month. The bill 
includes a provision that would set the minimum benefit at 10 
percent of the Thrifty Food Plan for a household of one. CBO 
estimates that the provision would increase the minimum benefit 
by $7 per month, on average, over the 2008-2012 period. We 
estimate that change would increase direct spending by $214 
million over five years.
    The Emergency Food Assistance Program. The bill would 
reauthorize $140 million in annual funds for commodities for 
the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). It also would 
provide an additional $110 million a year for fiscal years 
2008-2012. CBO estimates that this change would increase direct 
spending by $550 million over the 2008-2012 period.
    Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The Child Nutrition and 
WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 permanently authorized $9 
million a year for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 
eight states. This bill would increase the funding to $225 
million in fiscal year 2008 and index that amount through 2012 
to the annual change in the CPI-U (measured over the 12-month 
period ending each June). In 2013, the program would revert to 
its current law level of $9 million a year. CBO estimates that 
those changes would increase direct spending by $991 million 
over the five-year period and $1.1 billion over the 2008-2017 
period.

Title V: Farm credit

    Title V would amend farm credit programs administered by 
USDA, broaden lending authorities of the Farm Credit System, 
and change the basis for premium collections by the Farm Credit 
System Insurance Corporation, a government entity. CBO 
estimates that the change in premium collections would reduce 
direct spending by $378 million over the 2008-2012 period and 
$306 million over the 2008-2017 period.
    The legislation also would allow individuals who originally 
filed late claims under the Pigford class action discrimination 
suit against USDA to refile their claims under an expedited 
review process and would establish a $100 million mandatory 
fund as the sole source for any potential awards under the 
review. CBO estimates that this provision would cost $100 
million.

Title VI: Rural development programs

    CBO estimates that title VI would increase direct spending 
by $355 million over the 2008-2012 period and $400 million over 
the 2008-2017 period for several direct loan and grant programs 
to build day care facilities and hospitals in rural areas, and 
to fund water and waste disposal projects. Such funds also 
would be used to establish a program to provide assistance to 
rural small business owners, and a program to award grants to 
regional boards to develop and implement rural investment 
strategies.

Title VII: Research and related matters

    Title VII would increase direct spending for research on 
organic agriculture and specialty crops by $160 million over 
the 2008-2017 period. The legislation also would end mandatory 
funding for the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food 
Systems, for a savings of $1.3 billion over the 2008-2017 
period.

Title IX: Energy

    Title IX would reauthorize, amend, and expand energy 
programs created in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act 
of 2002 that promote production, use, research, and development 
of renewable and biobased sources of energy. CBO estimates that 
enacting this title would increase direct spending by $1.0 
billion over the 2008-2012 period and $1.1 billion over the 
2008-2017 period.
    USDA's bioenergy program subsidizes the cost of 
agricultural feedstocks used to produce ethanol or other 
biofuels. CBO estimates that amendments made by the legislation 
would increase that program's direct spending by $245 million 
over the 2008-2017 period.
    Over the 2008-2017 period, CBO estimates that other 
spending under this title would cost $300 million to cover the 
subsidy costs of guaranteed loans for biofuel plants, $230 
million in grants and loan guarantees to develop renewable 
energy systems for farms and small rural businesses, $75 
million for biomass energy research and development, and $160 
million for helping producers make the transition to growing, 
harvesting, and transporting biomass crops. In addition, the 
legislation would provide a total of $90 million for a variety 
of programs for testing, education, research, and 
experimentation for bioenergy products and uses.

Title X: Livestock marketing, regulatory, and related programs

    Title X would provide $1 million in CCC funds to the 
National Sheep and Goat Industry Improvement Center.

Title XI: Miscellaneous provisions

    Section 11068 would amend the Right to Financial Privacy 
Act of 1978 to require, under certain circumstances, that 
financial institutions disclose the financial reports of 
certain customers to government authorities. CBO estimates that 
the requirement would increase the recovery of improperly made 
payments by $118 million over the 2008-2012 period and $238 
million over the 2008-2017 period. Such recoveries are recorded 
in the budget as offsetting receipts.
    Section 11069 would eliminate the statute of limitations 
applicable to collection of debt by administrative offset on 
any debt outstanding on or after the date of enactment of this 
act. CBO estimates that this provision would enable the federal 
government to recover $35 million over the 2008-2012 period and 
$65 million over the 2008-2017 period.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
The legislation would give the Secretary of Agriculture the 
ability to prohibit a state from collecting overpayments by the 
Food Stamp program from some or all households that receive 
excess benefits due to a major systemic error by the state 
agency. Because states would have little flexibility to adjust 
their financial responsibilities in that program to absorb the 
costs of those overpayments, the prohibition would be an 
intergovernmental mandate as defined in UMRA. CBO estimates 
that the costs of the prohibition would likely be small and 
well below the threshold established in UMRA.
    The legislation also contains two preemptions of state and 
local laws. It would preempt state and local laws that would 
otherwise require public disclosure of information from USDA 
about animals that are infected with disease or pests. It also 
would preempt state laws relating to production contracts for 
livestock or poultry that are less stringent than the new 
federal standard authorized in this bill. Those preemptions 
would be intergovernmental mandates as defined in UMRA, but CBO 
estimates that they would not impose significant costs on state 
or local governments.
    In general, state, local, and tribal governments would 
benefit from the continuation of the existing Food Stamp 
program, the creation of new grants, and broader flexibility 
and options in some areas.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: The bill contains 
several mandates, as defined in UMRA, that would affect 
private-sector entities. Those mandates would:
           Expand the country-of-origin labeling 
        program to include labeling for goat meat and macadamia 
        nuts;
           Prohibit certain packers from owning, 
        feeding, or controlling livestock more than 14 days 
        before slaughter;
           Require certain processors, poultry dealers, 
        and financial institutions to comply with various 
        reporting or inspection requirements; and
           Place requirements on poultry and livestock 
        agreements.
    CBO expects that the costs to comply with the reporting 
requirements would be small. CBO has limited information about 
the incremental costs of complying with the expanded 
requirements of the country-of-origin labeling program or the 
prohibition on owning livestock. Consequently, we cannot 
determine whether the aggregate cost of the mandates in the 
bill would exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for 
private-sector mandates ($131 million in 2007, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Kathleen FitzGerald--
for nutrition provisions, Jim Langley, Greg Hitz, and Dave 
Hull--for other provisions; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments: Lisa Ramirez-Branum and Leo Lex; Impact on the 
Private Sector: Amy Petz and Keisuke Nakagawa.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:
  Nearly every American will be affected in some way by the 
passage of this legislation. Moreover, the impact of the bill 
is overwhelmingly positive. Not only does it provide needed 
assistance to farmers and ranchers across the country, but 
additionally, the Federal price and income support programs 
authorized in the bill are routinely credited with having a 
significant and positive effect on the production and 
availability of an abundant and affordable supply of food and 
fiber for consumers. The programs this bill authorizes are, by 
and large, voluntary and not regulatory in nature and thus, the 
Committee does not foresee significant regulatory impacts on 
groups or classes of individuals and businesses as result of 
this legislation.
  Most regulations issued pursuant to the implementation of the 
bill will prescribe and define the programs authorized. 
Significant new regulatory burdens are not expected to result 
from these types of regulations. In addition, the Committee 
does not foresee a significant effect on personal privacy, nor 
are significant new paperwork burdens anticipated, particularly 
with respect to farmers and ranchers who wish to participate in 
the voluntary credit assistance, income support and 
conservation programs.
  The Committee notes several provisions of the bill, which 
will result in requirements or burdens, which may alter the 
amount of paperwork necessary or be viewed as regulatory in 
nature.
  Title I clarifies several overlapping or ambiguous provisions 
relating to compliance with the rules of the Federal crop 
insurance program, and provides crop insurance companies or 
other interested parties an alternative procedure which they 
can use to pursue development of new crop insurance policies or 
plans of insurance.
  Several provisions in title IV are expected to streamline and 
simplify program operations. Section 4105, Facilitating 
Simplified Reporting, provides to States the option to adopt 
simplified food stamp income reporting rules for households 
containing elderly individuals, persons with disabilities, or 
seasonal farmworker households. Section 4107, Eligibility for 
Unemployed Adults, simplifies program rules by combining two 3 
month periods of eligibility for single, unemployed adults into 
a single 6 month period of eligibility. States operating the 
Food Stamp Program have long complained about the complexity of 
administering these two periods of eligibility. Both of these 
provisions are expected to significantly reduce program 
complexity and reduce paperwork for States operating the Food 
Stamp Program.
  Title X, section 10003 of the reported legislation amends 
subtitle D of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 
1638 et seq.). The reported legislation, clarifies existing 
authority for the Secretary to enforce country of origin 
labeling to consumers for certain covered commodities including 
beef, lamb, pork, farm-raised fish, perishable agricultural 
commodities, peanuts, goat meat and macadamia nuts. The 
Committee recognizes this action will require modifications to 
existing labels. The modifications in the reported legislation 
are not expected to place undue burden on the industry.
  Title XI, section 11067 amends the Federal Meat Inspection 
Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and the Poultry Products Inspection 
Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) are amended by providing the 
Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with state inspection 
programs, the authority to select eligible state inspected 
establishments that are 25 employees or less to ship in 
interstate commerce. Selected establishments would follow the 
Federal Meat Inspection Act and Poultry Producers Inspection 
Act and be subject to Federal oversight and enforcement. The 
Committee does not anticipate that the changes made in the 
reported legislation will cause new regulatory burden to 
establishments given it is an option for establishments and not 
a requirement.

UNFUNDED MANDATES

  Title 1, section 1609 amends the Agricultural Marketing Act 
of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1673b) to require daily reporting of each 
sales transaction involving a dairy commodity, including the 
sales price; the quantity sold; the location of the sales 
transaction; and product characteristics. The Agricultural 
Marketing Service estimates that over 1,200 plants that process 
in excess of 1 million pounds of milk annually would be 
required to report under this provision and that the annual 
industry costs for initial and ongoing support would likely 
range from $5,500 to $7,5000 per plant. Using USDA estimates, 
the total economic impact on the dairy industry would range 
from $6,600,000 to $9,000,000. In addition, the affected 
industry has raised concerns about the proprietary nature of 
some of the data required by the provision.

                                PRIVACY

  Section 1914 of title I of the Committee bill provides 
authority for the Secretary to make results of data mining 
efforts available to approved insurance providers, which could 
present privacy concerns. However, the section does establish 
restrictions on which policy information individual companies 
may seek access to, limiting it to information relating to 
policies of their current customers and other policies or plans 
of an insured who carries coverage through more than one 
company, as well as information on agents and adjusters 
involved with policies of that company's customers.
  Title X, section 10305 amends the Animal Health Protection 
Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.) by clarifying that any use of 
information obtained through the national animal identification 
system other than for a use expressly stated in this 
legislation shall be a violation of this Act. This section also 
clarifies how the Secretary can and cannot disclose information 
obtained through a national animal identification system. The 
Committee anticipates this provision will further protect 
privacy rights of individuals who choose participate.
  Title XI, section 11056 requires the Secretary of Agriculture 
to annually compile program application and participation rate 
data regarding socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. It 
further requires the Secretary to issue a report based on the 
data collected. The section places a limitation on the use of 
data, as not to disclose the names or individual data of any 
program participant, which should ensure that the privacy 
rights of individuals are protected.
  Title XI, section 11068 amends the Right to Financial Privacy 
Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3413) by requiring financial 
institutions to disclose the financial records of customers to 
a governmental authority for purposes of prevention and 
investigation of payment, fraud and error. This section 
includes limitations on subsequent disclosure.

                               PAPERWORK

  Title III, the trade title of this bill reduces both 
regulatory requirements and paperwork burden in the operation 
of the P.L.-480 title II Food for Peace program, reducing 
reporting requirements and providing additional flexibility to 
the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International 
Development in managing the program and assessing its impact on 
the ground in developing countries.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title; Table of contents.
  Provides that this Act may be cited as the ``Food and Energy 
Security Act of 2007''.
Section 2. Definition of Secretary.
  ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Agriculture.

              TITLE I--PRODUCER INCOME PROTECTION PROGRAMS

Section 1001. Definitions.
  Section 1001 provides definitions for terms used within this 
title.
  ``Average crop revenue payment'' means a payment made to 
producers on a farm under section 1401.
  ``Base acres'' means the number of acres established under 
section 1101 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7911) as in effect 
on the day before enactment of this Act, subject to any 
adjustment under section 1101 of this Act.
  ``Counter-cyclical payment'' means a payment made to 
producers on a farm under section 1104.
  ``Covered commodity'' means wheat, corn, grain sorghum, 
barley, oats, upland cotton, long grain rice, medium grain 
rice, pulse crops, soybeans, and other oilseeds.
  ``Direct payment'' means a payment made to producers on a 
farm under section 1103.
  ``Effective price'' means, with respect to a covered 
commodity for a crop year, the price calculated by the 
Secretary under section 1104 to determine whether counter-
cyclical payments are required to be made for that crop year.
  ``Extra long staple cotton'' means cotton that is (A) 
produced from pure strain varieties of the Barbadense species 
or any hybrid of the species, or other similar types of extra 
long staple cotton, designated by the Secretary, having 
characteristics needed for various end uses for which U.S. 
upland cotton is not suitable and grown in irrigated cotton-
growing regions of the U.S. designated by the Secretary or 
other areas designated by the Secretary as suitable for the 
production of the varieties or types; and (B) is ginned on a 
roller-type gin, or if authorized by the Secretary, ginned on 
another type gin for experimental purposes.
  ``Loan commodity'' means wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, 
oats, upland cotton, extra long staple cotton, long grain rice, 
medium grain rice, soybeans, other oilseeds, wool, mohair, 
honey, dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, and large chickpeas.
  ``Medium grain rice'' includes short grain rice.
  ``Other oilseed'' means a crop of sunflower seed, rapeseed, 
canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, 
camelina, or any oilseed designated by the Secretary.
  ``Payment acres'' means, in the case of direct payments and 
counter-cyclical payments, 85 percent of the base acres of a 
covered commodity on a farm on which direct payments or 
counter-cyclical payments are made.
  ''Payment yield'' means the yield established for direct 
payments and counter-cyclical payments under section 1102 of 
the FSRIA of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7912) as in effect on the day 
before enactment of this Act, or under section 1102 of this 
Act, for a farm for a covered commodity.
  ``Producer'' means an owner, operator, landlord, tenant, or 
sharecropper that shares in the risk of producing a crop and is 
entitled to share in the crop available for marketing from the 
farm, or would have shared had the crop been produced. In 
determining whether a grower of hybrid seed is a producer, the 
Secretary shall (i) not take into consideration the existence 
of a hybrid seed contract; and (ii) ensure that program 
requirements do not adversely affect the ability of the grower 
to receive a payment under this title.
  ``Pulse crop'' means dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, and 
large chickpeas.
  ``State'' means a State, the District of Columbia, Puerto 
Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United 
States.
  ``Target price'' means the price per bushel, pound, or 
hundredweight (or other appropriate unit) of a covered 
commodity used to determine the payment rate for counter-
cyclical payments.
  ``United States'', when used in a geographical sense, means 
all of the States.

               SUBTITLE A--TRADITIONAL PAYMENTS AND LOANS

         PART I--DIRECT PAYMENTS AND COUNTER-CYCLICAL PAYMENTS

Section 1101. Base acres and payment acres for a farm.
  Provides for an adjustment in base acres under certain 
circumstances, including release or expiration of cropland from 
or voluntary termination of a conservation reserve contract 
under section 1231 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3831), inclusion of pulse crop, camelina, or newly designated 
oilseed acreage. Requires election of either direct payments 
and counter-cyclical payments or conservation payments if the 
base adjustment is made due to a change in status of a 
conservation reserve contract. Requires a reduction in base 
acres if the sum of base acres and other specified acreage 
exceeds the actual cropland acreage on the farm. Allows an 
owner to permanently reduce the base acres for the farm at any 
time.
Section 1102. Payment yields.
  Provides for the establishment of a payment yield for any 
designated oilseed, camelina, or eligible pulse crop for the 
purpose of making direct payments and counter-cyclical 
payments.
Section 1103. Availability of direct payments.
  Except as provided in section 1401, establishes payment rates 
for direct payments for the 2008 through 2012 crop years as 
follows:

                             Direct Payments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Food and
                                                                 Energy
                   Commodity (unit)                    Current  Security
                                                         Law     Act of
                                                                  2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wheat (bu)                                              $0.52     $0.52
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corn (bu)                                               $0.28     $0.28
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grain sorghum (bu)                                      $0.35     $0.35
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Barley (bu)                                             $0.24     $0.24
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oats (bu)                                              $0.024    $0.024
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upland cotton (lb)                                     $0.0667  $0.0667
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long grain rice (cwt)                                   $2.35     $2.35
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium grain rice (cwt)                                 $2.35     $2.35
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Soybeans (bu)                                           $0.44     $0.44
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other oilseeds (cwt)                                    $0.80     $0.80
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Specifies payment amount as the product of the payment rate, 
the payment acres, and the payment yield for the covered 
commodity on the farm. Requires that direct payments shall be 
made not before October 1 of the calendar year in which the 
crop is harvested for each of the 2008 through 2012 crop years. 
Authorizes advance direct payments up to 22 percent of the 
direct payments at the option of the producer for each of the 
2008 through 2011 crop years. Allows the producer opting for 
the advance to select the month during which the advance will 
be made, beginning on December 1 of the calendar year before 
the calendar year in which the crop of the covered commodity is 
harvested and ending during the month within which the direct 
payment would otherwise be made. Allows producers to change the 
selected month by advance notice to the Secretary. Requires 
repayment under certain circumstances.
Section 1104. Availability of counter-cyclical payments.
  Subject to sections 1107 and 1401, requires counter-cyclical 
payments to be made if the Secretary determines that the 
effective price for the covered commodity is less than the 
target price for the covered commodity. Provides calculation 
for effective price and payment rate for covered commodities 
and for long grain and medium grain rice. Establishes target 
prices for the 2008 through 2012 crop years of the covered 
commodity as follows:

                              Target Prices
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Food and
                                                                 Energy
                   Commodity (unit)                    Current  Security
                                                         Law     Act of
                                                                  2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wheat (bu)                                              $3.92     $4.20
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corn (bu)                                               $2.63     $2.63
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grain sorghum (bu)                                      $2.57     $2.63
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Barley (bu)                                             $2.24     $2.63
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oats (bu)                                               $1.44     $1.83
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upland cotton (lb)                                     $0.724   $0.7225
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long grain rice (cwt)                                  $10.50    $10.50
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium grain rice (cwt)                                $10.50    $10.50
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Soybeans (bu)                                           $5.80     $6.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other oilseeds (cwt)                                   $10.10    $12.74
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dry peas (cwt)                                              -     $8.33
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lentils (cwt)                                               -    $12.82
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Small chickpeas (cwt)                                       -    $10.36
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Large chickpeas (cwt)                                       -    $12.82
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Prohibits the Secretary from establishing a target price for 
a covered commodity that is different from the target price 
specified. Specifies payment amount as the product of the 
payment rate, payment acres, and payment yield for the covered 
commodity on the farm. Requires that payments are made 
beginning October 1, or as soon as practicable thereafter, 
after the end of the applicable marketing year for the covered 
commodity. Authorizes partial payments for the 2008 through 
2010 crops. Authorizes partial payments of up to 40 percent of 
the projected counter-cyclical payment after completion of the 
first 180 days of the marketing year for the covered commodity; 
final partial payments shall be made as specified above for 
payments generally. Allows producers to elect to receive 
partial payments at any time but not later than 30 days prior 
to the end of the marketing year for the covered commodity. 
Requires the Secretary to issue the partial payment after the 
date of announcement of available payments but not later than 
30 days prior to the end of the marketing year. Requires 
repayment under certain circumstances.
Section 1105. Producer agreement required as condition of provision of 
        direct payments and counter-cyclical payments.
  Requires that prior to receiving direct or counter-cyclical 
payments, the producers shall agree to certain provisions in 
exchange for the payments during the crop year for which the 
payments are made, including compliance with conservation 
requirements under subtitle B of title XII of the Food Security 
Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3811 et seq.), wetland protection 
requirements under subtitle C of title XII of that Act (16 
U.S.C. 3821 et seq.), and planting flexibility requirements, 
utilization of the land for agricultural or conserving use 
purposes and not for commercial, industrial, or residential use 
(including land subdivided and developed into residential units 
or other nonfarming uses or that is otherwise no longer used in 
conjunction with a farming operation), and control of noxious 
weeds. Provides that transfer or change in interest of the 
producers on the farm shall result in termination of payments 
unless the transferee or owner of the acreage agrees to comply 
with provisions described above. Requires producers to submit 
annual acreage reports with respect to all cropland on the 
farm. Requires the Secretary to provide adequate safeguards to 
protect the interests of tenants and sharecroppers. Requires 
that the Secretary provide for the sharing of direct and 
counter-cyclical payments on a farm on a fair and equitable 
basis.
Section 1106. Planting flexibility.
  Allows any commodity or crop to be planted on base acres on a 
farm and specifies exceptions for the following: trees, 
perennial plants, fruits, vegetables (other than mung beans and 
pulse crops), and wild rice. If planted, these crops may be 
destroyed before harvest. Specifies situations in which the 
limitation of these crops may not apply. Provides for a pilot 
project in Indiana for the production of tomatoes for 
processing on up to 10,000 base acres during each of the 2008 
through 2009 crop years.
Section 1107. Special rule for long grain and medium grain rice.
  Provides that for the purposes of making counter-cyclical 
payments for long grain and medium grain rice, base acres shall 
be apportioned based on a specific time period. Requires that 
base acres, payment acres, and payment yields established with 
respect to rice are maintained.
Section 1108. Period of effectiveness.
  Establishes the period of effectiveness as the 2008 through 
2012 crop years.

    PART II--MARKETING ASSISTANCE LOANS AND LOAN DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS

Section 1201. Availability of nonrecourse marketing assistance loans 
        for loan commodities.
  Except as provided in section 1401, requires the Secretary to 
make nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for any quantity of 
a loan commodity produced on the farm for the 2008 through 2012 
crops. Provides for treatment of certain commingled 
commodities. Requires a producer to comply with applicable 
conservation and wetland protection measures during the term of 
the loan as a condition of receipt of a loan.
Section 1202. Loan rates for nonrecourse marketing assistance loans.
  Establishes loan rates as follows for the 2008 through 2012 
crop years:

                               Loan Rates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Food and
                                                                 Energy
                   Commodity (unit)                    Current  Security
                                                         Law     Act of
                                                                  2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wheat (bu)                                              $2.75     $2.94
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corn (bu)                                               $1.95     $1.95
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grain sorghum (bu)                                      $1.95     $1.95
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Barley (bu)                                             $1.85     $1.95
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oats (bu)                                               $1.33     $1.39
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upland cotton (lb)                                      $0.52     $0.52
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Extra long staple cotton (lb)                          $0.7977  $0.7977
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long grain rice (cwt)                                   $6.50     $6.50
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium grain rice (cwt)                                 $6.50     $6.50
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Soybeans (bu)                                           $5.00     $5.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other oilseeds (cwt)                                    $9.30    $10.09
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dry peas (cwt)                                          $6.22     $5.40
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lentils (cwt)                                          $11.72    $11.28
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Small chickpeas (cwt)                                   $7.43     $7.43
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Large chickpeas (cwt)                                       -    $11.28
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Graded wool (lb)                                        $1.00     $1.20
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nongraded wool (lb)                                     $0.40     $0.40
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohair (lb)                                             $4.20     $4.20
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Honey (lb)                                              $0.60     $0.72
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Requires the Secretary to establish a single loan rate in 
each county for each kind of other oilseeds. Provides the 
grading basis for pulse crops. Requires a single county loan 
rate for corn and grain sorghum; a single national loan rate 
for corn and grain sorghum; and that each county loan rate and 
the national average loan rate for corn and grain sorghum be 
determined from a data set that includes prices for both corn 
and grain sorghum.
Section 1203. Term of loans.
  Establishes the term of marketing assistance loans as 9 
months beginning on the first day of the first month after the 
month in which the loan is made and prohibits extensions.
Section 1204. Repayment of loans.
  Provides repayment measures for loan commodities (other than 
upland cotton, long grain rice, medium grain rice, extra long 
staple cotton, and confectionery and each other kind of 
sunflower seed (other than oil sunflower seed)) at a rate that 
is the lesser of the loan rate established for the commodity 
plus interest; or a rate that the Secretary determines will: 
minimize potential loan forfeitures; minimize the accumulation 
of stocks of the commodity by the Federal Government; minimize 
the cost incurred by the Federal Government in storing the 
commodity; allow the commodity produced in the United States to 
be marketed freely and competitively, both domestically and 
internationally; and minimize discrepancies in marketing loan 
benefits across state boundaries and across county boundaries.
  Provides repayment measures for upland cotton, long grain 
rice, and medium grain rice at a rate that is the lesser of the 
loan rate established for the commodity plus interest; or the 
prevailing world market price for the commodity (adjusted to 
U.S. quality and location), as determined by the Secretary.
  Provides that the repayment rate for extra long staple cotton 
shall be at the loan rate established for the commodity plus 
interest.
  Provides that the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation a 
formula to determine the prevailing world market price for 
upland cotton (adjusted to U.S. quality and location) and the 
prevailing world market price for long grain rice and medium 
grain rice (adjusted to U.S. quality and location), and a 
mechanism by which the Secretary shall announce periodically 
the prevailing world market price for upland cotton, long grain 
rice, and medium grain rice.
  Authorizes the Secretary to further adjust the prevailing 
world market price for upland cotton if the Secretary 
determines the adjustment is necessary-to minimize potential 
loan forfeitures; to minimize the accumulation of stocks of 
upland cotton by the Federal Government; to allow upland cotton 
produced in the United States to be marketed freely and 
competitively, both domestically and internationally; to ensure 
that upland cotton produced in the United States is competitive 
in world markets; and to ensure an appropriate transition 
between current-crop and forward-crop price quotations, except 
that the Secretary may use forward-crop price quotations prior 
to July 31 of a marketing year only if there are insufficient 
current-crop price quotations and the forward-crop price 
quotation is the lowest such quotation available. Requires the 
Secretary to establish a mechanism for determining and 
announcing these adjustments in order to avoid undue disruption 
in the U.S. market.
  Provides repayment measures for confectionery and other kinds 
of sunflower seed (other than oil sunflower seed) at a rate 
that is the lesser of the loan rate established for the 
commodity plus interest; or the repayment rate established for 
oil sunflower seed.
  Provides that the repayment rate for pulse crops shall be 
based on the quality grades for the applicable commodity 
specified in section 1202(c).
  Provides payment of cotton storage costs in the same manner 
and at the same rates as the Secretary provided for the 2006 
crop of cotton effective for the 2008 through 2012 crop years.
Section 1205. Loan deficiency payments.
  Authorizes loan deficiency payments for those agreeing to 
forgo obtaining a nonrecourse marketing assistance loan for the 
commodity. Provides loan deficiency payments for unshorn pelts, 
hay, and silage. Prohibits loan deficiency payments for extra 
long staple cotton.
  For the 2008 crop year: requires that the date for 
determining the amount of the loan deficiency payment to be 
made is as soon as practicable after the date on which the 
producers on the farm lose beneficial interest; and provides 
that the Secretary shall establish procedures to determine a 
date on which producers with loan commodities with on-farm 
consumption lose beneficial interest.
Section 1206. Payments in lieu of loan deficiency payments for grazed 
        acreage.
  Allows producers of wheat, barley, or oats to use the acreage 
planted for the grazing of livestock and receive a loan 
deficiency payment if the producer agrees to forgo any other 
harvesting of those crops on that acreage, and provides for the 
payment amount. Provides a calculation for payments for the 
grazing of triticale acreage. Prohibits eligibility for a crop 
insurance or noninsured crop assistance program (NAP) indemnity 
for producers who elect to graze acreage under this section.
Section 1207. Special marketing loan provisions for upland cotton.
  Provides for special import quotas and limited global import 
quotas of upland cotton.
  Beginning August 1, 2008, and ending June 30, 2013, provides 
economic adjustment assistance to domestic users of upland 
cotton, regardless of the origin of that cotton. Establishes 
rate of assistance as $0.04 per pound and requires that the 
assistance be used only for specific purposes, including 
modernization of facilities. Authorizes the Secretary to 
conduct reviews or audits as necessary and establishes 
penalties for misuse of assistance.
Section 1208. Special competitive provisions for extra long staple 
        cotton.
  Continues a competitiveness program for extra long staple 
cotton.
Section 1209. Availability of recourse loans for high moisture feed 
        grains and seed cotton.
  Provides recourse loans for corn and grain sorghum in a high 
moisture State for the 2008 through 2012 crops. Provides 
recourse loans for seed cotton. Requires that the repayment 
rate is the loan rate established for the commodity by the 
Secretary plus interest.
Section 1210. Adjustments of loans.
  Provides for adjustments in loan rates for loan commodities 
other than cotton for differences in grade, type, location, and 
other factors. Allows the Secretary to establish county loan 
rates in a manner that results in the lowest loan rate being 95 
percent of the national average loan rate if those loan rates 
do not result in an increase in outlays. Prohibits any 
adjustment resulting in an increase in the national average 
loan rate for any year.
  Authorizes the Secretary to make adjustments in the loan rate 
for differences in quality factors for upland cotton. Not later 
than 180 days after the enactment of this Act and after 
consultation with the private sector as specified, requires 
that the Secretary implement revisions in the administration of 
the marketing assistance loan program for upland cotton to more 
accurately and efficiently reflect market values for upland 
cotton. Mandatory revisions include: the elimination of 
warehouse location differentials; the establishment of 
differentials for the various quality factors and staple 
lengths of cotton based on a 3-year, weighted moving average of 
the weighted designated spot market regions, as determined by 
regional production; the elimination of any artificial split in 
the premium or discount between upland cotton with a 32 or 33 
staple length due to micronaire; and a mechanism to ensure that 
no premium or discount is established that exceeds the premium 
or discount associated with a leaf grade that is one better 
than the applicable color grade. Discretionary revisions may 
include: the use of non-spot market price data, in addition to 
spot market price data, that would enhance the accuracy of the 
price information used in determining quality adjustments under 
this subsection; adjustments in the premiums or discounts 
associated with upland cotton with a staple length of 33 or 
above due to micronaire with the goal of eliminating any 
unnecessary artificial splits in the calculations of the 
premiums or discounts; and such other adjustments as the 
Secretary determines appropriate. Prior to implementing any 
adjustments and when conducting a review of adjustments in the 
operation of the upland cotton loan program, the Secretary is 
required to consult with a private sector committee that is in 
existence as of the date of enactment of this Act, has a 
membership that includes representatives of the production, 
ginning, warehousing, cooperative, and merchandising segments 
of the U.S. cotton industry, and has developed recommendations 
concerning the revisions. Requires the Secretary to establish 
the quality differences applicable to the loan program for 
upland cotton prior to any revisions by giving equal weight to 
loan differences for the preceding crop and market differences 
for the crop in the designated U.S. spot markets.
  Requires that the Secretary administer the applicable loan, 
marketing loan, and related programs using a single loan rate 
for corn and grain sorghum that is identical in each individual 
county; and provide that any adjustment in the corn and grain 
sorghum loan rate for location shall be determined on the basis 
of the combined corn and grain sorghum data set in a manner 
that any transportation adjustment shall be the same for corn 
and grain sorghum in each individual county. Allows for 
adjustments for grade, type, and quality, as appropriate, for 
the corn or grain sorghum involved in each specific 
transaction.
  Prohibits the Secretary from making adjustments in the loan 
rates for long grain rice and medium grain rice, except for 
differences in grade and quality (including milling yields).

                           PART III--PEANUTS

Section 1301. Definitions.
  Section 1301 establishes the definitions that will apply to 
the peanut subtitle. Most of the definitions relate to the 
definitions from the FSRIA of 2002.
          ``Base Acres For Peanuts'' means the number of peanut 
        base acres on a farm, established by the FSRIA of 2002 
        in effect one day before the enactment of this Act.
          ``Effective Price'' means the price calculated by the 
        Secretary for peanuts to determine whether counter-
        cyclical payments are required to be made for a crop 
        year.
          ``Payment Acres'' means 85 percent of the base acres 
        for peanuts.
          ``Payment Yield'' means the yield established for 
        direct payments and counter-cyclical payments under the 
        FSRIA of 2002 in effect one day before the enactment of 
        this Act.
          The definition of ``Producer'' is consistent with the 
        definition under the FSRIA of 2002.
Section 1302. Base acres for peanuts for a farm.
  Section 1302 applies the adjustment of base acre provisions 
for covered commodities under section 1102 to peanuts. Like the 
FSRIA of 2002, section 1302 (a) provides the Secretary with the 
authority to adjust the base acres of peanuts if (A) a 
conservation reserve contract expires or is voluntarily 
terminated; or (B) the Secretary releases cropland from 
coverage under a conservation reserve contract. Under this 
scenario, the producer will either receive a prorated 
conservation reserve payment or direct and counter-cyclical 
payments for the added peanut base acreage.
  Section 1302 (b) allows the Secretary to reduce the peanut 
base acreage when the sum of a farm's base acres for peanuts 
and ``other acreage'' exceeds the actual cropland acreage for 
the farm. ``Other acreage'' includes any base acres for a 
covered commodity, acreage enrolled in the conservation reserve 
program or wetlands reserve program, or any other acreage on 
the farm enrolled in a Federal conservation program for which 
payments are received for not producing an agricultural 
commodity on that acreage. This provision is a continuation of 
a provision in the FSRIA of 2002, except it now excludes lands 
enrolled in a state conservation program.Section 1302 (c) 
continues the provision that give producers the option of 
permanently reducing the base acres for peanuts on a farm.
Section 1303. Availability of direct payments for peanuts.
  Section 1303 (a) authorizes direct payments for peanuts for 
the 2008 through 2012 crop years on farms with an established 
payment yield and base acres for peanuts.
  Section 1303 (b) sets the payment rate for direct payments 
for peanuts at $36/ton. The payment rate for peanut direct 
payments established under the FSRIA of 2002 is maintained.
  Section 1303 (c) continues the provision established under 
the FSRIA of 2002 for calculating the payment amount for direct 
payments for peanuts by multiplying the payment rate for 
peanuts by the payment acres for peanuts by the payment yield 
for peanuts.
  Section 1303 (d) changes the timing of direct payments for 
peanuts. For the 2008 crop of peanuts, direct payments will be 
made as soon as practicable. Direct payments for peanuts for 
the 2009 through 2012 crop years will not be paid before 
October 1 of the calendar year that the peanuts are harvested. 
Under current law, direct payments for peanuts are paid before 
September 30 of the calendar year that the peanuts are 
harvested. The opportunity for an advance direct payment is 
continued in the same manner as provided in the FSRIA of 2002 
with one exception. The advance direct payment can be 22 
percent of the total direct payment instead of the 50 percent 
provided in current law.
Section 1304. Availability of counter-cyclical payments for peanuts.
  Section 1304 (a) authorizes counter-cyclical payments for 
peanuts for the 2008 through 2012 crop years on farms with an 
established payment yield and base acres for peanuts.
  Section 1304(b) establishes the effective price for peanuts 
consistent with the FSRIA of 2002.
  Section 1304 (c) established a target price for peanuts at 
$495 that is consistent with the FSRIA of 2002.
  Section 1304 (d) and (e) established the payment rate and 
payment amount consistent with the FSRIA of 2002.
  Section 1304 (f) sets forth the timing of counter-cyclical 
payments for the 2008 through 2012 crop years for peanuts. The 
Secretary will make counter-cyclical payments for peanuts 
beginning on October 1 or as soon as practicable after the end 
of the marketing year for peanuts. Producers will have the 
opportunity to receive partial counter-cyclical payments for 
the 2008 through 2010 crop years for peanuts if the Secretary 
estimates a counter-cyclical payment for peanuts will be 
distributed. The first partial payment may not exceed 40 
percent of the projected counter-cyclical payment and shall be 
made after completion of the first 180 days of the marketing 
year. Final partial payment shall be made on October 1 of the 
calendar year after the end of the marketing year. In the event 
a partial counter-cyclical payment exceeds the actual counter-
cyclical payment for the respective crop year, the producer 
will repay the Secretary the difference, consistent with 
current law.
Section 1305. Producer agreement required as condition on provision of 
        direct payments and counter-cyclical payments.
  Section 1305 continues the requirements of the FSRIA of 2002 
that producers must meet in order to be eligible to receive 
direct and counter-cyclical payments. The requirements under 
section 1305(a) include conservation compliance, wetland 
protection compliance, planting flexibility requirements, use 
of the land for an agricultural or conserving use and not for a 
nonagricultural commercial, industrial, or subdivided and 
developed for residential use (including land subdivided and 
developed into residential units or other nonfarming uses or 
that is otherwise no longer used in conjunction with a farming 
operation), and maintaining the land in accordance with sound 
agricultural practices.
Section 1306. Planting flexibility.
  Section 1306 maintains the provisions of the FSRIA of 2002 
that restrict the planting of fruits, vegetables, and wild rice 
on peanut base acres. Exceptions under section 1306 (c) include 
regions with a history of double cropping peanuts and fruits, 
vegetables, or wild rice, a farm with a history of double 
cropping peanuts and fruits, vegetables, or wild rice, and 
producers who have a established history of planting fruits, 
vegetables, or wild rice. Producers meeting the exceptions, 
excluding regions with a history of double cropping, will 
receive a reduction in any direct or counter-cyclical payment 
made on peanut base acres.
Section 1307. Marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments 
        for peanuts.
  Section 1307 (a) authorizes the Secretary to make nonrecourse 
marketing assistance loans for peanuts produced on a farm for 
the 2008 through 2012 crop years. Producers are eligible for 
any quantity of peanuts produced on the farm. Section 1307 (a) 
(5) allows the producer to obtain the marketing assistance loan 
and loan deficiency payments through an approved marketing 
cooperative or the Farm Service Agency. Section 1307 (a) (7) 
replaces the payment of storage, handling and associated costs 
under the FSRIA of 2002 with a mechanism that ensures handling 
and associated costs aren't deducted from a producer's 
marketing loan. USDA would advance the payment for handling and 
associated costs for peanuts placed in the loan and that 
advancement would be repaid when the peanuts are redeemed.
  Section 1307 (b) maintains the marketing loan rate of $355/
ton established under the FSRIA of 2002.
  Section 1307 (c) and (d) ensure that the terms of the loan 
and loan repayment rate that were established in the FSRIA of 
2002 are maintained.
  Section 1307 (e)(4) changes the mechanism for establishing 
the effective date for a loan deficiency payment rate 
determination, for the 2008 crop year. The FSRIA of 2002 
allowed for the payment rate determination to be made on the 
date the producer requested the loan deficiency payment. 
Section 1307 (e)(4) provides for the payment rate to be 
determined as soon as practicable after the date the producer 
loses beneficial interest of the commodity, for the 2008 crop 
year.
  Section 1307(f) requires producers to comply with 
conservation compliance and wetland provisions.
Section 1308. Adjustments of loans for peanuts.
  Provides for adjustments in loan rates for peanuts for 
differences in grade, type, location, and other factors. Allows 
the Secretary to establish county loan rates in a manner that 
results in the lowest loan rate being 95 percent of the 
national average loan rate if those loan rates do not result in 
an increase in outlays. Prohibits any adjustment resulting in 
an increase in the national average loan rate for any year.

                    SUBTITLE B--AVERAGE CROP REVENUE

Section 1401. Availability of average crop revenue payments.
  As an alternative to the payments or loans provided under 
subtitle A, the Secretary shall give producers the opportunity 
to make a one-time election to receive average crop revenue 
payments under this section for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 crop 
years; the 2011 and 2012 crop years; or the 2012 crop year.
  For those producers that elect to receive average crop 
revenue payments, the Secretary shall make fixed payments equal 
to not less than the product of (A) $15 per acre; and (B) 100 
percent of the quantity of base acres for all covered 
commodities and peanuts on the farm.
  Revenue payments are triggered when the actual state revenue 
for a covered commodity or peanuts is less than the average 
crop revenue guarantee for that commodity.
  For the purposes of this provision, the actual state revenue 
is equal to the product of (A) the actual state yield, 
represented by the quantity of the covered commodity or peanuts 
that is produced in the State during the crop year divided by 
the number of planted acres to the covered commodity or peanuts 
in the State during the crop year; and (B) the average crop 
revenue program harvest price, represented by the harvest price 
used for the covered commodity or peanuts in the State under 
the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). If the 
Secretary cannot establish the harvest price for a covered 
commodity or peanuts in a State, the Secretary shall assign a 
price based on comparable data.
  For the purposes of this provision, the average crop revenue 
guarantee is equal to 90 percent of the product of (A) the 
expected state yield, based on a linear regression trend of the 
yield per acre planted to the covered commodity or peanuts in 
the State during the 1980 through 2006 period using National 
Agricultural Statistics Service data; and (B) average crop 
revenue program pre-planting price, represented by the average 
price that is used to calculate revenue coverage plans under 
the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) for the 
crop year and the preceding 2 crop years. The Secretary shall 
not decrease or increase the pre-planting price by more than 15 
percent from the price set for the preceding year. If the 
Secretary cannot establish a pre-planting price for a crop year 
for a covered commodity or peanuts in a State, the Secretary 
shall assign a price based on comparable data. If the Secretary 
cannot establish the expected state yield for each planted acre 
for a crop year for a covered commodity or peanuts in a State 
or if the linear regression trend of the yield is negative, the 
Secretary shall assign an expected state yield based on 
expected state yields for planted acres for the crop year for 
the covered commodity or peanuts in similar States.
  The revenue payment to be received is equal to the product of 
(A) the difference between the average crop revenue program 
guarantee and the actual state revenue; (B) 85 percent of the 
base acres on the farm for the covered commodity or peanuts; 
(C) the quotient of the crop insurance yield for that covered 
commodity on the farm, or comparable yield data if actual 
production history on the farm is not available, and the 
expected state yield; and (D) 90 percent. Recourse loans are 
made available to producers that elect to receive average crop 
revenue payments for each of the 2010 through 2012 crops.
  Authorizes payments under the Average Crop Revenue program 
beginning October 1 after the end of the applicable marketing 
year.
Section 1402. Producer agreement as condition of average crop revenue 
        payments.
  In order to receive payments under this program, producers 
shall agree to certain provisions in exchange for the payments 
during the crop year for which the payments are made, including 
compliance with conservation, wetland, and planting flexibility 
requirements, utilization of the land for agricultural or 
conserving use purposes and not commercial, industrial, or 
residential use (including land subdivided and developed into 
residential units or other nonfarming uses or that is otherwise 
no longer used in conjunction with a farming operation), and 
control of noxious weeds. Producers must submit annual acreage 
reports to the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide adequate 
safeguards to protect the interests of tenants and 
sharecroppers, allow sharing of payments among producers on a 
farm, and conduct an annual audit of the program.
Section 1403. Planting flexibility.
  Allows any commodity or crop to be planted on base acres on a 
farm and specifies exceptions for the following: trees, 
perennial plants, fruits, vegetables (other than mung beans and 
pulse crops), and wild rice. If planted, these crops may be 
destroyed before harvest. Specifies situations in which the 
limitation of these crops may not apply. Provides for the 
production of fruits or vegetables for processing by 
participants in the average crop revenue program on up to 
10,000 base acres in each of the States of Illinois, Iowa, 
Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

                           SUBTITLE C--SUGAR

Section 1501. Sugar program.
  Reauthorizes the sugar program through 2012 and provides loan 
rates for sugar cane equal to 18.00 cents per pound for 2008, 
18.25 cents per pound for 2009, 18.50 cents per pound for 2010, 
18.75 cents per pound for 2011, and 19.00 cents per pound for 
2012; and loan rates for sugar beets equal to 128.5 percent of 
the loan rate for raw cane sugar. Provides that loans will be 
nonrecourse and that processors will make adequate assurances 
that payments to growers will be proportional to the loan 
values. It also allows the Secretary to set minimums for such 
payments and limits the Secretary's authority to require 
processors to prenotify forfeitures of collateral. Extends 
current law authorizing nonrecourse loans on in-process sugars 
and syrups. Requires the Secretary to operate the sugar 
program, to the maximum extent practicable, at no cost to the 
Federal Government. Allows the Secretary to purchase eligible 
commodities and sell such commodities to bioenergy producers in 
a matter that ensures that this section is operated at no cost 
to the Federal Government. Requires the Secretary to use 
competitive processes when entering into contracts with 
eligible entities and bioenergy producers. Requires the 
Secretary to give notice of the quantity of eligible 
commodities that will be made available for purchase and sale 
for the subsequent fiscal year. The Secretary is to ensure that 
bioenergy producers that purchase eligible commodities under 
this provision take possession of purchased commodities no 
later than 30 days after the purchase. The Secretary shall also 
ensure that no storage fees are paid by the CCC and may enter 
into contract to ensure that this does not take place. 
Authorizes the Commodity Credit Corporation to accept bids from 
processors (acting in conjunction with producers) for the 
purchase of sugar in CCC inventory in exchange for reduced 
production of raw cane or refined beet sugar. Requires 
producers of sugarcane in a State with more than 250 producers 
of sugarcane (``proportionate share'' States) to report yields 
and acres, and allows the Secretary to require similar reports 
from other producers of sugarcane and sugar beets. The 
subsection requires importers of sugars, syrups, or molasses to 
be used for human consumption, other than quantities that are 
within the tariff-rate quota, to report. The subsection adds a 
new requirement that the Secretary collect information of the 
production, consumption, stocks and trade of sweeteners in 
Mexico. States that all refined sugars, whether from beets or 
cane, are substitutable for purposes of the refined sugar and 
sugar-containing products re-export programs. Extends the sugar 
program through the 2012 crop year, and clarifies that the 
program for the 2007 crop will be operated as under current 
law.
Section 1502. Storage facility loans.
  Eliminates the penalty for prepayment of storage facility 
loans.
Section 1503. Commodity Credit Corporation storage payments.
  Establishes rates for the storage of forfeited sugar for each 
of the 2008 through 2011 crop years in an amount that is not 
less than 15 cents per hundredweight of refined sugar per month 
or 10 cents per hundredweight of raw cane sugar per month. For 
each of the 2012 and subsequent crop years, establishes storage 
payments at rates in effect at the time of enactment.
Section 1504. Flexible marketing allotments for sugar.
  Requires the Secretary to establish marketing allotments for 
the 2008 through 2012 crops of domestically produced sugar to 
balance supply and demand and avoid loan forfeitures. Adds a 
new definition of ``human consumption'' as used in the 
allotment provisions. Clarifies that the coverage of allotments 
extends to sugar produced from imported sugar beets or in-
process beet sugar and makes other technical and conforming 
changes. Requires the Secretary to establish annual allotments 
at a level sufficient to avoid sugar forfeitures, with a 
minimum overall allotment quantity equal to at least 85 percent 
of estimated domestic human consumption. Eliminates the current 
law `trigger' that would suspend allotments whenever imports 
were estimated to exceed a certain level. Updates the criteria 
for new entrants in the beet sugar sector. Retains the 
procedures for the Secretary to reassign allotments if 
processors cannot fulfill the allocations, and specifies that 
any resulting imports must be in the form of raw cane sugar. 
Provides a definition of `seed' for purposes of allotments in 
proportionate share States. Provides new rules for converted 
acreage base in States having proportionate shares. Includes 
transfers of mill allocations under the procedures for appeals 
to the Secretary regarding allotments, and eliminates an 
obsolete special appeal procedure regarding beet sugar 
allocations. Provides for the orderly administration of the 
tariff-rate quotas on imported sugar. Extends the sugar 
allotments through the 2012 crop year.
Section 1505. Sense of the Senate regarding NAFTA sugar coordination.
  Provides a sense of the Senate that the United States and 
Mexico should coordinate their respective sugar policies and 
that the United States should consult with Mexico on policies 
that avoid disruptions of the U.S. and Mexican sugar markets in 
order to maximize benefits for growers, processors and 
consumers.

                           SUBTITLE D--DAIRY

Section 1601. Dairy product price support program.
  Amends the milk price support program to support manufactured 
dairy products at prices that are equivalent to the following 
minimum purchase prices:
          (1) blocks of cheddar cheese at not less than $1.13 
        per pound;
          (2) barrels of cheddar cheese at not less than $1.10 
        per pound;
          (3) butter at not less than $1.05 per pound; and
          (4) nonfat dry milk at not less than $0.80 per pound.
  Purchased manufactured dairy products may be sold at the 
prevailing market price but not less than 110 percent of the 
above minimum purchase prices.
Section 1602. National dairy market loss payments.
  Amends the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program by 
increasing the payment factor to 45 percent from October 1, 
2008 through August 31, 2012. The payment quantity limitation 
is increased from 2,400,000 pounds to 4,150,000 pounds from 
October 1, 2008 through August 31, 2012.
Section 1603. Dairy export incentive and dairy indemnity programs.
  Extends the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) through 
December 31, 2012 and the Dairy Indemnity Program (DIP) through 
September 30, 2012.
Section 1604. Funding of dairy promotion and research program.
  Extends the authority of the National Dairy Promotion and 
Research Board through September 30, 2012. The assessment on 
importers is not applied.
Section 1605. Revision of Federal marketing order amendment procedures.
  Sets statutory time limits to ensure that USDA decisions on 
proposed amendments to milk marketing orders are made within 
one year after initiating a hearing. Requires the Secretary to 
determine average monthly prices of feed and fuel input costs 
for dairy producers and consider the most recent monthly data 
available for these input costs in make allowance adjustment 
determinations.
Section 1606. Dairy forward pricing program.
  Amends the former dairy forward pricing pilot program to 
establish a program that sunsets with the life of this 
legislation. Program allows producers and cooperatives to 
voluntarily enter into forward price contracts with milk 
handlers. Includes safeguards to prevent producers from being 
coerced into entering contracts and maintains the right of 
producers to have their milk priced under the applicable 
Federal milk marketing order. Forward contracts may be entered 
into until September 30, 2012, but may not extend beyond 
September 30, 2015.
Section 1607. Report on Department of Agriculture reporting procedures 
        for nonfat dry milk.
  Requires the Secretary to submit a report, not later than 90 
days after enactment, to the House and Senate Agriculture 
Committees regarding USDA reporting procedures on Federal milk 
marketing orders minimum prices from July 1, 2006 through the 
date of enactment.
Section 1608. Federal Milk Marketing Order Review Commission.
  Establishes a Federal Milk Marketing Order Review Commission 
to review elements of the order system including: (1) ensuring 
the preservation of the competitiveness of dairy products with 
other products in the marketplace; (2) enhancing the 
competitiveness of U.S. dairy producer in world markets; (3) 
increasing Federal milk marketing order responsiveness to 
market forces; (4) streamlining the Federal milk marketing 
order amendment adoption process; (5) simplifying the Federal 
milk marketing order system; (6) evaluating the effectiveness 
of the Federal milk marketing order in serving the interests of 
the public, processors and producers; (7) evaluating whether 
Federal milk marketing orders operate in a manner to minimize 
cost to taxpayers and consumers; (8) evaluating the nutritional 
composition of milk including the benefits and costs of 
adjusting current milk content standards; (9) economic benefits 
to milk producers of establishing a 2-class system of 
classifying milk consisting of a fluid milk class and a 
manufacturing grade milk class; and (10) evaluating a change in 
advance pricing that is used to calculate the advance price of 
Class II skim milk under Federal milk marketing orders using 
the 4-week component prices that are used to calculate prices 
for Class III and Class IV milk. The Commission is composed of 
18 members selected to provide a range of opinions and 
perspectives on the order system.
Section 1609. Mandatory reporting of dairy commodities.
  Requires corporate officers or officially-designated 
representatives of each dairy processor to report to the 
Secretary on each daily reporting day designated by the 
Secretary: (A) the sales price; (B) the quantity sold; (C) the 
location of the sales transaction; and (D) product 
characteristics, including (i) moisture level; (ii) packaging 
size; (iii) grade; (iv) if appropriate, fat, protein, or other 
component level; (v) heat level for dried products; and (vi) 
other defining product characteristics used in transactions. 
Requires the Secretary to make the information reported 
available to the public not less than once each reporting day, 
categorized by location and product characteristics. Requires 
the Secretary to use the published data if the Secretary uses 
dairy product prices to establish minimum Federal order prices. 
Exempts processors that process 1,000,000 pounds of milk or 
less per years from the daily reporting requirements.

                       SUBTITLE E--ADMINISTRATION

Section 1701. Administration generally.
  Authorizes the use of funds, facilities, and authorities of 
the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out this title. 
Provides that determinations made by the Secretary are final 
and conclusive. Provides for the promulgation of regulations. 
Requires that the Secretary, to the maximum extent practicable, 
make adjustments in the amount of expenditures under subtitles 
A through E and this subtitle that are subject to the total 
allowable domestic support levels under the Uruguay Round 
Agreements, if the Secretary determines that those expenditures 
will exceed such allowable levels for any applicable reporting 
period. Applies provisions of the FSRIA of 2002 with respect to 
the treatment of advance payment option to this Act.
  In late 2002, Brazil initiated a World Trade Organization 
(WTO) dispute settlement case against specific provisions of 
the U.S. cotton program. While the adjudication process is not 
yet complete, the Committee has made several changes to the 
cotton program to bring the United States into compliance with 
commitments in the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture 
(URAA). In 2005, Congress eliminated the Step 2 program as part 
of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) and 
preceding sections of the bill make changes in the 
administration of the marketing loan and the target price for 
upland cotton. Furthermore, the bill removes the one percent 
fee cap on the GSM 102 program and eliminates the GSM 103 
program in the trade title. The Committee believes that these 
changes as a whole constitute sufficient and adequate 
compliance by the United States in the dispute. It is the view 
of the committee that no other changes should be necessary to 
satisfy a compliance panel in the WTO.
Section 1702. Suspension of permanent price support authority.
  Provides that certain provisions of the Agricultural 
Adjustment Act of 1938 and the Agricultural Act of 1949 do not 
apply to the 2008 through 2012 crops of covered commodities and 
sugar and milk through December 31, 2012. Suspends specific 
wheat quota provisions for the 2008 through 2012 crop years.
Section 1703. Payment limitations.
  Section 1703(a) amends the payment limitation provisions of 
the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308, 1308-3(a)) (FSA) 
to extend the application of the provisions to the Food and 
Energy Security Act of 2007.
  Section 1703(b)(1) amends section 1001(a) of the FSA (the 
definitions subsection) by: (A) striking the definition for a 
``loan commodity''; (B) defining ``Family Member'' as an 
individual to whom a member in the farming operation is related 
as lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, sibling or spouse; (C) 
defining ``legal entity'' as an entity created by Federal or 
state law that owns land or an agricultural commodity or 
produces an agricultural commodity; and (D) defining person as 
a natural person that does not include a legal entity.
  Section 1703(b)(2) amends the FSA to establish payment 
limitations under the new act at $40,000 for a combination of 
both traditional direct and average crop revenue fixed 
payments, and $60,000 for counter-cyclical payments and the 
revenue portion of average crop revenue payments. Establishes a 
separate, identical set of limitations for peanuts. Eliminates 
limitations on marketing loan benefits and loan deficiency 
payments.
  Section 1703(b)(3) amends the FSA to provide for the direct 
attribution of payments. The Secretary is authorized to issue 
such regulations as are necessary to ensure that the total 
amount of the payments are attributed to a person by taking 
into account the direct and indirect ownership interests of the 
person in a legal entity that is eligible to receive such 
payments. The section outlines direct attribution of payments 
for persons and legal entities, providing for four levels of 
attribution for embedded legal entities. The section 
essentially continues current rules for minor children, 
marketing cooperatives, trusts and estates, cash rent tenants, 
Federal agencies and State and local governments. The section 
continues the requirement that changes in farming operations be 
bona fide and substantive.
  Section 1703(c) amends the FSA to repeal the ``three-entity 
rule'' and require persons or entities receiving payments to 
provide necessary information concerning their ownership 
interests to the Secretary.
  Section 1703(d) amends the FSA to essentially continue its 
provisions concerning a requirement that payment recipients be 
``actively engaged'' in farming. Existing special classes of 
actively engaged participants are continued, with the exception 
of spouses where the rule is amended to remove current law's 
treatment of spouses.
  Section 1703(e) amends section 1001B of the FSA to expand the 
enforcement capability of the Secretary and to provide for 
extended penalties for individuals or entities that perpetuate 
a fraud or a scheme or device in order to exceed the applicable 
limit on payments. Persons or entities that commit fraud or 
equally serious actions can be subjected to a five-year denial 
of program benefits. Any member of a legal entity that 
participates in a scheme or device to evade the limitations 
shall be jointly and severally liable for any amounts 
determined to be payable to the Secretary. The Secretary may 
partially or fully release from liability any person who 
cooperates with the Secretary in enforcing payment limitation 
provisions.Section 1703(g) provides that the current provisions 
of the FSA will remain applicable to the 2007 crop.
Section 1704. Adjusted gross income limitation.
  Section 1704(a) amends section 1001D of the Food Security Act 
of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308-3a) (FSA) providing for a limitation of 
eligibility for payments depending upon the recipient's 
adjusted gross income to extend the applicability of those 
provisions to the crop years covered by the new bill.
  Section 1704(b) authorizes the allocation of adjusted gross 
income among the individuals filing joint returns provided the 
allocation is supported by a certified public accountant or 
attorney.
  Section 1704(c) amends the FSA to lower the applicable 
adjusted gross income limit for recipients of direct or 
counter-cyclical payments, marketing loan gain or loan 
deficiency payments and average crop revenue payments to 
$1,000,000 for the 2009 crop year and to $750,000 for the 2010 
and subsequent crop years. Individuals or entities that receive 
66.66 percent of their income from farming, ranching or 
forestry operations are exempted from this restriction. The 
subsection establishes the income limitation for conservation 
programs at the current level of $2,500,000 unless not less 
than 75 percent of the average adjusted gross income of the 
individual or entity is derived from farming, ranching, or 
forestry operations. It also clarifies the definition of income 
derived from farming, ranching or forestry operations.
  Section 1704(d) provides that existing adjusted gross income 
provisions of the FSA shall continue to apply with respect to 
the 2007 and 2008 crops.
Section 1705. Availability of quality incentive payments for certain 
        producers.
  Authorizes commodity quality incentive payments for the 
production of oilseeds with specialized traits that enhance 
human health. Provides $400 million for the period of fiscal 
years 2008 through 2012 subject to appropriations.
Section 1706. Hard white wheat development program.
  Creates a program to encourage production of hard white wheat 
in order to establish it as a viable class of wheat in the 
United States. Establishes acreage limitation and payment 
rates. Provides $35 million for the period of fiscal years 2008 
through 2012.
Section 1707. Durum wheat quality program.
  Authorizes compensation to producers of durum wheat in an 
amount not to exceed 50 percent of the actual cost of 
fungicides applied to a crop of durum wheat of the producers to 
control wheat scab. Provides $10 million for each of fiscal 
years 2008 through 2012 subject to appropriations.
Section 1708. Storage facility loans.
  Establishes a storage facility loan program to provide funds 
for producers of grains, oilseeds, pulse crops, hay, renewable 
biomass, and other storable commodities (other than sugar) to 
construct or upgrade storage and handling facilities for the 
commodities.
Section 1709. Personal liability of producers for deficiencies.
  Applies provisions contained in the FSRIA of 2002 to this 
Act.
Section 1710. Extension of existing administrative authority regarding 
        loans.
  Applies provisions contained in the FSRIA of 2002 to this 
Act.
Section 1711. Assignment of payments.
  Applies provisions of section 8(g) of the Soil Conservation 
and Domestic Allotment Act to this title.
Section 1712. Cotton classification services.
  Authorizes cotton classing services. Allows the Secretary to 
enter into long-term lease agreements that exceed 5 years or 
take title to property for the purpose of obtaining offices to 
be used for the classification of cotton.
Section 1713. Designation of States for cotton research and promotion.
  Designates Kansas, Virginia, and Florida as cotton-producing 
States effective beginning with the 2008 crop of cotton for 
purposes of the Cotton Research and Promotion Act.
Section 1714. Government publication of cotton price forecasts.
  Strikes the prohibition on the government publication of 
cotton price forecasts.
Section 1715. State, county, and area committees.
  Provides for producer representation on county or area 
committees that are combined or consolidated. Requires that 
minority representation of socially disadvantaged farmers and 
ranchers is maintained. Provides that the producer is eligible 
to serve only as a member of the county or area committee that 
the producer elects to administer the farm records of the 
producer.
Section 1716. Prohibition on charging certain fees.
  Prohibits the Secretary from charging fees or related costs 
for the collection of commodity assessments.
Section 1717. Signature authority.
  Provides that if the Secretary approves a document containing 
signatures of program applicants, the Secretary shall not 
subsequently determine the document is inadequate or invalid 
because of the lack of authority of any applicant signing the 
document on behalf of the applicant unless the applicant 
knowingly and willfully falsified the evidence of signature 
authority or a signature.
Section 1718. Modernization of Farm Service Agency.
  Requires the Secretary to modernize the Farm Service Agency 
information technology and communication systems to ensure 
timely and efficient program delivery at national, state, and 
county offices.
Section 1719. Geospatial systems.
  Requires the Secretary to ensure that all agencies of the 
Department of Agriculture consolidate the geospatial systems of 
the agencies into a single enterprise system that ensures that 
geospatial data is shareable, portable, and standardized.
Section 1720. Leasing office space.
  Allows the Secretary to use Commodity Credit Corporation 
funds to lease space for Department of Agriculture use provided 
the space is jointly occupied by the two agencies.
Section 1721. Repeals.
  Repeals section 1650 of the FSRIA of 2002 authorizing a 
Commission on Application of Payment Limitations; repeals 
section 1617 of the FSRIA of 2002 renewing availability of 
market loss assistance and certain emergency assistance to 
persons that failed to receive assistance under earlier 
authorities.

                      SUBTITLE F--SPECIALTY CROPS

             PART I--MARKETING, INFORMATION, AND EDUCATION

Section 1811. Fruit and vegetable market news allocation.
  This section requires the Agricultural Marketing Service to 
carry out market news activities to provide timely price 
information on fruits and vegetables in the United States. The 
language authorizes $9,000,000 annually in appropriated funds 
to carry out the activities.
Section 1812. Farmers Market Promotion Program.
  This section amends section 6 of the Farmer-to-Consumer 
Direct Marketing Act of 1976 (7 U.S.C. 3005) to reauthorize the 
Farmers Market Promotion Program, and provides $30,000,000 in 
mandatory funding for fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to carry 
out the program.
  The Committee recognizes farmer-to-consumer direct marketing 
activities offer significant economic opportunities for farmers 
and ranchers seeking to increase profit retention. The Farmers 
Market Promotion Program is intended to support the development 
and expansion of farmers markets, and other forms of direct 
marketing, through the provision of grants to assist in 
organizing, marketing, training, business plan development, 
community outreach and education, and other associated 
activities designed to establish or improve direct marketing 
opportunities for farmers and ranchers and the consumers they 
serve. In addition, the Committee recognizes that the growth of 
farmers markets and other direct marketing ventures has been 
limited in some communities and regions, and encourages the 
Department to investigate the underlying reasons for this 
uneven distribution, with the goal of addressing this disparity 
through the support of meritorious projects in these locations.
Section 1813. Food safety initiatives.
  This section authorizes the Secretary to carry out a food 
safety education program to educate the public and the fresh 
produce industry about practices and methods that will reduce 
microbial pathogens and cross contamination in fresh produce. 
The language authorizes $1,000,000 in appropriated funds to 
carry out the program.
Section 1814. Census of specialty crops.
  This section requires the Secretary to conduct a census of 
specialty crops to assist in the development and dissemination 
of specialty crop information. The census of specialty crops 
may be included in the existing census of agriculture conducted 
by USDA.

                      PART II--ORGANIC PRODUCTION

Section 1821. Organic data collection and price reporting.
  This section amends section 2104 of the Organic Foods 
Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6503) by granting the 
Secretary authority to segregate data as it relates to the 
organic industry by publishing organic production and marketing 
information and surveys. The language is intended to remedy the 
lack of price and yield information for organic producers. 
$5,000,000 in mandatory funding is provided for fiscal years 
2008 through 2012 to carry out this section.
  It is the intent of the Committee that funds be provided to 
the Agricultural Marketing Service to collect needed data on 
price, yield and other information specific to organic 
agriculture. Funds should also be made available to the 
Economic Research Service, and the National Agricultural 
Statistics Service.
Section 1822. Exemption of certified organic products from assessments.
  This section amends section 501(e) of the FAIR Act of 1996 (7 
U.S.C. 7401 (e)) to allow farmers who have some or part of 
their farm certified for organic production organic to be 
exempt from assessments for commodity promotion programs for 
that part of the land that is managed as organic.
  It is the intent of the Committee that organic producers be 
exempted from commodity promotion laws for that portion of 
agricultural commodities on their farm that is certified 
organic. It is not the intent of the Committee to exempt these 
producers from paying an assessment for those commodities that 
are still grown conventionally.
Section 1823. National Organic Certification Cost Share Program.
  This section amends section 10606 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 6523) to increase the maximum payment to producers or 
handlers from $500 annually to $750 to offset the cost of 
becoming a certified organic farming operation. The language 
also specifies that the Federal share of the certification cost 
will be no more than 75 percent of the total certification cost 
incurred. $22,000,000 in mandatory funding is provided for 
fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to carry out the section.
  The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program has 
been administered through the Agricultural Marketing Service, 
which has made grants to State Departments of Agriculture to 
administer the program within each State. It is the intent of 
the Committee that the Department set administrative fees at 
adequate levels to allow the State Departments to administer 
the program efficiently and effectively. The Committee also 
intends for the Department to establish procedures to reprogram 
funds from States that do not use their allotted funds within a 
reasonable amount of time, and to redistribute those funds to 
other States.
Section 1824. National Organic Program.
  This section amends section 2123 of the Organic Foods 
Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6522) to provide increased 
authorized incremental funding levels for the National Organic 
Program to ensure proper compliance and oversight of the 
National Organic Program. The language authorizes $5,000,000 
for fiscal year 2008; $6,500,000 for fiscal year 2009; 
$8,000,000 for fiscal year 2010; $9,500,000 for fiscal year 
2011; and $11,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.

                     PART III--INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Section 1613. Foreign market access study and strategy plan.
  This section requires the Comptroller General of the United 
States to carry out a study regarding the extent to which 
United States specialty crops have or have not benefited from 
the reduction of foreign trade barriers under the Uruguay 
Round.
Section 1832. Market Access Program.
  This section amends section 211(c) of the Agricultural Trade 
Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5641(c)) to require the Secretary to 
ensure that 50 percent of any funding in excess of $200,000,000 
under the Market Access Program be set aside for specialty 
crops.
Section 1833. Technical assistance for specialty crops.
  This section amends section 3205 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 5680), which funds projects that address sanitary, 
phytosanitary, and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten 
the export of U.S. specialty crops, to allow petition for an 
extension of a project that will exceed applicable time 
restrictions. $29 million in mandatory funding is provided over 
the next five years to carry out this section. This reflects an 
increase of $19 million above the baseline.
Section 1834. Consultation on sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions 
        for fruits and vegetables.
  This section requires the Secretary to consult with 
interested persons and conduct annual briefings on sanitary and 
phytosanitary trade issues, included the development of a 
strategic risk management framework and as appropriate 
implementation of a peer review for risk analysis. 
Additionally, this section amends section 2104(b)(2)(A)(ii)(II) 
of the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002 (19 
U.S.C. 3804(b)(2)(A)(ii)(II)) to ensure special consultation on 
import sensitive products.

                PART IV--SPECIALTY CROPS COMPETITIVENESS

Section 1841. Specialty crop block grants.
  This section extends section 101(a) of the Specialty Crop 
Competitiveness Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-465; 118 Stat. 
3884) to ensure that authorities for specialty crop block 
grants extend through fiscal year 2012. The language also 
amends this authority to change each State's base funding level 
from the current $100,000 to half of one percent of the total 
amount of funding made available for the program in a given 
fiscal year. The language provides $270,000,000 in mandatory 
funding for fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to carry out this 
section.
Section 1842. Grant program to improve movement of specialty crops.
  This section amends title II of the Specialty Crops 
Competitiveness Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-465; 118 Stat. 
3884) to authorize the Secretary to make grants to State and 
local governments, grower cooperatives, and producer and 
shipper organizations to improve the cost-effective movement of 
specialty crops. The language also establishes matching 
requirements for grant recipients, and authorizes discretionary 
funding to carry out the program.
Section 1843. Healthy Food Enterprise Development Center.
  This section requires the Secretary of Agriculture to 
establish, through a competitive grant process, the Healthy 
Food Enterprise Development Center, the mission of which is to 
increase access to healthy, affordable foods to underserved 
communities. The Healthy Food Enterprise Development Center 
will be required to collect, develop, and provide technical 
assistance to agricultural producers, food wholesalers and 
retailers, schools, and other entities regarding best practices 
for aggregating, storing, processing, and marketing local 
agricultural products and increasing the availability of such 
products in underserved communities. The Healthy Food 
Enterprise Development Center is also provided with the 
authority to subgrant funds to carry out feasibility studies to 
carry out the purposes of the Center. The language provides 
$7,000,000 in mandatory money for fiscal years 2009 through 
2012 to carry out the program.

                         PART VI--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 1851. Clean Plant Network.
  This section directs the Secretary to establish a National 
Clean Plant Network program to conduct diagnostic and pathogen 
elimination services for plant materials used by orchards, 
vineyards and other nursery crops. $20,000,000 in mandatory 
funding is authorized for fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to 
carry out this section.
Section 1852. Market loss for asparagus producers.
  This section establishes a program to pay those producers 
currently growing asparagus for revenue losses during the 2004-
2007 crop years due to imports. $15,000,000 in mandatory 
funding ($7,500,000 for producers of fresh asparagus and 
$7,500,000 for producers of processed or frozen asparagus) is 
provided for fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to carry out the 
program.
Section 1853. Mushroom promotion, research, and consumer information.
  This section updates section 1925(b)(2) of the Mushroom 
Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990 
(subtitle B of title XIX of Public Law 101-624; 7 U.S.C. 
6104(b)(2)) to better reflect current mushroom production and 
geographic distribution of mushroom growers. The language also 
allows the development of good agricultural and handling 
practices for mushrooms.
Section 1854. National Honey Board.
  This section amends section 7(c) of the Honey Research, 
Promotion and Consumer Information Act (7 U.S.C. 4606(c)) to 
ensure that the Honey Board continues and that the Secretary 
cannot conduct any referendum on the continuation or 
termination of the order without first conducting a concurrent 
referendum for approval of orders to establish a successor 
marketing board.
Section 1855. Identification of honey.
  This section amends section 203(h) of the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1622(h)) to require the grading 
mark, statement, inspection mark of the Department of 
Agriculture to be located in close proximity of the country of 
origin label on packaged honey.
Section 1856. Expedited marketing orders for Hass avocados for grades 
        and standards and other purposes.
  This section authorizes an organization of domestic avocado 
producers to submit to the Secretary a proposal for a grades 
and standards marketing order for Hass avocados. The language 
specifies that once such a proposal is received, the Secretary 
is required to initiate established procedures under the normal 
marketing order process for the purpose of determining whether 
there is sufficient industry support for the proposal submitted 
by the organization. If the Secretary deems it appropriate to 
establish a marketing order, the language also requires the 
Secretary to complete that order within 15 months.
  The committee recognizes that the current process for 
establishing a marketing order contains several procedural 
steps designed to ensure that a proposed order has ample 
opportunity to be evaluated and voted on by handlers and 
processors of the commodity affected by the order. 
Additionally, the Committee notes that the majority of Hass 
avocados in the United States are imported from other 
countries, including Mexico and Chile. It is the Committee's 
intent that any marketing order proposed under this section 
will be developed in close consultation with all producers and 
handlers of Hass avocados to ensure that the order is truly 
reflective of the needs and interests of the Hass avocado 
industry.

                      SUBTITLE G--RISK MANAGEMENT

Section 1901. Definition of organic crop.
  This section amends section 502 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1502). It defines organic crops for the purposes 
of the Federal crop insurance program.
Section 1902. General powers.
  This section amends section 506 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1506). Subsection (a)(1) clarifies that the 
provision added in the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 
(Section 508(j)(2)(A)), which allows farmers to sue the 
Corporation over a denied claim only in the U.S. District Court 
for the district where the insured farm is located, takes 
precedent over the more general provision in section 506(d).
  Subsection (a)(2) strikes subsection (n) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1506), in order to clarify that it is 
superseded by section 515(h) added in the Agricultural Risk 
Protection Act which specifically establishes sanctions for 
producers, agents, and loss adjusters for program noncompliance 
and fraud.
Section 1903. Reduction in loss ratio.
  This section amends section 506 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1506). It reduces the statutory national loss 
ratio for the Federal crop insurance program from its current 
1.075 to 1.0.
Section 1904. Controlled business insurance.
  This section amends subsection 508(a) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It prohibits farmers from 
collecting commissions as crop insurance agents on certain 
policies if more than 30 percent of their total commissions are 
derived from policies sold on operations that they or their 
immediate family has beneficial interest in.
Section 1905. Administrative fee.
  This section amends section 508(b) of Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1508(b)). It increases the maximum fee for 
catastrophic risk protection coverage from its current $100 per 
crop per county to $200 per crop per county. It also clarifies 
language that permits cooperatives or trade associations to pay 
premiums on behalf of farmer-members to make it clear that the 
provision applies only to fees for catastrophic coverage.
  With respect to changes in section 508(b) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act affecting cooperative payment of administrative 
fees for catastrophic coverage, the Committee wishes to 
emphasize that RMA has determined that the dividend program 
established by the Managing General Agent CropUSA does not fall 
under the definition of rebating established in the 2005 SRA. 
This determination was provided to CropUSA in writing in 2006. 
The language contained in this section of the Committee bill 
would only impact the exceptions to the rebating prohibitions 
of the SRA, not the definition of rebating. The Committee has 
learned that RMA would not anticipate a change in the status of 
the CropUSA dividend program if section 1905 were to be enacted 
into law.
Section 1906. Time for payment.
  This section amends section 508 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). Paragraph (1) changes the date when 
policyholder premiums must be paid, beginning in the 2012 
reinsurance year, to September 30.
  Paragraph (2) changes the date when the Federal Crop 
Insurance Corporation makes payments to crop insurance 
companies to reimburse them for administrative and operating 
expenses, beginning in the 2012 reinsurance year, allowing 
payments to be made as soon as practicable after October 1.
Section 1907. Surcharge prohibition.
  This section amends section 508(d) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It prohibits the Federal Crop 
Insurance Corporation from charging a surcharge on premiums 
paid to insure organic crops. It allows surcharges to be 
required only when consistent evidence of greater loss 
variability is validated on a crop by crop basis.
Section 1908. Premium reduction plan.
  This section amends section 508(e) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It repeals the authority for the 
Premium Reduction Plan (PRP) and requires RMA to commission an 
independent study of the feasibility of offering a discount to 
farmers in the Federal crop insurance program. This study is to 
be completed within 18 months of enactment of the legislation.
  The authority being repealed was first utilized in 2003 to 
offer PRP which allowed companies to provide discounts to 
farmers buying crop insurance if they could generate savings 
from the Administrative and Operating (A&O;) expense 
reimbursement they receive from RMA. However, the consensus 
view among industry participants and observers is that the 
regulations formally adopted for the 2006 reinsurance year to 
implement PRP did not permit the program to perform as 
intended. These concerns along with the expectation that the 
committee reported bill would reduce A&O; reimbursement and the 
likelihood that discounts could be paid out under PRP led to 
the determination that the statutory authority should be 
repealed.
Section 1909. Denial of claims.
  This section amends section 508(j) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It clarifies that approved 
insurance providers are liable for lawsuits in Federal District 
courts for denial of claims only if that claim is denied at the 
behest of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
Section 1910. Measurement of farm-stored commodities.
  This section amends section 508(j) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It allows farmers the option to 
elect to have the Farm Service Agency to measure the quantity 
of crops stored on farms for the purpose of providing evidence 
on their level of losses, at their own expense.
Section 1911. Reimbursement rate.
  This section amends section 508(k) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). Paragraph (1) reduces the 
reimbursement rate for plans of insurance by 2 percent points 
below the rates in effect at the time of enactment of this Act, 
except that the reduction shall not be applied in any 
reinsurance year for a State in which the loss ratio exceeds 
1.2. Paragraph (2) reduces the reimbursement rate for area 
policies (Group Risk Plan (GRP) and Group Risk Income 
Protection (GRIP)) to 17 percent of premiums, as these policies 
do not require crop insurance companies to conduct loss 
adjustment procedures for individual claims.
Section 1912. Renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement.
  This section amends section 508(k) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It allows the Federal Crop 
Insurance Corporation to renegotiate the SRA, which contains 
the contractual obligations and financial terms of the 
relationship between RMA and the crop insurance companies, 
every five years, the first occurring not sooner than the 
beginning of the 2013 reinsurance year. It provides an 
exception to allow the SRA to be renegotiated more frequently 
to address unexpected adverse circumstances experienced by the 
companies. The Secretary is required to notify the relevant 
Congressional Committees before invoking this exception.
  This section also allows crop insurance companies to confer 
with each other as well as their trade associations in the 
course of the renegotiation process, as well as collectively 
with RMA.
Section 1913. Change in due date for corporation payments for 
        underwriting gains.
  This section amends section 508(k) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508). It modifies the date that the 
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation makes payments for 
underwriting gains to crop insurance companies, beginning in 
the 2011 reinsurance year.
Section 1914. Access to data-mining information.
  This section amends section 515 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1515). It allows RMA to charge a modest fee to 
crop insurance companies for access to company-relevant results 
of data-mining analysis, and would require that these funds are 
used for improvements in the crop insurance data mining system. 
If RMA were to require companies to access the data-mining 
results for purposes of compliance, the companies could not be 
charged a fee under those circumstances.
Section 1915. Producer eligibility.
  This section amends section 520 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1520). It makes producers who raise livestock 
under contract eligible to purchase coverage, as long as those 
livestock are not covered by other policies reinsured under the 
Federal crop insurance program.
Section 1916. Contracts for additional crop policies.
  This section amends section 522 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1522). New paragraph (10) requires the Federal 
Crop Insurance Corporation to offer to enter into one or more 
contracts to develop policies to insure dedicated energy crops 
such as switchgrass.
  The Committee believes that making available insurance for 
dedicated energy crops will be a crucial part of establishing a 
viable market for such crops. These steps must be undertaken at 
the same time that funds provided in title IX of this Act 
enable development of commercially feasible technology to 
utilize these crops as feedstock for the production of 
cellulosic-based ethanol and other biobased products.
  New paragraph (11) requires the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation to offer to enter into one or more contracts to 
develop policies to insure aquaculture operations.
  The Committee notes that such products are already under 
development to insure the aquaculture cultivation of oysters, 
to be considered under the procedures established under section 
508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. The Committee 
encourages the Board of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation 
and RMA to complete consideration and implementation of the 
proposed oyster pilot program as expeditiously as possible.
  New paragraph (12) requires the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation to offer to enter into one or more contracts to 
improve crop insurance coverage for organic crops.
  New paragraph (13) requires the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation to offer to enter into a contract to study about 
how to incorporate the use of skiprow cropping practices to 
grow corn and sorghum in the Central Great Plains into existing 
policies and plans of insurance offered in the Federal crop 
insurance program.
Section 1917. Research and development.
  This section amends section 522(b) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1522). It provides an alternative 
process for policy development, by establishing a grant-making 
mechanism (called FCIC Reimbursement Grants). This mechanism 
permits eligible applicants to submit a concept proposal, to be 
reviewed by crop insurance experts, for consideration by the 
Board of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. If the grant 
request is approved, the development work is ensured of funding 
and when completed, shall be submitted to the Board for 
approval. The Board can require an interim feasibility study 
before allowing development work to proceed, and the grant can 
be terminated at any time for just cause.
Section 1918. Funding from insurance fund.
  This section amends section 522(e) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1522). Paragraph (1) reduces mandatory 
funding available to reimburse research and development of new 
crop insurance products from its current $15 million annually 
to $7.5 million annually.
  Paragraph (2) reduces mandatory funding availability for 
contracting and partnerships from its current $25 million 
annually to $12.5 million annually.
  Paragraph (3) permits the Corporation to use up to $5 million 
of otherwise unused funds available for reimbursement, 
contracting, or partnership payments to strengthen crop 
insurance compliance oversight activities, including 
information technology and data mining.
Section 1919. Camelina pilot program.
  This section amends section 523 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1523). It requires the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation to develop a pilot program under which producers or 
processors of camelina (an oilseed suitable for use as a 
feedstock for biodiesel) may propose for approval by the Board 
policies or plans of insurance in accordance with existing 
procedures under section 508(h). Camelina producers would be 
made eligible for the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) 
until a crop insurance policy is made available.
Section 1920. Risk management education for beginning farmers and 
        ranchers.
  This section amends section 524 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1524). It requires the Secretary to place special 
emphasis in utilizing funds available to address the needs of 
farmers in underserved States to assist in risk management 
strategies of beginning farmers and ranchers, immigrant farmers 
and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, 
farmers and ranchers preparing to retire and engaged in 
transition strategies to help beginning farmers get 
established, and established farmers and ranchers seeking to 
shift practices and marketing to pursue new markets.
Section 1921. Agricultural management assistance.
  This section amends section 524 of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act (7 U.S.C. 1524). It permits the Secretary to utilize funds 
available for agricultural management assistance to provide 
matching funds to States providing additional discounts on 
farmer-paid premiums in underserved States.
Section 1922. Crop insurance mediation.
  This section amends section 275 of the Department of 
Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 6995). It 
allows producers involved in a dispute over a crop insurance 
claim to utilize both informal agency review and mediation to 
reach a resolution, so the producer would not necessarily have 
to choose between the two paths.
Section 1923. Drought coverage for aquaculture under noninsured crop 
        assistance program.
  This section amends section 196(c) of the FAIR Act of 1996 (7 
U.S.C. 7333). It clarifies that losses from aquacultural 
activities resulting from drought should be indemnified if the 
farmer has NAP coverage for that production.
Section 1924. Increases in service fees for noninsured crop assistance 
        program.
  This section amends section 196(k) of the FAIR Act of 1996 (7 
U.S.C. 7333). It doubles the service fee charged for 
participation in the NAP program from its current $100 to $200.
Section 1925. Determination of certain sweet potato production.
  This section amends section 9001 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, 
Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability 
Appropriations Act of 2007 (P.L. 100-28, 121 Stat. 211). It 
prohibits the Farm Service Agency from utilizing yield data 
collected from a sweet potato crop insurance pilot program to 
determine losses for the crop disaster assistance program 
recently enacted for the 2005 and 2006 crop years. If sign-up 
for that program is completed before this legislation is 
enacted, then the sign-up period would have to be re-opened for 
producers of sweet potatoes.
Section 1926. Perennial crop report.
  This section is a free standing provision. It requires the 
Secretary to submit a report within 180 days of enactment to 
the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and 
the House Committee on Agriculture that addresses issues 
relating to declining yields in producers' actual production 
histories (APH), and declining and variable yields for 
perennial crops, including pecans.

                         TITLE II--CONSERVATION

SUBTITLE A--DEFINITIONS

Section 2001. Definitions.
  This section amends subtitle A of title XII of the Food 
Security Act of 1985 (FSA 1985) (16 U.S.C. 3801(a)) by adding 
definitions for: beginning farmer and rancher; Indian tribe; 
socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher; non-industrial 
private forest land, and technical assistance. These 
definitions apply to all the conservation programs in title XII 
and provide consistency across the title for commonly used 
terms.

SUBTITLE B--HIGHLY ERODIBLE LAND CONSERVATION

Section 2101. Review of good faith determinations.
  This section strikes subsection (f) of section 1212 of FSA 
1985 (16 U.S.C. 3812) concerning program ineligibility for 
production on highly erodible land and replaces it with a 
system of graduated penalties. It also provides for a second 
level review of highly erodible land compliance violations by 
the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm 
Service Agency (FSA) State executive director or area director, 
with the concurrence of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation 
Service (NRCS) state conservationist or area conservationist on 
technical matters.

SUBTITLE C--WETLAND CONSERVATION

Section 2201. Review of good faith determinations.
  This section amends section 1222(h) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3822(h)) by providing for a second level review of 
wetland compliance violations by the FSA state executive 
director or area director, with the concurrence of the NRCS 
state conservationist or area conservationist on technical 
matters.

SUBTITLE D--AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Section 2301. Reauthorization and expansion of programs covered.
  This section amends the Comprehensive Conservation 
Enhancement Program (CCEP), section 1230 of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3830).
  Subsection (a) establishes the CCEP and adds the Healthy 
Forests Reserve Program. The CCEP would now cover all the land 
retirement programs, and consist of the Conservation Reserve 
Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, and Healthy Forests Reserve 
Program. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is moved 
to the newly created Comprehensive Stewardship Incentives 
Program, section 2341 in the Senate bill. The subsection also 
relocates relevant elements of section 1243, Administration of 
CCEP (16 U.S.C. 3843), from subtitle E to this location. The 
bill directs the Secretary to, if offered, enroll acreage above 
the county acreage cap if the acreage could not be used for an 
agricultural purpose due to a state or local law, order, or 
regulation affecting water availability.
  Subsection (b) contains conforming amendments.
Section 2311. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
  This section amends section 1231(a) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3831 (a)) as follows:
  Subsection (a) reauthorizes and extends the program until 
2012 and adds conserving pollinator habitat as a purpose.
  Subsection (b) adds alfalfa and other forage crops as 
eligible land if such enrollment would facilitate a net savings 
in groundwater or surface water; marginal pastureland if native 
vegetation is grown and the land contributes to the restoration 
of the long-leaf pine forest or similar rare and declining 
forest ecosystem; and land enrolled in the newly created 
flooded farmland program.
  Subsection (c) maintains the enrollment cap at 39.2 million 
acres.
  Subsection (d) expands the Chesapeake Bay Priority Area to 
include all States in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and adds the 
Prairie Pothole Region, Grand Lake St. Mary's Watershed, and 
Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer as Conservation Priority Areas.
  Subsection (e) reauthorizes the Pilot Program for Enrollment 
of Wetland and Buffer Acreage in CRP through 2012 and expands 
it to include shallow water areas that were devoted to a 
commercial pond-raised aquaculture operation during any one 
year during the period from 2002-2007 and increases the size of 
acreage allowed to be enrolled from 5 to 40 acres.
  Subsection (f) adds pollinator habitat as a consideration 
when considering the acceptability of offers for enrollment.
  Subsection (g) adds a requirement that approved vegetative 
cover shall encourage the planting of native species and 
restoration of biodiversity and requires the operator to use 
active management throughout the term of the contract.
  Subsection (h) clarifies that managed harvesting and grazing 
must only occur outside of nesting and brood rearing seasons 
and allows prescribed grazing for the control of invasive 
species, provided such actions are permitted and consistent 
with a conservation plan, and that payments are reduced 
proportionately.
  Subsection (i) requires practices in the conservation plan to 
be compatible with wildlife and wildlife habitat, clearly 
described and applicable through the duration of the contract, 
and actively managed by the owner or operator who entered into 
the contract.
  Subsection (j) stipulates that for new enrollments, the 
Secretary shall accept an offer from an owner or operator who 
is a resident of the county or a contiguous county if the offer 
provides equivalent environmental benefit to a competing offer. 
This subsection requires the National Agriculture Statistics 
Service to conduct an annual survey of per acre estimates of 
county average market dryland and irrigated cash rental rates 
for cropland and pastureland and requires that survey results 
be made available to the public on the USDA website.
  Subsection (k) allows the Secretary to permit disabled or 
retired participants who have endured financial hardship as a 
result of the taxation of rental payments to terminate their 
CRP contract.
Section 2312. Flooded Farmland Program.
  This section amends Subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D 
of title XII of FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831a et seq.) by adding a 
section creating a new flooded farmland program within the CRP.
  Subsection (a) defines a closed basin lake or pothole as 
being a naturally occurring lake or pond within a tract and 
covering at least 5 acres in size and having no natural outlet.
  Subsection (b) authorizes the Secretary to enroll crop and 
grazing land into the CRP that is flooded by the natural 
overflow of a closed basin in the prairie pothole region. This 
subsection also provides for the extension of contracts if the 
Secretary determines that flooded conditions persist.
  Subsection (c) allows for the continuous signup of eligible 
land.
  Subsection (d) requires that the land has been rendered 
unusable for production during the three crop years preceding 
entry into the contract and that the land had been consistently 
used for the production of crops or as grazing land. It also 
allows the enrollment of adjoining land that would enhance the 
conservation or wildlife value of the tract.
  Subsection (e) requires that the rental payment be based on 
the rental rate for cropland and pastureland but may be reduced 
by up to 25 percent based on the ratio of upland land enrolled. 
It stipulates that during the term of the contract, an owner 
shall not be eligible for Federal crop insurance, noninsured 
crop assistance, or any Federal disaster program.
  Subsection (f) requires the Secretary to preserve the 
cropland base, allotment history, and payment yields for 
enrolled land. Upon termination of the contract, the Secretary 
shall adjust these items to ensure equitable treatment for the 
enrolled land.
  Subsection (g) requires the landowner to take actions to 
avoid degrading any wildlife habitat on land covered by the 
contract.
Section 2313. Wildlife habitat program.
  This section amends Subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D 
of title XII of FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831a et seq.) by adding a 
section creating a new wildlife habitat program to the CRP as 
follows:
  Subsection (a) establishes, for the years 2008 through 2012, 
a Wildlife Habitat Program available to CRP contract holders 
who have established softwood pine stands.
  Subsection (b) provides the Secretary with authority to 
determine the scope of the program, including the amount and 
rate of payments, prioritization of areas based on the benefit 
to wildlife, and appropriate management strategies and 
practices.
  Subsection (c) states the terms of agreements with 
landowners, which will describe management strategies and 
practices and include periodic monitoring by state wildlife or 
forestry agencies. The term of an agreement is set at no more 
than 5 years.
  Subsection (d) gives the Secretary authority to work with 
partners to carry out the program.
  Subsection (e) authorizes technical assistance and cost 
sharing.
  Subsection (f) provides for the termination of the program on 
September 30, 2011.
Section 2321. Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).
  This section amends section 1237(b) of FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3837(b)) by reauthorizing the program through 2012, changing it 
to a fiscal year basis (from a calendar year) and allowing 
enrollment of 250,000 acres per year with no further 
enrollments after 2012. The Senate bill allows Indian Tribes to 
participate through 30-year contracts which shall be paid at 
the same rate as a 30-year easement.
Section 2322. Easements and Agreements (WRP).
  This section amends section 1237A(b)(2)(B) of FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3837a(b)(2)(B)) by providing a new method for 
determining the cost the Secretary will pay for conservation 
easements. It clarifies that the amount of compensation shall 
be the lowest amount of: (1) the fair market value based on the 
Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practice, or an 
area-wide market analysis or survey; (2) a geographic rate cap; 
or (3) an offer made by the landowner. It adds a Wetlands 
Reserve Enhancement Program, and gives the Secretary authority 
to enter into reserved rights easements and directs the 
Secretary to evaluate the implications of long-term easements 
on Department of Agriculture resources by January 2010.
Section 2323. Payments (WRP).
  This subsection amends section 1239D(c) of FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3837d(c)) to provide conforming language for previous 
changes.
Section 2331. Healthy Forests Reserve Program.
  This section amends chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of 
the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.). It moves the HFRP from 
the Healthy Forests Restoration Act to the conservation title, 
replaces 99-year easements with permanent easements, and allows 
Indian Tribes to participate through 30-year contracts which 
shall be paid at the same rate as 30-year easements.
Section 2341. Comprehensive Stewardship Incentives Program.
  This section amends subtitle D of title XII of the FSA 1985 
(16 U.S.C. 3830 et seq.) and creates a new Comprehensive 
Stewardship Incentives Program (CSIP) under which the two 
primary working lands programs--the Conservation Stewardship 
Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program 
(EQIP)--will be covered by adding a new chapter 6 at the end, 
as follows:
Section 1240T. Comprehensive Stewardship Incentives Program.
  Subsection (a) establishes the program to promote coordinated 
efforts by its component programs to address resources of 
concern, encourage the adoption of conservation practices, and 
promote agricultural production and environmental quality as 
compatible goals. The program will be conducted by means of 
identification of resources of concern, and entering into 
contracts with owners and operators of agricultural and 
nonindustrial private forest land. Technical and financial 
assistance is provided to producers in addressing natural 
resource concerns, meeting regulatory requirements, and 
achieving and maintaining conservation practices. Component 
programs include both CSP and EQIP. The subsection defines 
``resources of concern'' as being those resources that 
represent a significant conservation concern likely to be 
addressed through conservation on agricultural or nonindustrial 
private forestland or those that are the subject of a mandatory 
environmental requirement. The term ``resource of concern'' in 
this subsection applies to both component programs.
  Subsection (b) requires the Secretary to avoid duplication in 
conservation plans, provides for tenant protection, and 
requires that no more than 5 resources of concern be identified 
at the watershed or other appropriate region within a State. It 
stipulates that the common purposes are to: promote coordinated 
efforts to address resources of concern, meet regulatory 
requirements, encourage additional conservation practices, 
activities and management measures, and to promote agricultural 
production and environmental quality as compatible goals.

SUBCHAPTER B--CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM (CSP)

Section 1240U. Purposes.
  This section provides that the purpose of CSP is to assist 
producers using proactive measures to promote conservation and 
improve resources of concern, make beneficial, cost-effective 
changes to conservation systems, comply with environmental 
requirements, and avoid the need for regulatory programs.
Section 1240V. Definitions.
  This section provides 15 definitions for CSP, including a 
critical concept in the program: stewardship threshold. This is 
the level of conservation required to maintain, conserve, 
sustain and improve the quality or quantity of a priority 
resource of concern, or in the case of a resource concern that 
is the subject of a local state or Federal regulatory 
requirement, meet the standard that is established by that 
requirement for that resource concern. The section also defines 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Contract Offer, Enhancement 
Payment, Eligible Land, Livestock, Management Intensity, 
Payment, Practice, Program, Resource Conserving Crop, Resource 
Conserving Crop Rotation, and Resource Specific Indices.
Section 1240W. Establishment of program.
  This section directs the Secretary to establish the program 
for fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 1240X. Eligibility.
  Subsection (a) provides general eligibility criteria for the 
program. The Committee intends that each state office will 
include among the resources of concern selected for each 
watershed or region at least one each in the areas of soil 
quality and water quality or conservation. Producers in a given 
watershed or region must, as a condition of eligibility, be 
addressing the relevant resources of concern dealing with soil 
quality and water quality or conservation to at least the 
stewardship threshold level. The Committee also requires that 
producers must also be adequately addressing all resources of 
concern. The Committee intends for the Secretary to establish a 
minimum threshold for basic resource concerns below which 
producers would be ineligible. The purpose of this provision is 
to ensure that there are no egregious conservation problems on 
land that is part of a contract offer. It is not the intent of 
the Committee to require that all resources of concern be 
addressed at the stewardship level or higher, but simply that 
producers with serious conservation problems without even 
minimum treatment are not admitted into the program until those 
problems are addressed.
  Subsection (b) defines land eligible for the program and 
excludes land enrolled in CRP or WRP and land that was not used 
as cropland for 4 of the 6 years preceding 2002. This 
subsection prohibits any restrictions under the program on the 
land being used for economic purposes.
  Subsection (c) provides for contracts and sets criteria for 
eligible agricultural operations. The subsection requires that 
CSP contracts meet or exceed the stewardship level for at least 
1 additional resource of concern by the end of the contract and 
that all acres of an agricultural operation that constitute a 
cohesive management unit shall be covered by the contract. The 
Committee intends for the additional resource of concern that 
must be addressed prior to the end of the first contract period 
to be a resource of concern that the producer chooses from 
among those designated resources of concern for the watershed 
or region that the producer is not already addressing above the 
stewardship threshold level at the time the contract offer is 
made.
  The subsection provides the terms of contracts, and allows 
on-farm research and demonstration projects. In providing for 
CSP on-farm research, demonstration, training and pilot 
projects, the Committee intends to further the purposes of the 
program by promoting farmer-based research and related 
activities to investigate, test, or demonstrate conservation 
systems and innovations that have the likelihood of promoting 
advanced natural resource and environmental improvement. In 
addition, research and demonstration sites can serve as 
training opportunities for conservation staff and for other 
farmers. Through these activities, conservation management can 
be adapted, refined, and extended to other farmers. The 
Committee intends for the Secretary to provide this option to 
as many willing participants with meritorious proposals as 
possible.
  Subsection (c) also sets the length of contracts to 5 years, 
and provides for an evaluation process upon which to select 
contracts. It provides criteria under which contracts may be 
terminated, transferred, or modified, and ensures that a 
producer will not be held in noncompliance due to circumstances 
beyond the producer's control. The subsection also provides 
producers with a voluntary option to seek organic certification 
and provides for the enrollment of producers who are already 
certified as organic. The section provides for the renewal of 
CSP stewardship contracts, prohibits bidding down of contracts 
and requires that lowest-cost alternatives be used to achieve 
the purposes of the program.
  Subsection (d) sets the criteria for enhancement payments. 
The subsection restricts the use of structural practices in the 
CSP and prohibits enhancement payments for the design, 
construction, or maintenance of animal waste storage or 
treatment facilities. Enhancement payments are to be made as 
soon as practicable after October 1 and, for new practices, as 
the practices are adopted or installed. It limits payments for 
research, demonstration, training, and pilot projects to no 
more than $25,000 for the 5-year term of the CSP contract.
  Subsection (e) provides for additional payments to adopt 
resource-conserving crop rotations. In light of the multiple 
conservation benefits to be gained from extensive crop 
rotations, the bill provides for supplemental payments, in 
addition to regular enhancement payments, for resource-
conserving crop rotations that achieve optimal benefits and 
that will be maintained for the life of the contract. In 
addition to the attributes of such rotations described in the 
definition of the term provided in the bill, optimal rotations 
result in increased efficiencies in fertilizer, pesticide and 
energy use and disease management. This subsection requires the 
Secretary to provide a payment in addition to a conservation 
stewardship payment to a producer who agrees to adopt an 
optimal rotation for the producer's crop. The committee expects 
the Secretary will determine optimal crop rotations based on 
the best available science with consideration given to ability 
of producers to reasonably adopt them. The committee expects 
the Secretary will adopt payment rates to encourage the 
adoption of optimal crop rotations.
  Subsection (f) sets a limitation of $240,000 for all CSP 
contracts during any 6-year period. The bill requires direct 
attribution of payments to real persons, regardless of business 
entities or farm structure. It is the Committee's intent that 
direct attribution be fully and effectively implemented.
  Subsection (g) provides the duties of producers. 
Participating producers must agree to implement the 
conservation stewardship contract, not engage in any activity 
that would interfere with purposes of the program, and maintain 
and present records of implementation to the Secretary if 
requested. In the case of land transfers where the transferee 
does not assume the contract, participants agree to refund 
payments received, as determined by the Secretary. If a 
producer violates a term of the contract, that warrants a 
termination, the producer must forfeit all rights to receive 
payments and refund all or a portion of the payments already 
received. If the violation does not warrant termination, the 
Secretary can adjust or require a refund of payments received.
  Subsection (h) states the duties of the Secretary. The 
section provides for an annual enrollment of 13,273,000 acres 
at an average cost of $19 per acre and requires that the 
program be implemented nationally. The Committee intends for 
the program to be offered to farmers and ranchers on a 
continuous sign-up basis. The Secretary may establish times 
during the year to rank and award contract offers on hand at 
that time, but shall keep the program open for new applications 
year-round. The bill requires the Secretary to establish a 
minimum contract value to ensure equity for small acreage 
farms, including specialty crop producers. The section 
allocates acres to each State based on the proportion of 
eligible acres in a State to all eligible acres, with a minimum 
acreage of the lesser of 20,000 or 2.2 percent of the State's 
eligible acres per year. Acres that will not be used in one 
State can be reallocated to States that request additional 
acres.
Section 1240Y. Regulations.
  This section requires that the Secretary develop implementing 
regulations no later than 180 days after enactment.

SUBCHAPTER B--ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM

  This subchapter amends section 1240 of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3839aa) as follows:
Section 2351. Purposes.
  This section adds ``forest management'', ``pollinators and 
fuels management'' as a purpose of the program, and generally 
adds emphasis on forestry issues within the program.
Section 2352. Definitions.
  This section adds ``fuels management'' and ``forest 
management'' to the definition of land management practice and 
includes custom feeding businesses and contract growers or 
finishers to the definition of a producer. It also expands the 
definition of structural practice to include firebreaks and 
fuel breaks.
Section 2353. Establishment and administration of environmental quality 
        incentives program.
  Subsection (a) reauthorizes the program until 2012.
  Subsection (b) adds conservation planning to the list of 
approved practices eligible for payment under the program.
  Subsection (c) provides for up to 75 percent cost share, 
except that socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and 
ranchers could receive 90 percent or 15 percent above 
established cost share rates. Socially disadvantaged farmers or 
ranchers or beginning farmers or ranchers would also be 
eligible to receive up to 30 percent of their payment in 
advance for purchases of materials and labor. The section 
prohibits duplicate payments for the same practice from other 
programs. It also provides individuals who are unsuccessful in 
obtaining an EQIP contract with priority consideration for a 
guaranteed loan.
  The subsection also allows the Secretary to prioritize 
applications that promote management of residue, nutrients, air 
quality, pests, or that deter predators protected under the 
Endangered Species Act.
  The subsection also allows the Secretary to provide technical 
assistance, cost-share payments and incentive payments to a 
producer for a water conservation or irrigation practice, and 
may afford a priority to applications that would benefit water 
quantity.
Section 2354. Evaluation of offers and payments.
  This section includes improvement of existing conservation 
systems to the criteria that the Secretary may consider in 
evaluating contract offers.
Section 2355. Duties of producers.
  This section adds forest land to the list of land uses that 
the producer agrees not to conduct any practice on that would 
defeat the purposes of the program.
Section 2356. EQIP program plan.
  This subsection is amended to allow for organizations to act 
on behalf of producers to submit plans of operations for 
approval under this program. It clarifies that in the case of 
forest land the plan is to be consistent with a forest land 
management plan approved by the Secretary.
Sectopm 2357. Limitation of payments.
  This section clarifies that the existing limit of $450,000 
applies to individual producers receiving funding and not to 
producer organizations.
Section 2358. Conservation innovation grants.
  This section amends section 1240H of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3839aa-8) by reauthorizing the program to stimulate innovative 
approaches for environmental enhancement on agricultural and 
forested land. This section clarifies that the purpose of 
grants is to develop and transfer innovative conservation 
technology and seeks to increase participation by specialty 
crop producers. When seeking innovative conservation 
techniques, the Secretary is encouraged to determine whether or 
not specialized planters designed for use in production 
agriculture effectively demonstrate cost-effective reductions 
in runoff; water use, and soil erosion, and, if so, to ensure 
the transfer of this technology through programmatic means.
  Conservation programs as implemented by USDA should recognize 
the use of enhanced efficiency fertilizers as defined by the 
Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO). 
Enhanced efficiency fertilizers, which can protect water 
quality and reduce greenhouse emissions, include slow and 
controlled-release fertilizers (absorbed, coated, occluded or 
reacted) and stabilized nitrogen fertilizers (urease and 
nitrification inhibitors and nitrogen stabilizers) and are 
recognized by AAPFCO, the agency of state regulators of 
fertilizers.
Section 2359. Ground and surface water conservation.
  This section amends section 1240I of FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3839aa-9) by adding authority for the Secretary to enter into 
cooperative and contribution agreements with entities to carry 
out water conservation activities with producers on a regional 
scale. This section provides $60,000,000 for each fiscal year 
from 2008 through 2012. This section creates the Eastern Snake 
Plain Aquifer Pilot for regional water conservation activities 
in the Eastern Snake Aquifer Region.
Section 2360. Organic conversion.
  This section amends the FSA 1985 by inserting a new option 
within the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to provide 
cost share and incentive payments to producers who choose to 
convert to organic agriculture on some or all of their 
operations. This new option provides technical and financial 
assistance appropriate for an organic plan and requires 
eligible producers to protect soil, water, wildlife, air and 
other natural resources and to submit an annual verification by 
a certifying entity. This section stipulates the contract 
length of 3-4 years and caps total costs at $80,000.
Section 2361. Chesapeake Bay Watershed Conservation Program.
  This section amends the FSA 1985 by adding a Chesapeake Bay 
Watershed Conservation program within the Environmental Quality 
Incentives Program and funds the program at $165,000,000 
between 2008 and 2012.
Section 2371. Farmland Protection Program.
  Subsection (a) amends section 1238H of FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3838h) by clarifying the definition of eligible entity and 
adding furthering a state or local policy as a new eligible 
land category and striking that land must be subject to a 
pending offer. This subsection broadens incidental land and 
forest land that contributes to the economic viability of an 
agricultural operation as eligible inclusions in easements and 
requires the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements 
with eligible entities for the entities to purchase permanent 
easements.
  Subsection (b) specifies the terms and conditions for 
cooperative agreements, including allowing the eligible entity 
the flexibility to use their own terms and conditions for 
easements provided there is an impervious surface limitation. 
This section requires an appraisal that complies with the 
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (in lieu 
of compliance with the Uniform Standards for Federal Land 
Acquisitions) and allows eligible entities to include landowner 
charitable donations as part of the share of the easement 
purchase cost.
  Subsection (c) limits the amount that the Secretary can share 
in the costs of purchasing the easement to 50 percent of the 
appraised fair market value and establishes minimum amounts 
entities pay based on the amount of landowner contributions.
   Subsection (d) requires the protection of Federal 
investments through executory limitation, but specifies that 
the executory limitation is not a Federal acquisition of real 
property and will not trigger any Federal appraisal or other 
real property requirements.
Section 2381. Grassland Reserve Program.
  This section amends Subchapter C of chapter 2 of subtitle D 
of title XII of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838n et seq.) by 
defining eligible entities who can purchase and hold easements. 
The program is reauthorized. Under this section, the Secretary 
may enroll land either through a cooperative agreement with an 
eligible entity or directly enroll land with a producer through 
30-year contracts, 30-year easements, or permanent easements. 
The program emphasizes the preservation of large, intact 
landscapes of native and naturalized grassland and shrubland. 
This section allows eligible land to be transferred into the 
program from the Conservation Reserve Program if it is of high 
ecological value and under significant threat of conversion and 
places a limit on transfers of no more than 10 percent of 
program funds. This section also prohibits duplicate payments. 
The Secretary may enter into restoration agreements with 
landowners. This section requires that 30-year contracts be 
paid at the same rate as 30-year easements. Common grazing 
practices are allowed in all easements and contracts. This 
section provides terms and conditions for cooperative 
agreements with eligible entities, including allowing the 
eligible entity flexibility to use their own terms and 
conditions for easements. This requires eligible entities to 
use appraisals that comply with an industry approved method and 
requires protection of Federal investment through an executory 
limitation, but specifies that the executory limitation is not 
a Federal acquisition of real property and will not trigger any 
Federal appraisal or other real property requirements.
Section 2391. Conservation Security Program.
  This section amends Chapter A of chapter 2 of subtitle D of 
title XII of the FSA 1985 by allowing the Secretary to continue 
to make payments on existing conservation security contracts 
and prohibits new contracts.
Section 2392. Conservation of private grazing land.
  This section amends section 1240M(e) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3839bb(e)) by extending the program through 2012.
Section 2393. Reauthorization of Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program.
  This section amends section 1240M(e) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3839bb(e)) by extending the program through 2012, adding 
incentive payments, and increasing the percentage of funds that 
can be used for long-term projects from 15 percent to 25 
percent. This section requires the Secretary to give priority 
to projects that would further the goals and objectives of 
state, regional, and national fish and wildlife conservation 
plans and initiatives.
Section 2394. Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.
  This section amends section 1240O(b) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3839bb-2(b)) by extending the program through 2012 and 
increasing the annual authorized appropriations to $20,000,000.
Section 2395. Great Lakes basin program for soil erosion and sediment 
        control.
  This section amends section 1240P(c) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3839bb-3(c)) by extending the program through 2012.
Section 2396. Farm Viability Program.
  This section amends section 1238J(b) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3838j(b)) by extending the program through 2012.
Section 2397. Discovery Watershed Program.
  This section amends Chapter 5 of subtitle D of title XII of 
the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb et seq.) by establishing the 
discovery watershed demonstration program and requiring the 
Secretary to carry out the program in not less than 30 small 
watersheds in States of the Upper Mississippi River basin to 
promote the most cost effective and efficient ways of reducing 
nutrient loss to surface waters. This section defines the 
purposes of the program to demonstrate approaches to reduce the 
loss of nutrients to surface waters from agricultural land and 
to monitor management practices designed to reduce the loss of 
nutrients to surface waters from agricultural lands. This 
section allows for the Secretary to establish or identify 
appropriate partnerships to select the watersheds and to 
encourage cooperative effort among the Secretary and state, 
local and nongovernmental organizations. This section provides 
criteria for the selection of watersheds and prohibits the use 
of funds for administrative expenses.
Section 2398. Emergency Landscape Restoration Program.
  This section amends Chapter 5 of subtitle D of the FSA 1985 
(16 U.S.C. 3839bb et seq.) by establishing the emergency 
landscape restoration program to rehabilitate cropland, 
grasslands, and private nonindustrial forest lands adversely 
affected by natural catastrophic events such as fire, drought, 
flood, excessive wind, ice or blizzards, or other natural 
events. This section declares entities eligible for assistance 
are community-based associations and city, county or regional 
governments, including watershed councils and conservation 
districts. Individuals eligible for assistance include 
producers, ranchers, operators, private nonindustrial forest 
landowners, and landlords on working agricultural land. The 
bill allows the Secretary to purchase floodplain easements, 
prioritize applications that protect human health and safety, 
and provide technical assistance and cost-share payments for up 
to 75 percent of the cost of remedial activities to 
rehabilitate watersheds. These remedial activities include 
debris removal, stream bank stabilization, establishment of 
cover, restoration of fences, construction of conservation 
structures, providing livestock water in drought situations, 
restoring nonindustrial private forest land and livestock 
carcass removal. This section authorizes discretionary funding 
and provides for the temporary administration of current 
emergency programs until final regulations are formulated.
Section 2399. Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program.
  This section amends Chapter 5 of subtitle D of title XII of 
the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb et seq.) by creating a grant 
program for States and Tribes that run State or Tribal programs 
to encourage voluntary enrollment by owners and operators of 
private lands in a program to allow public access for hunting 
and fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreation. 
Participation in this program is voluntary and funds are to be 
used through existing State or Tribal programs and to develop 
new programs in States and on Tribal lands that currently do 
not have existing programs. This section ensures that land 
enrolled under State or Tribal programs has appropriate 
wildlife habitat and clarifies that the program does not 
preempt state law, including any state liability law. In 
approving applications and awarding grants, the Secretary shall 
give priority to States and Tribal governments that propose to 
make available to the public the location of land enrolled in 
the program.
Section 2401. Funding and administration.
  This section amends section 1241(a) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3841(a)) by updating the fiscal years and funding levels 
for programs covered under this title.
Section 2402. Regional equity.
  This section amends section 1241 of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3841) by providing priority for funding to approved 
applications in States that have received, in aggregate, less 
than $15,000,000 in funding in EQIP, FPP, GRP, WHIP, CSP and 
AMA. This section expands the donor programs to include CSP and 
Agriculture Management Assistance programs. This section 
instructs the Secretary to conduct a review of conservation 
program allocation formulas to determine the sufficiency of the 
formulas in accounting for state-level economic factors, level 
of agricultural infrastructure, or related factors that affect 
conservation program costs. This section directs the Secretary 
to improve conservation program allocation formulas as 
necessary to ensure that the formulas adequately reflect the 
costs of carrying out the conservation programs.
Section 2403. Conservation access.
  This section amends section 1241 of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3841) by requiring that 10 percent of conservation program 
funds be used to assist beginning and socially disadvantaged 
farmers and ranchers. Any unused funds are to be repooled and 
made available to all persons eligible for assistance under 
appropriate conservation programs. This section expands the 
uses of Conservation Innovation Grants to include technology 
transfer, farmer-to-farmer workshops, and demonstrations of 
innovative conservation practices. This section requires the 
Secretary to offer higher levels of technical assistance to 
beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. This 
section allows the Secretary to develop and implement 
cooperative agreements with entities with expertise in 
addressing the needs of beginning farmers or ranchers and 
socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.
Section 2404. Delivery of technical assistance.
  This section amends section 1242 of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3842) by expressing that the purpose of technical assistance is 
to provide farmers, ranchers, non-industrial private forest 
owners, and interested individuals and organizations with 
consistent, science-based, site-specific practices to achieve 
conservation objectives. This section allows the Secretary to 
provide technical assistance directly, through a contract with 
a third party provider, or at the option of the producer, 
through a payment to the producer for a third party provider. 
This section requires the Secretary to increase the 
availability and range of technical service providers, provide 
for national certification, and ensure that any state-level 
requirements are appropriate. The Secretary is also required to 
review certification requirements. This section establishes 
that contracts for technical assistance with third-party 
providers will have a term of no more than three years and 
establishes that education and outreach and administrative 
services are activities that are eligible for payment to third-
party providers. This section requires the Secretary to review 
existing conservation practice standards and engineering design 
specifications and ensure they provide for the optimal balance 
between meeting site-specific conservation needs and minimizing 
risks of design failure and associated costs of construction 
and installation. The Secretary is also required to consult 
with producers, crop consultants, cooperative extension, 
nongovernmental organizations and other qualified entities in 
conducting a review of existing standards and to implement an 
expedited process to affect needed revisions resulting from the 
review. This section enhances technical assistance for 
specialty crop, organic and precision agriculture producers 
through cooperative agreements with other agencies and 
nongovernmental organizations, and use of local resources to 
provide technical assistance for planning and implementation of 
conservation practices.
Section 2405. Administrative requirements for conservation programs.
  Subsection (a) amends section 1244 of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3844) by requiring the Secretary to ensure a streamlined 
application process for conservation programs, and the 
submission of a written notification to Congress of the 
completion of the requirements of this subsection.Subsection 
(b) amends section 1244 of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3844) by 
adding that the Secretary, at the request of the landowner, 
cooperate with the Secretary of Interior and Secretary of 
Commerce to make Safe Harbor assurances available to the 
landowner under the Endangered Species Act. This subsection 
directs the Secretary to accept applications from and provide 
cost-share and incentive payments and other assistance to 
producers who apply through a producer organization for large 
group projects.
  Subsection (f) clarifies and improves the existing 
Partnerships and Cooperation provision. The Secretary may 
designate special projects to enhance assistance to multiple 
producers to address conservation issues related to 
agricultural and nonindustrial forest management and 
production. Special projects would: affect multiple 
agricultural operations; help producers meet environmental 
laws; facilitate cumulative conservation benefits in 
geographical areas; or promote the development and 
demonstration of innovative conservation methods. The Secretary 
may enter into agreements with a wide range of partners to 
carry out special projects. Establishes criteria for project 
applications and requires a competitive process for selection. 
This subsection includes a special rule applicable to Regional 
Water Enhancement Projects, including: eligible partners, 
project proposal criteria, goal identification, baseline data, 
conservation measures to be used, and performance measures that 
will be used to determine project effects. The Secretary shall 
use not more than 5 percent of resources authorized in 1241 (a) 
to carry out this subsection.
Section 2406. Conservation programs in environmental service markets.
  This new program is added by amending subtitle E of the FSA 
1985 (16 U.S.C. 3841 et seq.)
  Subsection (a) requires the Secretary to establish the 
framework necessary to facilitate the participation of farmers, 
ranchers, and forest landowners in emerging environmental 
service markets. This requires the Secretary to use a 
collaborative process that includes a broad range of 
representatives from appropriate agencies, organizations and 
sectors. This requires the Secretary to establish uniform 
standards; design accounting procedures; establish a protocol 
to report environmental services benefits; establish a registry 
to report and maintain the benefits; and establish a process to 
verify that a farmer, rancher or forest land owner has 
implemented the conservation or land management activity.
  Subsection (b) allows the Secretary to delegate any 
responsibility under this section to a relevant agency or 
office.
  Subsection (c) requires the Secretary to submit three reports 
to Congress; an initial status report within 90 days of 
enactment on the framework process; an interim report within 
180 days of enactment on the adequacy of existing research and 
methods to quantify environmental services benefits, proposals 
to establish technical guidelines, and recommendations; a final 
report within 18 months of enactment on the progress made in 
this process, rates of participation by farmers, ranchers and 
forest land owners and any recommendations.
Section 2501. State technical committees.
  Subsection (a) amends section 1261 of the FSA 1985 (16 U.S.C. 
3861(c) by requiring the Secretary to develop standard 
operating procedures for state technical committees and 
standards to be used by the state technical committees in the 
development of technical guidelines.
  Subsection (b) updates the names of the agencies that may be 
represented on State Technical Committees.
  Subsection (c) amends section 1262(e) of the FSA 1985 (16 
U.S.C. 3862(e)) by recognizing local work groups as 
subcommittees of the State Technical Committee and exempting 
them from FACA.
Section 2601. Agricultural management assistance.
  This section amends section 524(b) of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1524 (b)) by including Idaho as a 
participating AMA program State and by extending the program 
through 2012.
Section 2602. Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services Program.
  This section amends the Department of Agriculture 
Reorganization Act of 1994 (U.S.C. 6901 et seq.) by creating a 
new Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services Program 
(ACE). This section authorizes the ACE program which allows the 
Secretary to enter into agreements with nonprofit agencies and 
organizations to use the talents of individuals who are age 55 
or older to provide conservation technical assistance in 
support of the administration of conservation-related programs. 
This section stipulates that agreements may not displace 
individuals employed by the Department of Agriculture and 
allows the Secretary to provide tools, including agency 
vehicles, necessary to carry out the program.
Section 2603. Technical assistance.
  Subsection (a) amends the Soil Conservation and Domestic 
Allotment Act to clarify the breadth of the continuing program 
of soil and water conservation, and the definition of technical 
assistance. The soil and water conservation program is intended 
to include such actions as needed to conserve soil, water and 
related natural resources, and to promote soil and water 
quality. Related natural resources as referenced in this 
modification includes all such natural renewable resources that 
depend upon, interact with, or otherwise influence or are 
influenced by soil and water. This would include, for example, 
air, plants, and animals, individually or collectively as in 
terms of habitat.
  Technical assistance is defined consistently with the 
language inserted in section 1242 of the Food and Energy 
Security Act of 2007. This revision clarifies that technical 
assistance includes the technical services provided directly to 
producers, non-industrial private forest landowners, and other 
eligible entities; as well as the technical infrastructure 
needed to support delivery of technical services. Technical 
infrastructure includes not only the technical underpinnings 
for conservation, such as technical guides, practice standards, 
and tools, but also the activities, processes, and agency 
functions required for conservation program delivery such as 
ranking and evaluation processes, contract management, and 
related activities.
  Subsection (b) amends the Soil and Water Resources 
Conservation Act and extends it through 2028. Minor adjustments 
are made to the current coverage of the resource appraisal and 
national conservation program. The delivery of appraisals and 
programs are tied more closely to the farm bill cycle, with the 
intent that these evaluations will inform development of future 
farm policy. To that end, outstanding resource issues 
identified through this legislation, including soil erosion 
impacts, water conservation, grassland conversion, and energy 
crop production are expected to be addressed in forthcoming 
appraisals and programs. In addition, the Secretary is directed 
to solicit and assess opportunities to improve the appraisal 
and the program, concurrent with the initial conduct of these 
processes under this reauthorization.
Section 2604. Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program.
  This section authorizes such sums as are necessary to carry 
out this section for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 2605. Resource Conservation and Development Program.
  Subsection (a) amends section 1528 of the Agriculture and 
Food Act of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3451) to specify that the planning 
process is locally led.
  Subsection (b) amends section 1528(13) of the Agriculture and 
Food Act of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3451 (13)) by clarifying that 
technical assistance includes implementation of area plans and 
projects.
  Subsection (c) amends section 1531 of the Agriculture and 
Food Act of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3454) by requiring the Secretary to 
designate a coordinator for each council who will be directly 
responsible for technical assistance.
Section 2606. National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation.
  This section amends section 353 of the FAIR Act of 1996 (16 
U.S.C. 5802) by updating existing foundation language and 
expanding the granting authority of the foundation to include 
grants to individuals. This section allows the Foundation to 
provide advice to the Secretary and allows gifts, devises and 
bequests of personal property (monetary and non-monetary) to be 
accepted, prior to the initial meeting of the board, by the 
Secretary on behalf of the Foundation. These items are not 
considered gifts or benefits of the United States. Gifts 
received prior to the first meeting can be used by the 
Secretary for expenses of the first meeting then transferred to 
the Board. This section expands the foundation powers to enter 
into agreements with the Federal Government and makes gifts to 
the Foundation tax exempt.
Section 2607. Desert Terminal Lakes.
  This section reauthorizes the Desert Terminal Lakes program 
through 2012.
Section 2608. Crop insurance ineligibility relating to crop production 
        on native sod.
  Subsection (a) amends section 508 of the Federal Crop 
Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508) to deny crop insurance and 
noninsured crop disaster assistance program benefits (NAP) on 
lands converted from native sod after passage of the Food and 
Energy Security Act of 2007.
  Native sod means land characterized as being composed 
principally of native grasses, grasslike plants, or forbs 
suitable for grazing and browsing and which has never been 
planted to or used for the production of an agricultural 
commodity. There are an estimated 60 million acres of tall, 
short, and mixed-grass prairies remaining in the contiguous 
U.S. Land that may be in a grassland use but has at one time 
been cropped, as evidenced by presence on a FSA county cropland 
map or other indication of a cropping history, is exempt from 
this provision. Grasslands that have never been cropped but may 
suffer from encroachment of invasive species, however, are not 
intended to be exempt from this provision.
  Subsection (b) amends section 196(a) of the FAIR Act of 1996 
(7 U.S.C. 7333(a)) by adding at the end the definition of 
native sod and providing for ineligibility for benefits when a 
producer plants an agricultural commodity on native sod.
  Subsection (c) requires the Secretary to submit a report that 
describes the cropland acreage in each county and State, and 
the change in cropland acreage from the preceding year in each 
county and State, beginning with calendar year 1995 and 
including that information for the most recent year for which 
that information is available. The Secretary is required to 
make this report available to the Senate Committee on 
Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and to the Committee on 
Agriculture of the House of Representatives. The Secretary 
shall produce and submit an updated report to both committees 
annually.
Section 2609. High plains water study.
  This section stipulates that program benefits under this bill 
will not be denied to eligible individuals solely on the basis 
of participation in a one-time study of aquifer recharge 
potential in the high plains of Texas.
  The continuing depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer is an acute 
concern for the eight states that depend on it for 
agricultural, domestic, and industrial uses, among others. This 
provision will allow agricultural producers to participate in a 
Texas Water Development Board one-time study of aquifer 
recharge potential in the high plains of Texas. The study is 
narrowly focused on a small number of playa lakes situated on 
agricultural land over the Ogallala Aquifer. The disturbance to 
lake beds is minimal and temporary and for the purpose of 
evaluating the potential for increasing infiltration to benefit 
the aquifer. This provision provides the assurance to producers 
to make it possible for the research project to go forward. The 
results of the study will help to inform state and local water 
conservation investment and policy that will aid in managing 
this critical aquifer.
  Playas are temporary wetlands unique to the High Plains of 
North America, numbering more than 60,000. Playas not only 
serve as the primary source of recharge for the Ogallala 
Aquifer, they are the most important wetland type for wildlife 
in this region. The Committee encourages USDA to further 
recognize the importance of playas through increased 
communication to landowners of the benefits of playas and 
conservation programs available. The Committee encourages USDA 
to work with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture to enhance the use 
of such programs like the Conservation Reserve Program to help 
ensure the protection of playas.
Section 2610. Payment of expenses.
  This section amends section 17(d) of the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136o(d)) by adding a 
paragraph that requires the U.S. Department of State to cover 
expenses incurred by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff 
participating on an international technical, economic, or 
policy review board, committee, or other official body with 
respect to a related international treaty.
Section 2611. Use of funds in basin funds for salinity control 
        activities upstream of Imperial dam.
  This section amends section 202(a) of the Colorado River 
Basin Salinity Control Act (43 U.S.C. 1592(a)) by adding the 
Basin States Program. This directs the Secretary, acting 
through the Bureau of Reclamation, to carry out salinity 
control activities in the Colorado River Basin. This section 
requires the Secretary of Interior to consult with the Colorado 
River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council when providing 
assistance in the form of grants, grant commitments, or the 
advancement of funds to Federal or non-Federal entities. This 
section also requires a planning report to Congress that 
describes the proposed implementation of the program and 
stipulates that non-Federal funds may be expended to implement 
the program until 30 days after the report is submitted to 
Congress.
  This section is intended to be fiscally neutral both as to 
appropriations and as to draws on the Basin Funds. It does not 
change the cost share ratios already established in section 
205(a) of the Act, nor does it change the percentage split 
between the two funds or the requirement that no more than 15 
percent of the Basin States cost share is to come from the 
Upper Colorado River Basin Fund. It is intended only to clarify 
the authority through which the Bureau of Reclamation expends 
the required cost share dollars.
Section 2612. Great Lakes Commission.
  This new section adds new purposes to the Great Lakes Basin 
Program, to focus on assisting with the implementation of the 
Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and 
Protect the Great Lakes.
Section 2613. Technical Corrections to the Federal Insecticide, 
        Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
  This section amends section 33 of the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136w-8) by making 
technical changes concerning The Pesticide Registration 
Improvement Act (PRIA).

                            TITLE III--TRADE

                               SUBTITLE A

Section 3001. Short title.
  This section amends the Agricultural Trade Development and 
Assistance Act of 1954 (7 U.S.C. 1691 note; 104 Stat. 3633). It 
changes the title of the underlying legislation to the Food for 
Peace Act. It also includes numerous conforming amendments.
Section 3002. United States policy.
  This section amends section 2 of the newly named Food for 
Peace Act (7 U.S.C.1691). It deletes a paragraph describing 
market development as one of the objectives of the programs 
under this Act. This modification is made to reflect the 
approach taken in operating this program in recent years.
Section 3003. Food aid to developing countries.
  This section amends section (3) of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1691(a)). It updates U.S. negotiating objectives with 
respect to international food aid in international bodies such 
as the World Trade Organization and the Food Aid Convention. 
Current statutory language reflect negotiating goals for the 
Uruguay Round of the WTO, which was completed in 1994.
  The WTO, Food Aid Convention, and the United Nation's Food 
and Agriculture Organization are now engaged in the process of 
examining international food aid policies. In these and other 
forums, the Committee believes that the United States must 
assure that the options for providing food aid remain open; 
limitations are not placed on emergency or non-emergency 
programming, or the modalities for carrying out programs; and 
traditional implementing partners for food aid continue to be 
able to develop and partner with the United States and other 
donors, including non-governmental organizations, governments 
and intergovernmental organizations. The Committee is concerned 
about multilateral agreements governing international food aid 
being too prescriptive, as different approaches are needed for 
different settings. The Committee is particularly concerned by 
efforts in these forums to limit the role of non-governmental 
organizations in delivering food aid programs, even though 
experience shows they conduct effective programs, have 
demonstrated the ability to reach populations in need, and 
provide accountability for resources.
Section 3004. Trade and development assistance.
  This section renames title I of the newly renamed Food for 
Peace Act (7 U.S.C.1701) from Trade and Development Assistance 
to Economic Assistance and Food Security. This change reflects 
the current priority objectives in operating this program.
Section 3005. Agreements regarding eligible countries and private 
        entities.
  This section amends section 102 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1702). It strikes references to potential recipient 
countries becoming commercial markets and strikes requirement 
that organizations seeking funding under the Act prepare and 
submit agricultural market development plans. These references 
are obsolete in the current operations of U.S. food aid 
programs.
Section 3006. Use of local currency payments.
  This section amends section 104 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1704). It adds the objective of improving trade capacity 
of the recipient country to the set of goals to be achieved 
under agricultural development, and removes several objectives 
that are no longer appropriate for international food aid 
programs.
Section 3007. General authority.
  This section amends section 201 of The Food for Peace Act ((7 
U.S.C.1721). It clarifies the objectives for assistance under 
title II commodity donations.
  The Committee recognizes that food aid may be used in a 
variety of ways to address emergency needs, to promote food 
security and to decrease food insecurity in developing 
countries and wants to encourage innovative programming. While 
non-emergency program objectives are typically built around 
food security related indicators, they may also be built around 
indicators that show increased capacity to address crises, 
issues and problems that can increase food insecurity. In 
addition, activities supported by food aid programs may be 
intended to promote participation in education, training and 
other activities that increase people's productivity and build 
community and institutional capacity.
Section 3008. Provision of agricultural commodities.
  This section amends section 202 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C. 1722). Paragraph (1) revises current language to clarify 
that the fact that a project is being proposed in a country 
that does not have a USAID mission or is not part of an overall 
development plan for the country cannot be used as the sole 
rationale for denying the proposal.
  Paragraph (2) modifies the share of title II funds which can 
be used to cover logistical expenses of PVO partners from 
between 5 and 10 percent to not less than 7.5 percent, and 
clarifies that such funds can be used to cover costs of needs 
assessment and monitoring and evaluation.
  Paragraph (3) strikes language on streamlining program 
management included in the FSRIA of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), since 
those objectives have been largely met. It also inserts new 
language which permits the Administrator to use title II funds 
to address food aid quality issues, and requires that regular 
reports on progress on these quality issues be made to the 
relevant Congressional Committees.
Section 3009. Micro-enterprise activities.
  This section amends section 203 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C. 1723). It adds activities involving micro-enterprises 
and village banking as a valid use of proceeds generated by 
monetization of commodities donated under title II.
Section 3010. Levels of assistance.
  This section amends section 204 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1724). It extends the minimum tonnage requirement for 
title II programs through 2012.
Section 3011. Food aid consultative group.
  This section amends section 205 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1725). Paragraph (1) requires that a representative of 
the maritime transportation sector be included in the Food Aid 
Consultative Group (FACG), as well as representatives of other 
stakeholder groups not currently included.
  Paragraph (2) requires the USAID Administrator to consult 
with the FACG in developing regulations for the pilot local 
cash purchase program established in section 3014, and extends 
the authority for the FACG through 2012.
Section 3012. Administration.
  This section amends section 207 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1727) . Paragraph (1) provides more flexibility to the 
Administrator in terms of the time he has to evaluate and 
determine whether to accept a proposal for assistance under 
title II, and clarifies the intent of the law with respect to 
notifying an applicant why their proposal was rejected.
  Paragraph (2) deletes a requirement for handbooks which are 
no longer used within the title II program. Information 
previously contained in such handbooks is now available through 
other outlets.
  Paragraph (3) deletes a specific deadline for submitting 
commodity orders, which on occasion can have the effect of 
slowing down the process, and substitutes a requirement that 
orders should be provided on a timely basis.
  Paragraph (4) pushes back the date from December 1 to June 1 
for a report on the programs, countries, and commodities 
approved to date within a fiscal year under title II.
  Paragraph (5) adds language that allows the Administrator to 
use title II funds to pay for assessment, data collection and 
management, and monitoring activities, and to hire contract 
workers to undertake such work in recipient or neighboring 
countries, without limiting existing authority to hire 
contractors to help address emergency food needs.
  It also adds language allowing the Administrator to pay the 
World Food Program of the United Nations for indirect support 
costs of the commodities donated under title II, requiring that 
the Administrator report to relevant Congressional committees 
on such payments. It also clarifies the authority of the 
Administrator to pay indirect costs associated with funds 
received or generated for programs to PVO's and cooperatives. 
It also requires that project reports should be submitted in 
such a form as can be readily displayed for public use on the 
USAID website.
  The Committee is aware that there may be some ambiguity 
regarding whether USAID may use title II funds to cover the 
indirect cost recovery rate issued by the UN World Food 
Program. A new subsection authorizes the payment of such funds, 
on the condition that the level and rationale are first 
reported to relevant congressional committees for review.
  Similarly, the Committee is aware that in some cases there 
may be ambiguity about whether the ``negotiated indirect cost 
rates'' or NICRA, established by private voluntary 
organizations and cooperatives with USAID based on OMB 
guidelines apply to funds provided and generated under title 
II. A new subsection clarifies that a private voluntary 
organization's or cooperative's NICRA applies to funds received 
under the title II program, which would include those generated 
from monetization, provided for internal transportation storage 
and handling, or provided under section 202(e) of current law.
Section 3013. Assistance for stockpiling and rapid transportation, 
        delivery, and distribution of shelf stable prepackaged foods.
  This section reauthorizes section 208 of the Food for Peace 
Act (7 U.S.C.1728) through 2012. It also increases the level 
that can be appropriated to assist in the development of shelf-
stable, prepackaged foods for use in food aid programs from $3 
million to $8 million.
Section 3014. Pilot program for local cash purchase.
  This section amends the Food for Peace Act. It adds 
authorization for a pilot program for local/regional cash 
purchase under title II by adding a new section 209 to the 
reported bill.
  Subsection (a) provides several key definitions for the 
section.
  Subsection (b) establishes authority for the pilot program.
  Subsection (c) establishes the purposes for which the pilot 
program can be used.
  Subsection (d) establishes criteria for local or regional 
procurement.
  Subsection (e) requires the Administrator to initiate an 
external review of prior local/regional cash purchase 
activities by other donor countries, PVO's and 
intergovernmental organizations within 30 days of enactment. A 
report detailing the results of this review is also to be 
provided to the relevant Congressional Committees. This 
information is to be used to assist in developing guidelines 
for the request for proposals.
  Subsection (f) authorizes the Administrator to request and 
approve applications for grants from eligible organizations 
under this section, and requires any projects authorized under 
this section to be completed by Sept. 30, 2011, to allow time 
to complete study of pilot results before this legislation 
expires.
  Subsection (g) establishes criteria for diversity in 
selecting proposals for grants.
  Subsection (h) lists information that would need to be 
included in grant applications.
  Subsection (i) requires the Administrator to arrange for 
independent evaluation of the pilot program results, and a 
report to the relevant Congressional Committees. It also lays 
out the factors that would have to be examined in the report.
  Subsection (j) requires the Administrator to promulgate 
guidelines for the operation of this pilot program.
  Subsection (k) authorizes use of appropriated funds from 
title II of $25 million for each year between fiscal 2008 and 
fiscal 2011 for this program, to be available until expended. 
It also limits use of these funds unless the Administrator has 
met the statutory minimum tonnage requirements of at least 2.5 
million tons of commodities shipped annually, so that any funds 
used for this pilot would truly be additional to normal levels 
of in-kind donations.
Section 3015. General authorities and requirements.
  This section amends section 401 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1731). Paragraph (a) strikes the requirement that the 
Secretary make a determination about domestic supply of the 
commodity. This is an obsolete requirement that dates from 
several decades ago when food aid was largely a surplus 
disposal mechanism.
  Paragraph (b) contains conforming amendments.
Section 3016. Commodity credit corporation.
  This section amends section 406 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1736). It adds costs incurred to improve food aid quality 
to the list of activities and functions that can be covered by 
the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Section 3017. Administrative provisions.
  This section amends section 407 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1737). Paragraph (1) reauthorizes pre-positioning of U.S. 
commodities abroad and increases the $2 million annual cap on 
transportation costs to move such commodities to $4 million. It 
also requires that resource requests for multi-year or ongoing 
non-emergency assistance agreements be approved by October 1 of 
the fiscal year when the commodities will be delivered.
  Paragraph (2) pushes the completion date for an annual report 
concerning the programs and activities of this Act from January 
15 to April 1, and requires the Administrator to make the 
report available to the public by electronic and other means.
  The Committee notes that this section takes several steps 
towards improving program procedures and reporting, following 
suggestions by the GAO in its April 2007 study. It allows more 
flexibility and quicker response time when an emergency occurs, 
the funds available to the Administrator for pre-positioning 
agricultural commodities at strategic locations overseas is 
doubled from $2,000,000 to $4,000,000. It also requires USAID 
to approve the resource requests for ongoing multiyear or non-
emergency title II programs by October first of the applicable 
fiscal year. The Committee expects the Administration to act 
expeditiously on approvals for new programs as well, and to 
take other steps that can spread out commodity procurement and 
shipments throughout the year and to allow more orderly and 
timely delivery of commodities.
Section 3018. Expiration date.
  This section amends section 408 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1738). It reauthorizes agreements under this Act through 
December 31, 2012.
Section 3019. Authorization of appropriations.
  This section amends section 412 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1736f). It establishes a ``safe box'' for non-emergency, 
development assistance projects under title II of $600 million 
annually.
  The Committee's intent in requiring $600,000,000 to be used 
each fiscal year for non-emergency title II food aid programs 
is to reverse the downward trend in developmental programs and 
to increase the United States' presence and commitment to 
helping people who suffer from chronic hunger. The funding 
level would cover all costs associated with such programs, 
including procurement of agricultural products, ocean freight, 
assistance under section 202(e) of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C. 1722) and internal transport, shipping and handling in 
the recipient country.
Section 3020. Micronutrient fortification programs.
  This section amends section 415 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1736g-2). It reauthorizes the Micronutrient Fortification 
Program from the FSRIA of 2002, since very few steps were taken 
to meet these requirements during the lifetime of that Act.
Section 3021. Germplasm conservation.
  This section amends the Food for Peace Act by adding a new 
section 417. It requires the Administrator to make 
contributions to the Global Crop Diversity Trust to assist in 
conservation of genetic diversity of key food crops around the 
world. Appropriations of $60 million are authorized for the 
period of fiscal year 2008 through 2012 for this purpose.
  The natural diversity of plants and their genetic material 
has been a critical resource for scientists as they develop new 
varieties to address the constantly evolving pests, diseases 
and weather challenges. The committee authorizes the Agency for 
International Development to contribute $60 million to the 
endowment for the Global Crop Diversity Trust over fiscal years 
2008 through 2012, subject to appropriations of funds. The U.S. 
contribution to the Trust cannot exceed 25 percent of total 
contributions from all sources, thus U.S. contributions must at 
a minimum be matched on a 3-to-1 basis by contributions from 
other governments, charities, or private concerns.
  Since its formal establishment in 2004 the Trust has secured 
over $135 million from a wide array of donors, including $6.5 
million from the United States. The Trust's ultimate goal is to 
raise $260 million, which would enable the establishment of an 
endowment that would, in conjunction with other efforts now 
underway, secure the conservation and availability of the 
genetic diversity of the world's major crops in perpetuity, 
through a scientific, cost efficient strategy relying on 
existing institutions and simple proven technologies. The 
Committee believes that $60,000,000 over the next five years is 
an appropriate U.S. contribution to this important effort.
Section 3022. John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer 
        program.
  This section amends section 501 of the Food for Peace Act (7 
U.S.C.1737). It reauthorizes the Farmer-to-Farmer program.

                               SUBTITLE B

Section 3101. Non-governmental organization participation in the 
        resolution of trade disputes.
  This section modifies section 104 the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5604). It requires the Secretary to allow 
U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGO's) to take part in 
sessions of dispute settlement panels at the World Trade 
Organization that have to do with U.S. agriculture, and 
establishes criteria that must be met for NGO's to qualify for 
such participation.
  It is the intent of the Committee that the Department of 
Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative shall 
include representatives of U.S. agriculture groups with a 
direct interest in the dispute settlement case to join the 
official delegation in a non-participatory role only when one 
or more of the other opposing parties involved in the dispute 
include private sector representatives in their delegations. 
Those representatives of U.S. groups must be cleared advisors 
on either the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee or one of 
the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade. The 
intent is to provide equal access to the process for U.S. 
agriculture groups on par with those of other countries who are 
advocating and assisting their governments to bring suits 
against U.S. agriculture programs in the World Trade 
Organization.
Section 3102. Export Credit Guarantee Program.
  This section amends section 202 of the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5622). Subsection (a) repeals authority for 
the Supplier Credit program, which provides guarantees to 
buyers of U.S. commodities in foreign countries for a period of 
not more than 180 days. This program has been plagued by 
defaults and occasional fraud since its inception in the FAIR 
Act of 1996.
  It also repeals authority for the GSM-103 export credit 
guarantee program, which provides guarantees for loans to 
purchase U.S. agricultural commodities with guarantees of 
duration of between 3 years and 10 years. This program was 
found to be inconsistent with U.S. WTO commitments on export 
subsidies in the Brazil cotton case, and has not been used by 
USDA since July 2005. It also repeals the 1 percent cap on loan 
guarantee fees for the GSM-102 export credit guarantee program, 
also in order to comply with the rulings of the Brazil cotton 
case. The section also reduces the tenor of the GSM-102 export 
credit guarantee program to no more than six months beginning 
in fiscal 2013, as a means to generate savings but not harm the 
program.
  Subsection (b) contains conforming amendments.
  The section also urges USDA to use its existing authority to 
design and operate the export credit guarantee program to 
maximize the export sales of agricultural commodities, by 
making available and utilizing the minimum $5.5 billion in 
guarantees required by law. Utilization of GSM-102, the only 
export credit program currently in operation, declined from 
$2.93 billion in FY04 to $1.45 billion by FY07.
  Because guarantee fee income must be sufficient to cover 
operating costs under WTO obligations, a continued decline in 
program utilization may lead to WTO compliance concerns. USDA 
also implemented a risk-based guarantee fee structure that 
resulted in increased guarantee fees charged to exporters, and 
country risk designations that disqualified a number of 
countries as eligible markets.
  The Committee encourages USDA to use its existing authority 
to design and operate the export credit guarantee program to 
maximize the export sales of agricultural commodities, by 
making available and utilizing the minimum $5.5 billion in 
guarantees required by law. USDA should adjust guarantee fees 
as necessary to ensure program effectiveness and U.S. 
competitiveness, and work with industry to ensure that the 
risk-based fees associated with the guarantees cover, but do 
not exceed, the operating costs and losses of the program over 
the long term. The Committee recognizes that considerable 
analysis is required in determining risk designations and 
establishing risk-based fees. USDA should develop an approach 
to risk evaluation that facilitates adjustments to risk 
designations and guarantee fees on an on-going basis in 
response to material changes in risk conditions, with 
consideration of input and evaluation from the private sector. 
In particular, improvements to the method by which USDA 
evaluates the creditworthiness of countries participating in 
export credit guarantee programs is important to reversing the 
decline in GSM-102 utilization and the amount of exports 
supported under the program.
Section 3103. Market Access Program.
  This section amends section 203 of the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5623). Subsection (a) specifies that 
agricultural commodities include organic commodities.
  Subsection (b) increases funding for the program from its 
current level of $200 million annually for fiscal 2007, raising 
it by $10 million annually until fiscal 2011, when it returns 
to baseline levels.
Section 3104. Export Enhancement Program.
  This section amends section 301 of the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5651). It repeals authority for the Export 
Enhancement Program, which provides export subsidies to assist 
in increasing exports of U.S. agricultural commodities. This 
program was first authorized in the 1985 FSA, but has not been 
utilized since the mid-1990's.
Section 3105. Voluntary certification of child labor status of 
        agricultural imports.
  This section amends section 414 of the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5674). It requires the Secretary of 
Agriculture, in cooperation with the Secretary of Labor, to 
develop standards that importers of agricultural products into 
the United States could choose to use to certify that those 
products were not produced with the use of abusive forms of 
child labor.
Section 3106. Foreign Market Development Program.
  This section amends section 703 of the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5723). It increases funding for the Foreign 
Market Development Program from its current level of $34.5 
million annually for fiscal 2007 by $5 million for fiscal 2008 
and 2009, by $10 million in fiscal 2010, and returns to 
baseline levels in fiscal 2011.
Section 3107. Food for Progress Act of 1985.
  This section amends the Food for Progress Act of 1985 (7 
U.S.C. 1736o). Paragraph (1) reauthorizes the program through 
2012.
  Paragraph (2) increases the amount that can be spent 
transporting commodities under Food for Progress from $40 
million to $48 million for fiscal 2008-2010. This figure is the 
effective cap on this program. This increase helps make up for 
the loss of carryover funds from the title I concessional 
credit program, which was zeroed out in the fiscal 2007 
agricultural appropriations bill, and also for the higher 
commodity prices which increase the cost of food aid shipments.
Section 3108. McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child 
        Nutrition Program.
  This section amends section 3017 of the FSRIA of 2002. 
Paragraphs (1)-(4) establish the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
as the permanent home for this program.
  Paragraph (5) reauthorizes the program through 2012.
  Paragraph (6) allows up to $300 million to be appropriated 
annually to fund this program.

                               SUBTITLE C

Section 3201. Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.
  This section amends section 302 of the Bill Emerson 
Humanitarian Trust Act (7 U.S.C. 1736f-l). Paragraph (1) 
specifies that the Trust can be held as a combination of 
commodities and cash, not to exceed the equivalent of 4 million 
tons.
  Paragraph (2) allows commodities in the Trust to be exchanged 
for funds available under title II or the McGovern-Dole 
program, or if the Secretary determines that such sales will 
not disrupt domestic market, to sell commodities in the Trust 
onto the market. It permits the Secretary to manage the funds 
held in the Trust to maximize its value.
  Paragraph (3) clarifies the rules under which commodities or 
funds can be released from the Trust.
  Paragraph (4) clarifies the rules by which the Trust is 
managed by the Secretary, including specifying that price risks 
must be considered and allowing the funds held in the Trust to 
be invested in low-risk short-term securities or instruments.
  Paragraph (5) replaces the word ``replenish'' with the word 
``reimburse'' throughout the language, reinforcing the notion 
that resources can be held through cash as well as commodities 
under this program.
  Paragraph (6) reauthorizes the program through 2012.
Section 3202. Emerging Markets and Facilities Guarantee Loan Program.
  This section amends section 1543 of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5622) (FACTA). 
Paragraph (1) reauthorizes the Emerging Markets and Facilities 
Guarantee Loan Program through 2012.
  Paragraph (2) permits the Secretary to waive requirements 
that U.S. goods be used in the construction of a facility under 
this program, if such goods are not available or their use is 
not practicable. It also permits the Secretary to provide a 
guarantee for this program for the term of the depreciation 
schedule for the facility, not to exceed 20 years.
Section 3203. Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program.
  This section amends section 1543(d) of FACTA. This program, 
established in the FSRIA of 2002, is to be reauthorized through 
2012. This program is authorized to help U.S. exporters facing 
problems with biotech-based agricultural products.
Section 3204. Technical assistance for the resolution of trade 
        disputes.
  This section is a free-standing provision. It authorizes the 
Secretary to provide technical assistance for limited resource 
groups involved in trade disputes. This program is subject to 
appropriations.

                      TITLE IV--NUTRITION PROGRAMS

                 SUBTITLE A--FOOD AND NUTRITION PROGRAM

                 PART I--RENAMING OF FOOD STAMP PROGRAM

Section 4001. Renaming of Food Stamp Program.
  Subsection (a) amends the short title of the Food Stamp Act 
of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2011 note). It renames the Act the Food and 
Nutrition Act of 2007.
  Subsection (b) amends the renamed Food and Nutrition Act of 
2007 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq) to change the term ``food stamp 
program'' each place it appears to ``food and nutrition 
program''.

                  PART II--IMPROVING PROGRAM BENEFITS

Section 4101. Exclusion of certain military payments from income.
  This section amends section 5(d) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(d)) to exclude from counted income military pay received 
as the result of service in a combat zone.
Section 4102. Strengthening the food purchasing power of low-income 
        Americans.
  This section amends section 5(e)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(e)(1)) to increase and index for inflation the minimum 
monthly standard deduction (the basic amount of income 
disregarded for all applicants and recipients). For the 48 
contiguous States and the District of Columbia, it raises the 
standard deduction from $134 to $140 in fiscal year 2008. For 
Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, respectively, it 
raises the standard deduction from $229, $189, $118, and $269 
to $239, $197, $123, and $281 in fiscal year 2008. For fiscal 
year 2009 and each following year, the new standard deduction 
amounts would be adjusted (and rounded down to the nearest 
dollar) to reflect annual changes in the Consumer Price Index 
for All Urban Consumers; each adjustment would be based on the 
unrounded amount for the prior year.
Section 4103. Supporting working families with child care expenses.
  This section amends section 5(e)(3)(A) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(e)(3)(A)) to remove the monthly limits on deductions that 
may be taken for dependent care expenses that enable a 
household member's employment, training, or education. These 
limits currently are $200 a month for each child under 2 years 
of age and $175 a month for each other dependent.
Section 4104. Encouraging retirement and education savings among food 
        stamp recipients.
  Subsection (a) amends section 5(g)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(g)(1)) to increase the asset limit to $3,500 for most 
households, and $4,500 for households containing an elderly 
person or a person with a disability. This subsection also 
provides for periodic adjustment of the asset limit to reflect 
annual changes in the consumer price index for all urban 
consumers; each adjustment would be rounded down to the nearest 
$250 increment.
  Subsection (b) amends section 5(g) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(g)) to exclude as a counted liquid asset in judging 
program eligibility the value of tax-recognized retirement 
accounts/plans; the Secretary would be permitted to add to the 
specifically listed exclusions.
  Subsection (c) amends section 5(g) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(g)) to exclude as a counted liquid asset in judging 
program eligibility the value of tax-recognized tuition/
education savings programs/accounts; the Secretary would be 
permitted to add to the specifically listed exclusions.
Section 4105. Facilitating simplified reporting.
  This section amends section 6(1)(A) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2015(c)(1)(A)) to allow States to require periodic reporting of 
changes in household circumstances (as opposed to reporting all 
changes when they occur) by households with elderly or disabled 
members, migrant or seasonal farmworker households, and 
households in which all members are homeless. It also limits 
the frequency with which these households must periodically 
report changes (other than changes whereby they exceed the 
gross monthly income eligibility limits). Elderly or disabled 
households with no earned income could be required to report no 
more often than once a year, migrant/seasonal farmworker and 
homeless households could be required to report no more often 
than once every 4 months.
Section 4106. Accrual of benefits.
  This section amends section 7(i) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2016(i)) to (1) require States to establish procedures for 
recovering electronic benefits from inactive benefit accounts 
and allow them to store recovered benefits off-line if the 
household has not accessed the account after 6 months and (2) 
require States to expunge benefits that have not been accessed 
by a household for 12 months. It also requires state agencies 
to notify households of stored benefits and make them available 
not later than 48 hours after a household's request.
Section 4107. Eligibility for unemployed adults.
  This section amends section 6(o)(2) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2015(o)(2)) to lengthen the eligibility period for single 
adults without dependents who are not working (20+ hours a 
week), in an employment/training program (20+ hours a week), or 
in a workfare program. It lengthens their eligibility period 
from 3 months in every 36-month period to 6 months in every 36-
month period--effective October 1, 2008.
  This section also amends section 6(o)(5) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2014(o)(5)) to eliminate a current provision under which an 
adult without dependents who gains eligibility by meeting 1 of 
the 3 work/training tests noted above, but subsequently fails 
to meet any of the tests, may remain eligible for an additional 
3 consecutive months.
Section 4108. Transitional benefits option.
  This section amends section 11(s)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2020(s)(1)) to allow States to provide transitional food and 
nutrition benefits to households with children that cease to 
receive cash assistance under a state-funded public assistance 
program. Transitional benefits may currently be provided to 
households ceasing to receive cash assistance under the 
federally supported Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
(TANF) program. Transitional benefits consist of 5 months' 
benefits based on the benefit amount immediately prior to 
losing cash assistance.
Section 4109. Updating the minimum benefit.
  This section amends section 8(a) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2017(a)) to increase the value of the minimum monthly benefit 
guaranteed to 1- and 2-person households. It raises it from $10 
to the equivalent of 10 percent of the maximum food stamp 
benefit for a household of one beginning effective in fiscal 
year 2009. This provision also indexes the minimum benefit to 
inflation.
Section 4110. Availability of commodities for the emergency food 
        assistance program.
  Effective on enactment, this section amends section 27(a) of 
the Act (7 U.S.C. 2036(a)) to extend the requirement that the 
Secretary purchase $140 million a year in commodities for The 
Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to fiscal year 2008 
and each following year. For fiscal year 2008 and each 
following year, it also requires the Secretary to purchase an 
additional $110 million a year.

                 PART III--IMPROVING PROGRAM OPERATIONS

Section 4201. Technical clarification regarding eligibility.
  This section amends section 6(k) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2015(k)) to require the Secretary--as part of the Act's mandate 
to bar program eligibility to those fleeing prosecution or 
custody for a felony -- to issue procedures to ensure that 
States use consistent procedures that disqualify individuals 
whom law enforcement authorities are actively seeking for the 
purpose of holding criminal proceedings.
Section 4202. Issuance and use of program benefits.
  Subsection (a) amends section 7 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2016) to 
make electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards the only method of 
issuing program benefits and bars redemption of any benefit 
``coupons'' issued under the Food Stamp program not redeemed 
within 1 year of enactment.
  Subsections (a) and (b) amend the Act (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq) 
at various places to correct references to benefit ``coupons'' 
and other references that do not conform to the electronic 
benefit transfer system for issuing benefits. Subsections (c) 
and (d) amend various laws to correct their references to 
benefits under the retitled Food and Nutrition Act.
Section 4203. Clarification of split issuance.
  This section amends section 7(h) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2016(h)) to require that any method for staggering the issuance 
of benefits throughout a month not include splitting any 
household's monthly benefit into multiple issuances--unless a 
benefit correction is necessary.
Section 4204. State option for telephonic signature.
  This section amends section 11(e)(2)(C) of the Act (7(U.S.C. 
2020(e)(2)(C)) to allow States to establish systems under which 
households may sign an application through a recorded verbal 
assent over the telephone (use of a ``telephonic signature''). 
The system must record the assent and what was assented to, 
include identity and privacy safeguards, not interfere with the 
right to apply in writing, provide a written copy of the 
completed application, and comply with bilingual requirements, 
written application requirements and any other standards set by 
the Secretary.
Section 4205. Privacy protections.
  This section amends section 11(e)(8) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2020(e)(8)) to clarify rules pertaining to the disclosure and 
use of information obtained from applicant households. It would 
permit the use of information obtained from applicant 
households only by persons directly connected with the 
administration/enforcement of the Act, its regulations, Federal 
assistance programs, or federally assisted state programs, and 
it would bar its use by these persons for other than 
administration/enforcement. It also makes clear that States may 
use applicants' information to comply with current requirements 
for certifying schoolchildren as eligible for free school meals 
based on their family's eligibility for food and nutrition 
program benefits.
Section 4206. Study on comparable access to food and nutrition 
        assistance for Puerto Rico.
  This section requires the Secretary to carry out a study of 
the feasibility and effects of treating Puerto Rico as a State 
for purposes of the Food and Nutrition program--in lieu of 
providing annual nutrition assistance block grants to the 
Commonwealth. Mandatory funding of $1 million is provided for 
the study, and a report on the study is due within 1 year of 
enactment.
Section 4207. Civil rights compliance.
  This section amends section 11(c) of the Act (7 (U.S.C. 
2020(c)) to specify in law that administration of the Food and 
Nutrition program must be consistent with the rights of 
households under the Age Discrimination Act, section 504 of the 
Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and 
title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Section 4208. Employment, training, and job retention.
  This section amends section 6(d)(4)(B) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2015(d)(4)(B)) to include--as an employment and training 
program eligible for support under the Food and Nutrition 
program--job retention services provided (for up to 90 days 
after securing employment) to individuals who have received 
other employment/training services under the program.
  This section also amends section 6(d)(4)(F) of the Act (7 
U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)(F)) to permit individuals voluntarily 
participating in employment and training programs to 
participate beyond the required maximum of 20 hours a week (or 
a number of hours based on their benefit divided by the minimum 
wage).
Section 4209. Codification of access rules.
  This section amends section 11(e)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2020(e)(1)) to clarify that States must comply with the 
Secretary's regulations requiring the use of appropriate 
bilingual personnel and materials in administration of the 
program.
Section 4210. Expanding the use of EBT cards at farmers' markets.
  For each of fiscal years 2008 through 2010, this section 
requires the Secretary to make grants to carry out projects to 
expand the number of farmers' markets that accept Food and 
Nutrition program electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. 
Grants may not be made for ongoing costs and may only be 
provided to entities that demonstrate a plan to continue to 
provide EBT card access. Mandatory funding of $5 million is 
provided for the grants.
Section 4211. Review of major changes in program design.
  This section amends section 11(a) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2020(a)) to clarify state responsibility for program 
administration (including cases where the program is operated 
on a county-administered basis) and to require that program 
records kept to determine whether the State is in compliance 
with requirements of the Act/regulations be available for 
review in any action filed by a household to enforce the Act/
regulations.
  This section also amends section 11(a) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2020(a)) to require the Secretary to develop standards for 
identifying major changes in state agency operations--e.g., 
substantial increases in reliance on automated systems, 
potential increases in administrative burdens placed on 
applicant or recipient households. It further mandates that, if 
a state agency implements a major change in operations, it must 
notify the Secretary and collect any information the Secretary 
needs to identify and correct any adverse effects on program 
integrity or access.
Section 4212. Preservation of access and payment accuracy.
  This section amends section 16(g) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2025(g)) to require that computerized systems for state agency 
program operations receiving a Federal matching payment under 
the Act must (1) be tested adequately before and after 
implementation (including through pilot projects evaluated by 
the Secretary) and (2) be operated under a plan for continuous 
updating (to reflect changed policy and circumstances) and 
testing (for the system's effects on households and payment 
accuracy).
Section 4213. Nutrition education.
  This section amends section 4(a) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2013(a)) to specify nutrition education as a basic component of 
the Food and Nutrition program.
  This section also amends section 11(f) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2020(f)) to specify in law that States may implement nutrition 
education programs promoting healthy food choices for those 
eligible for food and nutrition benefits and may receive 
Federal matching funds for these initiatives (at the regular 50 
percent administrative expense matching rate).

                  PART IV--IMPROVING PROGRAM INTEGRITY

Section 4301. Major systems failures.
  This section amends section 13(b) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2022(b)) to allow the Secretary to prohibit a State from 
collecting overissued benefits from households (normally 
required by law) in cases where the Secretary determines that 
the State has overissued benefits to a substantial number of 
households because of a major systemic error (as determined by 
the Secretary).
  This section also amends sections 13(b) and 14(a)(6) of the 
Act (7 U.S.C. 2022(b) and 2023(a)(6)) to permit the Secretary 
to establish and collect (subject to administrative and 
judicial review) claims against States for overissued benefits 
due to major systemic errors.
Section 4302. Performance standards for biometric identification 
        technology.
  This section amends section 16 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2025) to 
establish the conditions under which the Secretary may pay 
States the Federal share (50 percent) of costs associated with 
the acquisition and use of biometric identification technology 
(e.g., fingerprints, retinal scans). In order to gain Federal 
cost-sharing, States must provide a statistically valid and 
otherwise appropriate analysis of the cost effectiveness of 
using biometric identification technology to detect fraud in 
the Food and Nutrition program, demonstrate that the proposed 
technology is cost-effective in reducing fraud and that no 
other fraud-detection methods are at least as cost-effective, 
and demonstrate that the system will comply with the Act's 
privacy protection rules.
Section 4303. Civil penalties and disqualification of retail food 
        stores and wholesale food concerns.
  Paragraph (1) of this section amends section 12(a) of the Act 
(7 U.S.C. 2021(a)) to replace current provisions allowing for 
civil (money) penalties of up to $10,000 per violation against 
retail food stores or wholesale food concerns that have 
violated the Act or regulations under the Act (as an 
alternative to disqualification), if the Secretary determines 
that disqualification would cause hardship to benefit 
recipients, with authority to assess civil penalties of up to 
$100,000 per violation as an alternative in all cases.
  Paragraph (2) of this section amends section 12(b) of the Act 
(7 U.S.C. 2021(b)) to (1) remove minimum disqualification 
periods for first and second retailer/wholesaler offenses 
(i.e., 6 month and 12 months, respectively) and (2) make clear 
that trafficking in EBT cards by stores/wholesalers is a 
violation that may be punished with permanent disqualification.
  Paragraph (3) of this section amends section 12(c) of the Act 
(7 U.S.C. 2021(c)) to permit the Secretary to impose civil 
(money) penalties of up to $100,000 in addition to any 
disqualification imposed on a violating retailer/wholesaler.
  Paragraph (4) of this section amends section 12(d) of the Act 
(7 U.S.C. 2021(d)) to generally ease the conditions under which 
bonds are required of violating retailers/wholesalers wishing 
to be re-approved for participation. The Secretary would be 
permitted to require bonds from retailers/wholesalers 
disqualified for 180+ days (or subjected to a civil penalty in 
lieu of a 180-day+ disqualification). Bonds could be required 
for a period of not more than 5 years. Where a retailer/
wholesaler has been sanctioned for a violation and incurs a 
subsequent violation, the 180-day and 5-year rules would not 
apply (i.e., current law provisions would apply).
  Paragraph (4) of this section also amends section 12 of the 
Act (7 U.S.C. 2021) to require the Secretary, in consultation 
with the Inspector General, to establish procedures under which 
processing of benefit redemptions may be immediately suspended 
pending a disqualification action in the case of a retailer/
wholesaler determined to be engaged in flagrant violations of 
the Act or regulations under the Act.
Section 4304. Funding of employment and training programs.
  Subsection (a) amends section 16(h)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2925(h)(1)) to limit the time unspent Federal funding for basic 
expenses of employment and training programs may remain 
available to 2 years (as opposed to until expended).
  Subsection (b) rescinds unspent employment and training 
program funds for any fiscal year before fiscal year 2008.
Section 4305. Eligibility disqualification.
  This section amends section 6 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2015) to 
disqualify (for a period determined by the Secretary) persons 
found by a court or administrative agency to have intentionally 
obtained cash by misusing program benefits to obtain money for 
return deposits on containers.
  This section also amends section 6 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2015) 
to disqualify (for a period and subject to requirements 
established by the Secretary) persons found by a court or 
administrative agency to have intentionally sold any food that 
was purchased using Food and Nutrition program benefits.

                         PART V--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 4401. Definition of staple foods.
  This section amends section 3 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2012) to 
(1) add dietary supplements to the list of accessory food items 
that are not classified as staple foods for the purpose of 
approving the participation of retail food stores and (2) 
require the Secretary to issue regulations to ensure that 
adequate stocks of staple foods are available on a continuous 
basis in approved retailers.
Section 4402. Accessory food items.
  This section amends section 9 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2018) to 
require that, within 1 year of enactment, the Secretary issue 
proposed regulations defining dietary supplements: 
multivitamin-mineral supplements providing prescribed minimum 
amounts of essential vitamins and minerals that do not exceed 
prescribed daily upper limits and contain prescribed amounts of 
folic acid or calcium. Final regulations as to dietary 
supplements must be issued within 2 years of enactment.
  This section also provides that no dietary supplements may be 
purchased with food and nutrition program benefits until the 
earlier of (1) the date of final regulations with regard to 
dietary supplements or (2) the date the Secretary certifies a 
voluntary system of labeling for identification of eligible 
dietary supplements.
Section 4403. Pilot projects to evaluate health and nutrition promotion 
        in the food and nutrition program.
  This section amends section 17 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2026) to 
require and fund pilot projects to develop and test methods of 
using the Food and Nutrition program to improve the dietary and 
health status of participating households and to reduce 
overweight, obesity, and associated co-morbidities. Among other 
initiatives, projects may include those providing increased 
program benefits, increased access to farmers' markets, 
incentives to participating vendors to increase the 
availability of health foods, adding vendor approval 
requirements with respect to carrying health foods, point-of-
purchase incentives to encourage program participants to buy 
fruits, vegetables, or other healthy foods, and providing 
integrated communication and education programs (including 
school based nutrition coordinators).
  Pilot health and nutrition promotion projects would include 
independent evaluations, and annual reports on the status of 
the projects would be required. Mandatory funding of $50 
million is provided for the projects (and evaluations), and up 
to $25 million must be used for point-of-purchase incentive 
projects.
Section 4404. Bill Emerson national hunger fellows and Mickey Leland 
        international hunger fellows.
  This section replaces the authorization for a Congressional 
Hunger Fellows Program (established by section 4404 of the 
FSRIA of 2002) with authorization for a Bill Emerson National 
Hunger Fellowship program and a Mickey Leland International 
Hunger Fellowship program to be operated through the 
Congressional Hunger Center with the aims of encouraging the 
pursuit of and providing training in careers in humanitarian 
and public service. Competitively chosen fellows would be 
placed with government or private host agencies and receive 
stipends from the fellowship programs. Such sums as are 
necessary are authorized to be appropriated for the programs 
(similar fellowships have been supported through the 
appropriations process in the past).
Section 4405. Hunger-free communities.
  This section requires the Secretary to conduct and 
periodically update a study of major matters relating to the 
problem of hunger in the United States. The study would assess 
data on hunger and food insecurity and measures that have been 
carried out and could be carried out to achieve goals of 
reducing domestic hunger; it also would contain recommendations 
for removing obstacles to achieving domestic hunger goals and 
otherwise reducing domestic hunger.
  This section also authorizes grants to food program service 
providers and local nonprofit organizations (like emergency 
feeding organizations) for the Federal share (up to 80 percent) 
of projects that assess community hunger problems and meet, or 
develop new resources/programs to meet, goals for achieving 
hunger-free communities. Recipient agencies must demonstrate 
that they will collaborate with 1 or more partners. Further, 
this section authorizes matching grants (with an 80 percent 
Federal share) to emergency feeding organizations for 
infrastructure development.
  Appropriations of $50 million a year (fiscal years 2008-2012) 
are authorized.
Section 4406. State performance on enrolling children receiving program 
        benefits for free school meals.
  This section requires the Secretary to submit annual reports 
that assess the effectiveness and practices of each State in 
enrolling school-aged children in households receiving Food and 
Nutrition program benefits for free school meals using direct 
certification (a current-law procedure allowing children 
receiving program benefits to be deemed automatically eligible 
for free school meals).

      SUBTITLE B--FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS

Section 4501. Assessing the nutritional value of the FDPIR food 
        package.
  This section amends section 4(b) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2013(b)) to (1) disqualify from the Food and Nutrition program 
any individual who is disqualified from the Food Distribution 
Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), (2) specifically permit 
the Secretary to purchase, subject to appropriations, bison 
meat for distribution under the Food Distribution Program on 
Indian Reservations--including meat from Native American bison 
producers and producer-owned cooperatives, and (3) to establish 
a traditional foods fund under which, subject to the 
availability of appropriations, the Secretary may purchase 
traditional foods for distribution among recipients of the Food 
Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  This section also requires the Secretary to submit a report 
that describes (1) the process for determining the Food 
Distribution Program on Indian Reservations food package, (2) 
the extent to which the food package addresses nutritional 
needs and conforms to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for 
Americans, addresses Native Americans' nutritional and health 
challenges, and is limited by distribution costs or 
infrastructure challenges, and (3) any plans to revise/update 
the food package (or the rationale for retaining the package).

      SUBTITLE C--EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND COMMODITY 
                       SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD PROGRAM

Section 4601. Emergency food assistance.
  This section amends section 202A of the Emergency Food 
Assistance Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 7503) to require state plans 
of operation for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) 
to be submitted every 3 years, instead of every 4 years.
  This section also amends section 204(a)(1) of the Emergency 
Food Assistance Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 7508(a)(1)) to 
specifically allow the use of funding provided for processing, 
storage, and other distribution costs under The Emergency Food 
Assistance Program (TEFAP) for costs related to donated wild 
game.
Section 4602. Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
  This section amends section 5 of the Agriculture and Consumer 
Protection Act of 1973 (7 U.S.C. 612c note; P.L. 93-86) to 
prohibit the Secretary from requiring a state or local agency 
operating the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to give 
priority to either (1) low-income elderly persons or (2) women, 
infants, and children.

          SUBTITLE D--SENIOR FARMERS' MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM

Section 4701. Exclusion of benefits in determining eligibility for 
        other programs.
  This section amends section 4402 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 3007) to continue mandatory funding (at $15 million a 
year) for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program for 
fiscal year 2008 and each following year. It also provides 
additional mandatory funding to expand the program ($10 million 
a year for fiscal year 2008 and each following year).
  Further, this section amends section 4402 to provide that the 
value of any benefit provided under the Senior Farmers' Market 
Nutrition program not be considered in determining eligibility 
for any other assistance program.
  These provisions are effective on enactment.
Section 4702. Prohibition on collection of sales tax.
  This section amends section 4402 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 3007) to bar from participation in the Senior Farmers' 
Market Nutrition program any State collecting a sales tax on 
program benefits.

    SUBTITLE E--REAUTHORIZATION OF FEDERAL FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Section 4801. Food and nutrition program.
  With two exceptions (noted below), this section indefinitely 
extends all authorities in the Food and Nutrition Act expiring 
at the end of fiscal year 2007 (including the overall 
authorization for appropriations), amending section 11(t)(1) of 
the Act (7 U.S.C. 2020(t)(1)), section 16(h)(1) of the Act (7 
U.S.C. 2025(h)(1)), section 16(k)(3) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2025(k)(3)), section 17(b)(1)(B)(vi) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2026(b)(1)(B)(vi)), section 18(a)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
2027(a)(1)), and section 19(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act 
(2028(a)(2)(A)(ii)).
  Section 4110 of this Act separately extends indefinitely 
funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
  In addition, this section amends section 25 of the Act (7 
U.S.C. 2034) to increase the set-aside for Community Food 
Projects from $5 million to $10 million a year and extends this 
authority through fiscal year 2012.
Section 4802. Commodity distribution.
  Subsection (a) amends section 204(a)(1) of the Emergency Food 
Assistance Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 7508(a)(1)) to (1) increase 
the authorization of appropriations for TEFAP administrative/
distribution costs from $60 million to $100 million a year and 
(2) extend this authorization indefinitely.
  Subsections (b) and (c) amend sections 4(a) and 5 of the 
Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, dealing with 
general authority to distribute commodities and the Commodity 
Supplemental Food Program, (7 U.S.C. 612c note; P.L. 93-86) to 
indefinitely extend authorities expiring at the end of fiscal 
year 2007.
  Subsection (d) amends section 1114(a)(2)(A) of the 
Agriculture and Food Act of 1981, dealing with the use of 
private companies for processing donated commodities into end 
products for recipient agencies, (7 U.S.C. 1431e(2)(A)) to 
extend the expiring authority through fiscal year 2012.
Section 4803. Nutrition information and awareness pilot program.
  This section amends section 4403(f) of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 3171 note; P.L. 107-171) to extend the authorization of 
appropriations for the nutrition information and awareness 
pilot program through fiscal year 2012.

                       SUBTITLE F--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 4901. Purchases of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
  This section amends section 9(j) of the Richard B. Russell 
National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758(j)) to allow schools 
and other institutions receiving assistance under the Richard 
B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition 
Act of 1966 (including the Department of Defense) to use 
geographic preference for the procurement of locally grown 
fruits and vegetables. This section also deletes existing 
provisions that provide authorization for start-up grants to 
defray costs associated with purchasing locally produced foods 
for school meal programs.
Section 4902. Healthy food education and program replicability.
  This section amends section 18(i) of the Richard B. Russell 
National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1769(i)) to (1) expand the 
uses of authorized grants for access to local foods and school 
gardens projects to include promotion of healthy food education 
in school curricula and (2) require that, in making grants for 
access to local foods and school gardens projects, the 
Secretary give priority to those that can be replicated in 
schools.
Section 4903. Fresh fruit and vegetable program.
  Subsection (a) amends the Richard B. Russell National School 
Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) to establish a fresh fruit 
and vegetable program to make free fresh fruits and vegetables 
available to children in elementary schools, beginning with the 
2008-2009 school year. Mandatory funding is provided for fiscal 
year 2008 and each following year, set at $225 million in 
fiscal year 2008 and indexed annually for inflation thereafter. 
In addition, such sums as are necessary are authorized to be 
appropriated to expand the program.
  All States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin 
Islands, and Guam would be eligible for an allocation of 
funding: (1) each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia 
would be eligible for a minimum grant of 1 percent of the funds 
available and (2) all States, the District of Columbia, Puerto 
Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam would be eligible for a 
share of the remaining funds based on their share of the 
population.
  States and other participating jurisdictions would select 
elementary schools to participate based on the proportion of 
children receiving free or reduced-price school meals, plans to 
partner with entities that provide non-Federal resources, and 
efforts to integrate this program with other initiatives to 
promote sound health and nutrition. At least 100 schools chosen 
to participate would have to be operating on Indian 
reservations. Per-student grants would be determined by the 
State and could not be less than $50, nor more than $75, 
annually. All students in participating schools would be 
eligible to receive fruits and vegetables under this program.
  The Secretary would be required to evaluate the program and 
report on the evaluation's results by the end of fiscal year 
2011.
  Subsection (b) amends section 18 of the Richard B. Russell 
National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1769) to terminate 
authority for the current free fresh fruit and vegetable 
program.
Section 4904. Buy American requirements.
  This section states that it is the sense of Congress that the 
Secretary should undertake training, guidance, and enforcement 
of the various Buy American statutory requirements and 
regulations already in effect with respect to the Richard B. 
Russell National School Lunch Act and the Department of Defense 
fresh fruit and vegetable distribution program.
Section 4905. Minimum purchase of fruits, vegetables, and nuts through 
        section 32 to support domestic nutrition assistance programs.
  This section specifies that, in lieu of the purchases 
required by section 10603 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 612c-
4), the Secretary shall purchase fruits, vegetables, and nuts 
for use in domestic nutrition assistance programs, specifying 
that such purchases shall be $390,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, 
$393,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, $399,000,000 for fiscal year 
2010, $403,000,000 for fiscal year 2011, and $406,000,000 for 
fiscal year 2012 and each fiscal year thereafter. It further 
specifies that the form of purchase may be frozen, canned, 
dried, or fresh, and that the Secretary may offer value-added 
products under this section.
  The purchase amounts specified in this section represent the 
Congressional Budget Office's estimate of both entitlement and 
bonus purchases for fruits, vegetables, and nuts under current 
policies. As such, it is understood by the committee that the 
intent of this section is to ensure minimum purchase levels 
consistent with Congressional Budget Office baselines and 
projections rather than compelling additional new spending.
  The Committee wishes to note that, if the purpose of this 
provision was to compel additional spending that is not already 
assumed in the Congressional Budget Office baseline, the 
provision would undoubtedly be assigned such a cost in the 
Congressional Budget Office estimate of this provision.
Section 4906. Conforming amendments to renaming of food stamp program.
  This section makes amendments to the Food and Nutrition Act 
of 2007 and various other laws to conform to the renaming of 
the Food Stamp Act and the Food Stamp program.
Section 4907. Effective and implementation dates.
  Subsection (a) establishes the general effective date for 
amendments made in title IV as April 1, 2008--except as 
otherwise provided.
  Subsection (b) provides that States may implement amendments 
made by part II of subtitle A of title IV (dealing with 
improving program benefits) on a date determined by the State 
between April 1, 2008, and October 1, 2008. It also provides 
that States may implement sections 4103 and 4104 (dealing with 
dependent care deductions and retirement and education savings 
as assets) according to households' certification periods.
Section 4908. Application.
  This section terminates certain amendments made by title IV, 
effective September 30, 2012. They include (1) all the 
provisions of part II of subtitle A, except those dealing with 
simplified reporting, accrual of benefits, and basic funding 
for TEFAP, (2) section 4208 (dealing with provisions governing 
operation of employment and training programs), (3) section 
4701(a)(3) (dealing with additional funds for the Senior 
Farmers' Market Nutrition program), (4) section 4801(g) 
(dealing with Community Food Projects), and (5) section 4903 
(dealing with the fresh fruit and vegetable program).

                            TITLE V--CREDIT

                    SUBTITLE A--FARM OWNERSHIP LOANS

Section 5001. Direct loans.
  Amends section 302(a)(2) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1922] by clarifying that the 
Secretary may take into consideration all farming experience of 
a loan applicant when considering eligibility for farm 
ownership loans.
Section 5002. Purpose of loans.
  Amends section 303 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1923(a)(1)] by adding a new paragraph 
(F) that allows beginning farmers and ranchers the ability to 
refinance a delinquent guaranteed farm ownership loan with a 
direct farm ownership loan.
Section 5003. Soil and water conservation and protection.
  Amends section 304 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1924]. Subsection (a)(4) allows for 
the transition to organic and sustainable farming practices as 
eligible loan purpose under the conservation programs in the 
Food Security Act of 1985. Paragraph (6) allows for the 
implementation of one or more practices under the environmental 
quality section of the Food Security Act of 1985 as an eligible 
loan purpose.
  Subsection (b) is amended by establishing that beginning 
farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers and 
ranchers shall be given priority for soil and water 
conservation and protection loans.
  Subsection (c) eliminates the loan restriction of $50,000.
Section 5004. Limitation on amount of farm ownership loans.
  Amends section 305(a)(2) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Investment Act [7 U.S.C. 1925(a)(2)] by increasing the direct 
farm ownership loan limit to $300,000.
Section 5005. Down payment loan program.
  Amends section 310E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Investment Act [7 U.S.C 1935]. Subsection (a)(1) allows 
socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to be eligible for 
the down payment loan program.
  Subsection (b) eliminates the purchase price restriction of 
$250,000 and replaces it with a loan size restriction of 
$500,000. The portion of the loan the Farm Service Agency 
finances can not be greater than 45 percent of $500,000.
  Subsection (b)(2) adjusts the interest rate for the down 
payment loan to the greater of four percent below the interest 
rate for the regular farm ownership loan or two percent.
  Subsection (b)(3) extends the duration of the loan from 15 to 
20 years.
  Subsection (b) is amended by adding a new paragraph (4) that 
requires the Secretary to establish annual performance goals to 
promote the use of the down payment loan program and joint 
financing participation loans.
Section 5006. Beginning farmer and rancher contract land sales program.
  Amends section 310F of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Investment Act [7 U.S.C. 1936]. Subsection (a) is amended by 
making the land contract sales program a nationwide program.
  Subsection (b) creates conditions in which a land contract 
may receive a Farm Service Agency guarantee. A qualified 
beginning farmer or rancher must have a credit history that 
includes a record of satisfactory debt repayment and 
demonstrates that they are unable to obtain sufficient credit 
without a FSA guarantee. A loan made by the private seller must 
meet underwriting criteria as determined by the Secretary and a 
commercial lending institution shall serve as an escrow agent 
for the contract. At the end of the contract the beginning 
farmer or rancher must own and operate the farm land or ranch 
land.
  Subsection (c) establishes that a beginning farmer or rancher 
must have a five percent down payment to qualify for the 
program and the maximum purchase price of the farm or farmland 
may not exceed $500,000.
  Subsection (d) establishes that the FSA guarantee may not 
exceed 10 years.
  Subsection (e) establishes that the private seller can get a 
prompt payment guarantee from the Farm Service Agency for 
approved land contract sales to beginning farmers and ranchers. 
The private seller may choose either a prompt payment guarantee 
of three amortized annual installments or an amount equal to 
three annual installments of the loan.

                      SUBTITLE B--OPERATING LOANS

Section 5101. Farming experience as eligibility requirement.
  Amends section 311(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Investment Act [7 U.S.C. 1941] by clarifying that the Secretary 
may take into consideration all farming experience of a loan 
applicant when considering eligibility for farm operating 
loans.
  Subsection (c)(1)(C) extends by one year the period a 
participant is eligible for direct operating loan assistance.
Section 5102. Limitations on amount of operating loans.
  Amends section 313(a)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Investment Act [7 U.S.C. 1943(a)(1)] by increasing the direct 
farm operating loan limit to $300,000.
Section 5103. Limitation on period borrowers are eligible for 
        guaranteed assistance.
  Repeals section 319 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1949]. This section provided a 
limitation on the number of years a borrower is eligible to 
receive guaranteed assistance on operating loans.

                 SUBTITLE C--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Section 5201. Beginning farmer and rancher individual development 
        accounts pilot program.
  The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act is amended by 
adding after section 333A [7 U.S.C. 1983(a)] a new section 
333B. This section establishes the beginning farmer and rancher 
individual development accounts pilot program that will provide 
a matched savings for the purpose of assisting beginning 
farmers and ranchers establish a pattern of savings that will 
help them establish successful farms.
  Subsection (a) creates definitions that will be used 
throughout this section.
  Subsection (b) establishes that the Secretary shall establish 
a pilot program to be administered by the Farm Service Agency, 
in at least 15 States. Each qualified entity that receives a 
grant under this pilot program must come up with a 25 percent 
non-Federal match of the grant awarded. The qualified entity 
will enter into a contract with an eligible participant. The 
contract requires a monthly deposit into a personal savings 
account by an eligible participant; an agreement on the 
eligible expenditure for which the savings will be used when 
the contract is completed; a match of between to 3 to 1 for 
every dollar saved by the eligible participant is provided by 
the eligible entity; and a participant is limited to $9,000 in 
matching funds for each fiscal year of the contract.
  Subsection (c) sets up the application process for eligible 
entities to receive a grant to administer the program. Eligible 
entities must provide a 25 percent non-Federal match of the 
awarded grant amount. When considering applications for the 
program the Secretary shall give preference to qualified 
entities that have a track record of serving eligible 
participants and expertise in dealing with financial management 
aspects of farming.
  Subsection (d) allows the Secretary to issue grants of not 
more that $300,000 to qualified entities to carry out the 
demonstration program.
  Subsection (e) requires qualified entities that receive a 
grant to submit an annual report to the Secretary that includes 
an evaluation of progress of the demonstration; amounts in the 
reserve fund; amounts deposited in each individual development 
account; amounts withdrawn from the individual development 
account and the purpose for why the money was withdrawn; and 
information regarding the demonstration program and 
participants.
  Subsection (f) allows the Secretary to promulgate regulations 
to ensure that the program includes provisions for the 
termination of demonstration programs; control of the reserve 
fund in case of termination of the demonstration program; 
transfer of demonstration programs to other qualified entities; 
and remissions from a reserve fund in which a demonstration 
program terminates without transfer to a new qualified entity.
  Subsection (g) authorizes an appropriation of $5,000,000 in 
funding for each fiscal year 2008 through 2012. The Secretary 
shall use not more than 10 percent of the funds available to 
administer the program and provide technical assistance to 
qualified entities.
Section 5202. Inventory sales preferences; loan fund set-asides.
  Amends section 335(c) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1985(c)] by making socially 
disadvantaged farmers and ranchers eligible for inventory 
property in the first 135 days the Secretary is able to sell 
the inventory property. If one or more eligible socially 
disadvantaged or beginning farmers offer to purchase the same 
property in the first 135 days, the committee expects that the 
buyer should be chosen randomly.
  Section 346(b)(2) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1994(b)(2)] is amended by increasing 
the percentage of direct farm ownership loans reserved for 
beginning farmers and ranchers from 70 percent to 75 percent. 
The amount of direct farm ownership loan funds set aside for 
the down payment loan program and joint financing arrangement 
is increase to 66 percent.
  Section 346(b)(2)(A)(ii)(III) is amended by increasing the 
amount of direct operating loans set aside for beginning 
farmers and ranchers to 50 percent through 2012.
  Section 346(b)(2)(B)(i) is amended by adjusting the level of 
guaranteed farm ownership loans set aside for beginning farmers 
and ranchers from 25 to 40 percent.
Section 5203. Transition to private commercial or other sources of 
        credit.
  Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act [7 
U.S.C. 1992] to create a new section which requires the 
Secretary to establish a plan and promulgate regulations to 
promote the goal of transitioning borrowers to private 
commercial credit and other sources of credit in the shortest 
amount of time by using loan servicing programs, market 
placement, and borrower training programs.
Section 5204. Loan authorization levels.
  Amends section 346(b)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1994(b)(1)] by increasing the loan 
authorization for FSA loan programs to $4,226,000,000.
  Section 346(b)(2)(A) increases the loan authorization for 
direct loans to $1,200,000,000. The authorization for the 
direct farm ownership loan is increased to $350,000,000 and the 
direct operating loan increased to $850,000,000.
Section 5205. Interest rate reduction program.
  Amends section 351(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1999(a)] to clarify that interest 
assistance shall be available for new guaranteed operating 
loans or restructured guaranteed operating loans.
Section 5206. Deferral of shared appreciation recapture amortization.
  Amends section 353(e)(7)(D) of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Investment Act [ 7 U.S.C. 2001(e)(7)(D)] to clarify that 
deferral is an available servicing tool and limit any deferral 
to one year.
Section 5207. Rural development, housing, and farm program activities.
  Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act by 
adding a new section after section 364 [7 U.S.C. 20006f)]. 
Section 365 would prohibit the Secretary from completing or 
entering into a contract with a private party to carry out 
competitive sourcing activities relating to rural development, 
housing, and farm loan programs at the United State Department 
of Agriculture.

                      SUBTITLE D--FARM CREDIT ACT

Section 5301. Authority to pass along cost of insurance premiums.
  Amends section 1.12 (b) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 
[12U.S.C. 2020(b)] to allow Farm Credit System banks the 
flexibility when deciding how to pass along insurance premiums 
to their affiliates. This section also specifies that premiums 
are to be computed in an equitable manor.
  Amends section 5.58(10) of the Farm Credit act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 22771-7(10)] to grant the Farm Credit System Insurance 
Corporation the power to adopt rules and regulations concerning 
the authority of banks to pass along the cost of insurance 
premiums.
Section 5302. Technical correction.
  Amends section 5301 of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 U.S.C. 
2124(b)] by making a technical correction. In the first 
sentence ``per'' is struck and replaced by ``par''.
Section 5303. Confirmation of the chairman.
  Amends section 5.8(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 2242(a)] by requiring the advice and consent of the 
Senate for the confirmation of chairman of the Farm Credit 
Administration.
Section 5304. Premiums.
  Amends section 5.55(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 2277a-4(a)] to allow the total insured debt obligations 
on which premiums are assessed to be subtracted by 90-percent 
of Federal Government guaranteed loans and investments and 80 
percent of State government-guaranteed loans and investments.
  Subsection (b) is amended to allow Farm Credit System 
Insurance Corporation to collect premiums more frequently than 
annually.
  Subsection (c) is amended to adjust the outstanding insured 
obligations of all insured Banks by excluding an amount equal 
to the sum of 90 percent of Federal Government guaranteed loans 
and investments, and 80 percent of State government-guaranteed 
loans and investments when calculating the ``secure base 
amount''.
  Subsection (d) is amended to determine principal outstanding 
on all loans made by an insured System bank or the amount 
outstanding on all investments made by an insured System bank 
for the purpose of premium calculations and ``secure base 
amount'' collections.
  Subsection (e) is amended to allow the Farm Credit System 
Insurance Fund to use end of the year numbers rather than the 
average daily balance when calculating excess funds and 
simplifies the current formula concerning payments from the 
Allocated Insurance Reserve Accounts.
Section 5305. Certification of premiums.
  Amends section 5.56(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 2277a-5] by allowing Farm Credit System banks to collect 
insurance premiums quarterly rather than annually.
Section 5306. Rural utility loans.
  Amends section 8.0(9) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 2279aa(9)] by adding a new subparagraph to allow rural 
utility loans (loans, or interest in a loan, for electric and 
telephone facilities) to be considered as qualified loans for 
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation financing.
  Amends section 8.6(a)(1) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 2279aa-6(a)(1)] by making conforming technical changes 
to standards established under section 8.8(a) related to 
agricultural real estate loans and rural utility loans.
  Amends section 8.8(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 
U.S.C. 2279aa -8] by authorizing the creation of appropriate 
underwriting, security and repayment standards for agricultural 
mortgage loans and rural utility loans.
  Subsection (b) sets minimum criteria standards for 
agricultural real-estate loans focused on individual borrower 
traits (loan to value ratio, sufficient cash flow, 
documentation standards, appraisal process, actively engaged in 
farming, speculation in real estate and consideration of real 
estate tax purposes). These standards do not apply to rural 
utility loans.
  Subsection (c)(1) establishes loan amounts for agricultural 
production. This limitation does not apply to rural utilities 
loans.
  Section 8.32(a)(1) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 U.S.C. 
2279bb-1(a)(1)] is amended by creating a new subparagraph (B) 
that directs the Farm Credit Administration to establish a risk 
based capital standard for rural utility loans.
Section 5307. Equalization of loan-making powers of certain district 
        associations.
  Amends the Farm Credit Act of 1971 [12 U.S.C. 2279] by 
establishing a new section 7.7 which intends to equalize 
lending authorities among Farm Credit Associations in Alabama, 
Mississippi, and Louisiana.
  Subsection (a) allows Federal Land Banks or Credit 
Associations the ability to make short-and intermediate-term 
loans and allows Production Credit Associations the ability to 
make long-term loan term loans. These new authorities can only 
be exercised if the board of directors of the association and 
the majority of voting stockholders approve.
  Subsection (b) provides that Farm Credit Administration the 
authority issue charter amendments to reflect the new lending 
authority.

                       SUBTITLE E--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 5401. Loans to purchasers of highly-fractioned lands.
  Amends the Indian Land Consolidation Act [25 U.S.C. 488] by 
giving the Secretary of Agriculture the discretionary authority 
to make and insure loans to Native American Indian farmers or 
ranchers for the purpose of consolidating highly fractionated 
lands.
Section 5402. Determination on merits of Pigford claims.
  Established a cause of action for any Pigford claimant who 
has not previously obtained a determination on the merits of 
Pigford v. Glickman.
  Subsection (c) provides a limitation of $100,000,000 on 
payments and debt relief pursuant to this cause of action.
  Subsection (d) establishes the intent of Congress that this 
cause of action be liberally construed so as to effectuate its 
remedial purpose of giving a full determination on the merits 
for each claimant denied a determination under the consent 
decree.
  Subsection (e) establishes no later than 60 days after the 
Secretary has received notification by a claimant the Secretary 
shall provide the clamant a report on farm loans that were made 
with in the claimant's county or adjacent counties during the 
year the claimant was denied a loan. The report shall include 
the race of an applicant; date of application; date of loan 
decision; the location of the office making the loan decision; 
and all relevant data to the process of deciding a loan.
  Subsection (f) states any person filing a complaint for 
discrimination under this cause of action may seek liquidation 
damages of $50,000, discharge of debt incurred due to 
discrimination, and a tax payment in the amount equal to 25 
percent of the liquidation damages.
  Subsection (g) states the Secretary may not begin 
acceleration or foreclosure of a loan if the borrower is a 
Pigford claimant and makes a prima facie case that the 
foreclosure is related to a Pigford claim.
  Subsection (h) provided $100,000,000 from the Commodity 
Credit Corporation for this cause of action and also authorizes 
an appropriation of such sums as necessary to carry out this 
cause of action.
Section 5403. Sense of the Senate relating to claims brought by 
        socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.
  A sense of the Senate that the Secretary should resolve all 
claims and class actions brought against the United States 
Department of Agriculture by socially disadvantaged farmers or 
ranchers including Native Americans, Hispanics, and female 
farmers regarding discrimination in farm loan program 
participation.
Section 5404. Eligibility of equine farmers and ranchers for emergency 
        loans.
  Amends section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1961(a)] by allowing equine farmers 
and ranchers to be eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency 
loans.

               TITLE VI--RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT

        SUBTITLE A--CONSOLIDATED FARM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ACT

Section 6001. Water, waste disposal and wastewater facility grants.
  Reauthorizes section 306(a)(2)(B)(vii) of the Consolidated 
Farm and Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012 which 
authorizes grants to finance projects for the development, 
storage, treatment, purification, or distribution of water or 
the collection, treatment, or disposal of waste in rural areas.
Section 6002. Rural business opportunity grants.
  Reauthorizes section 306(a)(11)(D) of the Consolidated Farm 
and Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012 which 
authorizes grants available for business development, planning, 
coordination, training or technical assistance in rural areas.
Section 6003. Child day care facility grants, loans, and loan 
        guarantees.
  Amends section 306(a)(19)--the Community Facilities Program--
of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act by providing 
mandatory funding of $40,000,000 available until expended 
starting in 2008, allowing the Secretary to make grants, loans 
and loan guarantees to pay the Federal share of the cost of 
developing and constructing day care facilities for children in 
rural areas and towns with populations under 20,000.
Section 6004. Rural water and wastewater circuit rider program.
  Reauthorizes section 306(a)(22) of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act which requires the Secretary to establish 
a national rural water and wastewater rider program to provide 
technical assistance to help bring small public water systems 
into compliance with state and national environmental 
regulations. The authorization is increased from $15,000,000 to 
$20,000,000.
Section 6005. Multijurisdictional regional planning organizations.
  Reauthorizes section 306(a)(23)(E) of the Consolidated Farm 
and Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012 which 
authorizes grants to multijurisdictional regional planning and 
development organizations to pay for assisting local 
governments to improve their infrastructure, services and 
business development capabilities.
Section 6006. Rural hospital loan guarantees.
  Amends section 306(a)(24) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act by adding a new provision providing $50,000,000 
available until expended starting in mandatory funds for loans 
and loan guarantees for rehabilitating and improving hospitals 
with not more than 100 acute beds in rural areas. Priority 
shall be given to the acquisition of equipment related to 
health care improvements and interoperability. Priority will 
also be given to equipment purchased collectively among 
hospitals to lower costs. It is not the Committee's intention 
to have these funds used for the construction of new hospitals.
Section 6007. Tribal college and university essential community 
        facilities.
  Reauthorizes section 306(a)(25)(C) of the Consolidated Farm 
and Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012 which 
authorizes grants to tribal colleges and universities to 
develop essential community facilities. This also strikes the 
provision requiring that the maximum amount of a grant shall 
not exceed 75 percent and replaces it with a requirement that 
the grant amount shall not be less than 95 percent of the cost 
of developing the facility.
Section 6008. Community facility loans and grants for freely associated 
        States and outlying areas.
  Reserves 0.5 percent of community facility loans and grants 
for freely associated States and outlying areas. If after 180 
days within a fiscal year, an insufficient number of 
applications have been received to account for 0.5 percent then 
the unused funds shall be reallocated to make loans and grants 
to otherwise eligible entities located in the States.
Section 6009. Priority for community facility loan and grant projects 
        with high non-Federal share.
  Provides that priority will be given to community facility 
projects with non-Federal funding that are substantially 
greater than the minimum requirement (as determined by the 
Secretary).
Section 6010. SEARCH grants.
  Provides that in addition to other technical assistance 
funds, not more than 4 percent of funds available for water, 
waste disposal and essential community facilities may be 
provided to financially distressed communities with a 
population of 2500 or less for grants to conduct feasibility 
studies, design and technical assistance for water and waste 
disposal and wastewater facilities. Provides for 100 percent of 
grant funding, and minimizes documentation requirements.
  The Committee expects the Secretary to develop a highly 
simplified application for a SEARCH grant which limits the 
information required to the minimum needed for evaluation of 
the proposal. The Secretary should take into account the 
limited resources of the communities when drafting this 
application minimizes the application cost. The Committee's 
intention is that a community will meet the definition of 
``financially distressed'' if the median household income of 
the probable area to be served by the proposed project is 
either below the poverty line or below 80 percent of the 
statewide nonmetropolitan median household income based on 
available historic statistical information going back to the 
last decennial census if no more recent data is available. It 
is the Committee's expectation that the latest data on income 
be used without the taking of an income survey that would 
escalate the cost.
Section 6011. Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grant 
        Program.
  Reauthorizes section 306A(i)(2) through 2012 which provides 
for Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance grants to 
assist rural residents and small communities in securing 
adequate quantities of safe water.
Section 6012. Water systems for rural and native villages in Alaska.
  Reauthorizes section 306(D)(d)(1) of the Consolidated Farm 
and Rural Development Act which authorizes grants to the State 
of Alaska for rural or native villages to develop and construct 
water and wastewater systems for improving sanitation 
conditions. This section further amends section 306D to provide 
that the Denali Commission may be eligible for grants to 
improve solid waste disposal sites that are contaminating or 
threatening to contaminate rural drinking water in Alaska.
Section 6013. Grants to develop wells in rural isolated areas.
  Extends the authorization to provide grants for nonprofit 
organizations to finance the construction, refurbishing and 
servicing of individually owned households and household water 
well systems.
  It allows the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit 
organizations to develop and construct household, shared, and 
community wells in isolated areas where a traditional water 
system is not practical due to distance, geography and limited 
number of households present. The grant amount is limited to 
$50,000 and the amount that is 75 percent of the costs of a 
single well and associated system. Prohibits grants in areas 
where the majority of users' household incomes exceed the 
nonmetropolitan median household income. Authorizes $10,000,000 
for each fiscal year 2008 through 2012.
  It is the Committee's intent that a project under this 
section may include one or more than one well. The limit of 
$50,000 applies to each individual well and its associated 
pipes to the homes that well services. It is the Committees 
intent that the program generally, but not exclusively, 
provides assistance to existing housing rather than be a 
benefit that promotes the construction of new homes in isolated 
areas. While wells shall be tested annually, the Committee 
expects that wells with water quality difficulties may be 
required to be tested more often.
Section 6014. Cooperative equity security guarantee.
  Amends section 310B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to allow Business and Industry guarantees for 
loan made for the purpose of preferred stock or similar equity 
issued by a cooperative organization or a fund that invests 
primarily in cooperative organizations
Section 6015. Rural cooperative development grants.
  Reauthorizes section 310B(e)(9) of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012, which 
authorizes the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit 
institutions for establishing and operating centers for rural 
cooperative development to assist in the development of 
cooperative businesses in rural areas. This section amends 
section 310B(e) to direct the Secretary to provide multiyear 
grants (not to exceed 3 years) to centers for rural cooperative 
development that have successfully demonstrated a proven track 
record of meeting the goals of the program and have received 
funding under this subsection for 3 earlier fiscal years. This 
provision establishes a cooperative research program, and 
creates a reserve for socially disadvantaged communities.
Section 6016. Grants to broadcasting systems.
  Reauthorizes section 310(f)(3) of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012, which 
authorizes the Secretary to make grants to statewide private 
nonprofit public television systems whose coverage area is 
predominately rural for the purpose of demonstrating the 
effectiveness of such systems in providing information on 
agriculture and other issues of importance to rural residents.
Section 6017. Locally-produced agricultural food products.
  Amends section 310B(g) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1932(g)] by adding paragraph (9), 
which authorizes the Secretary to make or guarantee loans to 
entities to establish and facilitate enterprises that process, 
distribute, aggregate, store, and market locally produced 
agricultural food products.
  Subparagraph (A) provides definitions for ``locally produced 
agricultural food product'' and ``underserved community'' under 
this section.
  Subparagraph (B)(i) establishes a loan and loan guarantee 
program to individuals, cooperatives, businesses and other 
entities to establish and facilitate enterprises that process, 
distribute, aggregate, store, and market locally produced 
agricultural food products.
  Subparagraph (B)(ii) requires recipients to make a reasonable 
effort to work with retail facilities distributing these 
products to inform consumers that products are locally 
produced.
  Subparagraph (B)(iii) gives priority to projects that support 
community development, farm and ranch income and projects that 
benefit underserved communities.
  Subparagraph (B)(iv) allows the Secretary to provide up to 
$250,000 in loan or loan guarantee funds to retail or 
institutional facilities to modify and update facilities and 
provide outreach to consumers.
  Subparagraph (B)(v) requires an annual report to the House 
and Senate Committees on Agriculture on the benefits of the 
projects.
  Subparagraph (B)(vi) reserves not less than 5 percent of the 
funds made available in this subsection to carry out this 
program.
Section 6018. Center for healthy food access and enterprise 
        development.
  Amends section 310B(g)(9) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1932(g)(9)] by adding subparagraph 
(C), which authorizes the Secretary to establish a center for 
Healthy Food Access and Enterprise Development. The center 
shall contract with one or more nonprofit entities to provide 
technical assistance and disseminate information concerning the 
best practices for aggregating, storing, processing, and 
marketing of locally produced agricultural food products. This 
provision authorizes an appropriation of $1,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 6019. Appropriate technology transfer for rural areas.
  Amends section 310B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to require the Secretary to establish a 
national appropriate technology transfer to assist agricultural 
producers seeking information regarding reduction of input 
costs, conservation of energy resources, diversification of 
operations through energy crops and energy generation 
facilities, and expansion of markets through the use of 
sustainable farming practices. The Secretary will carry out the 
program by making a grant to, or entering into a cooperative 
agreement with a national nonprofit agricultural assistance 
organization. Authorizes $5,000,000 for each fiscal year from 
2008 through 2012.
Section 6020. Rural economic area partnership zones.
  Amends section 310B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to require the Secretary to continue carrying 
out the existing rural economic area partnerships in New York, 
North Dakota, and Vermont in accordance with the terms and 
conditions contained in the memorandums of agreement entered 
into by the Secretary.
Section 6021. Definitions.
  Amends section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to redefine rural area and add definitions for 
Sustainable Agriculture and Technical Assistance.
  Rural Area: Creates a standard definition of rural area that 
excludes (1) cities of 50,000 or more, (2) any urbanized area 
contiguous and adjacent to a city of 50,000 or more, and (3) 
any collection of contiguous census blocks with a housing 
density of 200 housing units per square mile that is adjacent 
to a city of 50,000 or adjacent to an urbanized area. There is 
a modification for Oahu and Puerto Rico where cities and 
counties are coterminous. The Secretary may make an estimation 
in regard to the 3rd factor. However, an applicant can appeal 
on the facts if the estimation is in error.
  Sustainable agriculture is defined to mean a system of plant 
and animal production that will satisfy human food and fiber 
needs, enhance environmental quality and natural resources, 
make efficient use of nonrenewable resources and integrate 
biological cycles and controls, sustain the viability of the 
farming operation, and enhance the quality of life for farmers 
and society.
  Technical assistance is defined to include managerial, 
financial, operational, and scientific analysis and 
consultation.
Section 6022. Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program.
  Amends subtitle D of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 2006f] by authorizing the Secretary 
to establish a Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program.
  Subsection (a) provides definitions for Indian tribe, low-or-
moderate income individual, microcredit, microenterprise 
development organization, rural capacity building service, 
rural microenterprise, and Secretary.
  Subsection (b)(1) establishes a rural microenterprise 
program.
  Subsection (b)(2) provides the purpose of the rural 
microenterprise program as providing low-or-moderate income 
individuals with the skills necessary to establish a new rural 
microenterprise and to continue technical and financial 
assistance.
  Subsection (b)(3) authorizes the Secretary to make grants to 
microenterprise development organizations to provide training, 
operational support, business planning assistance, market 
development assistance, and other related services to low or 
moderate-income individuals with rural microenterprises. These 
will assist in researching and developing the best practices to 
delivering this support and carrying out such other projects as 
the Secretary determines to be consistent with the purposes of 
this section. The Secretary shall ensure that grants include 
organizations of varying sizes and that serve racially and 
ethnically diverse populations. Subsection provides for a 75 
percent cost share.
  Subsection (b)(4) authorizes the Secretary to establish a 
rural microloan program, the purpose of which is to provide 
technical and financial assistance to rural microenterprises 
that are composed of low-or-moderate income individuals or are 
in areas that have lost population. The Secretary may make 
fixed interest rate microloans to startup, newly established, 
and growing microenterprises. Direct loans under this paragraph 
shall bear an interest rate of 1 percent and may not exceed 
terms of 20 years. Recipients must establish loan loss reserve 
funds in an amount equal to at least 5 percent of the 
outstanding balance. The Secretary may permit a deferral of 
payments during the two-year beginning period. Organizations 
receiving loans are eligible for technical assistance grants, 
requiring not less than 15 percent in matching funds.
  Subsection (c) provides that not more than 15 percent of 
assistance received by a microenterprise can be used to pay 
administrative expenses.
  Subsection (d) authorizes $40,000,000 in mandatory funding 
available until expended starting in fiscal year 2008. No less 
than $25,000,000 shall be used to carry out subsection (b)(3). 
No less than $15,000,000 shall be used to carry out subsection 
(b)(4), of which no more than $7,000,000 shall be used to 
support direct loans.
Section 6023. Artisanal cheese centers.
  Amends subtitle D of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to require the Secretary to establish artisanal 
cheese centers for education and technical assistance for the 
manufacturing and marketing of artisanal cheese by small and 
medium-sized producers and businesses.
Section 6024. National rural development partnership.
  Reauthorizes section 378 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act through fiscal year 2012, which requires the 
Secretary to continue the National Rural Development 
Partnership to empower and build capacity of States and rural 
communities to design flexible and innovative responses to 
their own rural development needs with local determination of 
progress and selection of projects and activities.
Section 6025. Historic barn preservation.
  Amends section 379A of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to slightly modify grant eligibility and 
reauthorizes the funding through fiscal year 2012. This program 
authorizes the Secretary to make grants or enter into contracts 
or cooperative agreements to rehabilitate preserve, identify, 
and research historic barns.
Section 6026. NOAA weather transmitters.
  Reauthorizes section 379B(d) of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012, it authorizes 
the Secretary to make grants to public and nonprofit entities 
and borrowers of loans made by the Rural Utilities Service, for 
the Federal share of the cost of acquiring radio transmitters 
to increase coverage of rural areas by the all hazards weather 
radio broadcast systems of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration.
Section 6027. Grants to train farm workers in new technologies and to 
        train farm workers in specialized skills necessary for higher 
        value crops.
  Reauthorizes section 379C(c) of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012, which 
authorizes the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit 
organizations or to a consortium of nonprofit organization, 
agri-businesses, State and local governments, agricultural 
labor organizations, farmer or rancher cooperatives and 
community-based organizations with the capacity to train farm 
workers to use new technologies and develop specialized skills 
for agricultural development.
Section 6028. Grants for expansion of employment opportunities for 
        individuals with disabilities in rural areas.
  Subtitle D of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 
is amended to authorize the Secretary to make grants to 
nonprofit organizations to expand employment opportunities for 
individuals with disabilities in rural areas. Grants will be 
used to expand or enhance employment opportunities or self-
employment and entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. 
These nonprofits must focus on: serving the needs of 
individuals with disabilities; knowledge and expertise in 
employment of and advising on accessibility issues for 
individuals with disabilities; possess expertise in removing 
barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities; have 
existing relationships with national organizations focused on 
needs of rural areas; affiliates in a majority of the States; 
and a working relationship with USDA. Authorizes $2,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 6029. Delta Regional Authority.
  Reauthorizes sections 382M(a), 382N and 379D(b) of the 
Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act through fiscal year 
2012, which authorizes the Delta Regional Authority and 
provides that the Secretary may make grants to assist in the 
development of state-of-the art technology in animal nutrition 
to relieve severe economic conditions in the Delta region.
  Amends section 382(C) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act to add an authorization within the Delta 
Regional Authority for grants to the Delta Health Alliance for 
purposes of developing health care services, health educational 
programs, health care job training, and public health 
facilities.
Section 6030. Northern Great Plains Regional Authority.
  Reauthorizes sections 383M(a) and 383N of the Consolidated 
Farm and Rural Development Act through fiscal year 2012, which 
authorizes the Northern Great Plains Regional Authority. Amend 
383B(2) by allowing the authority to organize, even if the 
Federal member of the authority is not confirmed by the Senate 
within 180 days of enactment and for the election of an Indian 
chairperson if that person is not confirmed within 180 days..
  Amends 383B(g) to update the Federal share of the 
administrative expenses as follows: 100 percent for 2008 and 
2009; 75 percent for 2010; 50 percent for 2011 and 
thereafter.Adds a new provision to authorize assistance to 
States in developing regional plans to address multi-state 
economic issues. These include renewable energy development and 
transmission, transportation planning, information technology, 
movement of freight and individuals within the region, 
federally-funded research at institutions of higher education 
and conservation land management.
  Amends section 383F (as redesignated) to ensure that the 
authority is able to make grants to not only local development 
districts, but also multi-state and regional development 
districts as well as organizations.
  Amends section 383G (as redesignated) to change from 75 
percent to 50 percent the required allocation to distressed 
counties and isolate areas.
  Amends subsection (g)(1) by providing 100 percent Federal 
cost share for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, 75 percent Federal 
cost share for fiscal year 2010, and 50 percent Federal cost 
share for fiscal year 2011 and beyond.
  Amends subsection (a) by providing a definition for 
Multistate and Local Development District or Organization.
  Amends subsection (b) by extending the current grant program 
to multistate, local and regional development districts.
  Amends section 383G of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 2009bb-5] by committing 50 percent of 
the appropriations made available under section 2009bb-12 to 
distressed counties or isolated areas of distress in the 
region.
  Amends section 383H of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 2009bb-6] by extending program to 
multistate, regional, and local development districts and 
organizations.
  Amends section 383I of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 2009bb-7] by extending program to 
multistate development.
  Amends section 383N of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 2009bb-12] by reauthorizing the 
program through 2012.
  Amends section 383O of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act [7 U.S.C. 2009bb-13] by terminating authority 
effective 2012.
Section 6031. Rural Business Investment Program.
  The Rural Business Investment Program authorization is 
extended through 2012 with the following modifications: 
debentures may be prepaid at any time, distributions may be 
made to cover tax liability, USDA fees are limited to an 
application fee of $500 and USDA will not be required to 
operate the program with other Federal agencies. Section 6032. 
Rural Collaborative Investment Program.
Section 385A. Purpose.
  This section establishes a Regional Rural Collaborative 
Investment Program to provide rural regions with a flexible 
investment vehicle to develop and implement locally 
prioritized, comprehensive strategies for achieving regional 
competitiveness, innovation and prosperity.
Section 385B. Definitions.
  This section establishes definitions.
Section 385C. Establishment and Administration of Rural Collaborative 
        Investment Program.
  The USDA Secretary appoints a National Rural Investment Board 
and establishes a National Institute on Regional Rural 
Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship, which work with him to 
create a National Rural Investment Plan and a Rural 
Philanthropic Initiative; certifies Regional Rural Investment 
Boards and makes Regional Innovation Grants to Regional Boards 
to implement approved regional strategies.
Section 385D. Regional rural investment boards.
  Regional Boards are multijurisdictional, multisectoral, 
regional entities which are broadly representative of the long 
term economic, community and cultural interests of a region, 
and are comprised of public, private and not-for-profit 
organizations and residents of the region. A region must 
include a population of at least 25,000 individuals, or, in 
regions with a population density of less than two persons per 
square mile, a population of at least 10,000 individuals. The 
Regional Board designs a Regional Investment Strategy and 
competes for Regional Innovation Grants.
Section 385E. Regional investment strategy grants.
  The Secretary shall provide, on a competitive basis, grants 
of no more than $150,000 to certified Regional Boards, to 
develop, implement and maintain Regional Investment Strategies, 
developed through a collaborative and inclusive public process. 
These shall provide an assessment of the region's competitive 
advantage, an analysis of regional economic and community 
development challenges, opportunities, and resources, a plan of 
action to implement the goals of the strategies identified, and 
performance measures by which to evaluate implementation. The 
type of things that will be included in a plan by a regional 
board to promote the economic growth of a given area is 
expected to vary widely depending on the particular needs and 
capabilities of an area. These could include everything from 
adding basic infrastructure to the promotion of an area's rural 
heritage that could be important for tourism.''
Section 385F. Regional Innovation Grants Program.
  The Secretary shall provide, on a competitive basis, Regional 
Innovation Grants to certified Regional Boards, in order to 
implement projects and programs identified in funded Regional 
Investment Strategy Grants. The Secretary shall give priority 
to strategies that demonstrate significant leverage of capital, 
quality job creation, and asset based development. A Regional 
Board may not receive more than $6,000,000 in Regional 
Innovation Grants during any five year period.
Section 385G. Rural Endowment Loans Program.
  The Secretary may provide long term loans to eligible 
community foundations, to assist in the implementation of 
funded Regional Investment Strategies. The eligible community 
foundation must be located in the covered region, provide a 250 
percent match, and use the funds to implement priorities within 
the Regional Investment Strategy.
Section 385H. Funding.
  The Secretary shall use $135,000,000 to carry out this 
subtitle: $15,000,000 to be provided for Regional Investment 
Strategy Grants; $110,000,000 to provide Regional Innovation 
Grants; $5,000,000 to administer the National Board; and 
$5,000,000 to administer the National Institute.
Section 6033. Funding of pending rural development loan and grant 
        applications.
  This provision provides $135 million in mandatory funds to 
fund applications that are pending for water systems, waste 
disposal systems, and emergency community water assistance 
grants.

             SUBTITLE B--RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT OF 1936

Section 6101. Energy efficiency programs.
  Amends sections 2(a) and 4 in the Rural Electrification Act 
[7 U.S.C. 902(a), 904] by authorizing the Secretary to extend 
loans to energy efficiency programs. The Committee notes that 
assistance is authorized for renewable energy including geo-
thermal ground loops under sections 2 and 4 of the Rural 
Electrification Act as amended. The Committee expects that 
applications for such assistance will be properly considered 
and when meritorious, that they should be funded.
Section 6102. Loans and grants for electric generation and 
        transmission.
  Amends section 4 of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
904] by requiring the Secretary to make loans and grants for 
the purpose of financing the construction and operation of 
generating plants, electric transmission and distribution lines 
or systems for the furnishing and improving of electric 
services to persons in rural areas if there is an 
appropriation.
Section 6103. Fees for electrification baseload generation loan 
        guarantees.
  Amends the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 904] by adding 
section 5, which allows the Secretary to charge an upfront fee 
to cover the cost of loan guarantees.
  Subsection (a) establishes provision by which the Secretary, 
at the request of the borrower, can charge an upfront fee to 
cover the costs of the loan guarantee.
  Subsection (b) determines that the fee shall be at least 
equal to the costs of the loan guarantee and provides authority 
to the Secretary to establish a separate fee for each loan.
  Subsection (c) provides eligibility criteria for loan 
guarantees under this section.
  Subsection (d) denies funds received from a borrower to pay 
for fees from being considered a loan or other debt obligation 
that is made or guaranteed by the Federal Government.
Section 6104. Deferment of payments to allows loans for improved energy 
        efficiency and demand reduction.
  Amends section 12 of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
912] by requiring the Secretary to allow borrowers to defer 
payment of principal and interest on any direct loan to enable 
the borrower to make loans to residential, commercial, and 
industrial consumers to install energy efficient measures or 
devices that reduce the demand on electric systems for 60 
months.
Section 6105. Rural electrification assistance.
  Amends section 13 of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
902(a), 904] to provide definitions to be used throughout the 
act for farm, Indian tribe, rural area, territory, and 
secretary.
Section 6106. Guarantees for bonds and notes issued for electrification 
        or telephone purposes.
  Amends section 313A(b) of the Rural Electrification Act [7 
U.S.C. 904c-1] by extending eligibility for guarantees for 
telephone installation purposes, expanding the funds available 
for guarantees up to $1,000,000,000, requiring the annual fee 
paid for the guarantee of a bond or note to be equal to 30 
basis points of the amount of unpaid principal, requiring the 
lender to pay fees required on a semiannual basis on a schedule 
structured by the Secretary, and extending the authorization 
through 2012.
Section 6107. Expansion of 911 access.
  Amends section 315 of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
940e] to reauthorize the Secretary to make loans to expand 911 
access.
  Subsection (a) expands eligibility to emergency 
communications providers, State or local governments, Indian 
tribes, or other public entities for facilities and equipment 
to expand or improve 911 access, interoperable emergency 
communications, homeland security communications, 
transportation safety communication and location technologies 
used outside urbanized areas.
  Subsection (b) allows for Government-imposed fees to 
emergency communications providers as security for a loan under 
this section.
  Subsection (c) provides that the Secretary must promulgate 
regulations within 90 days of enactment and adopt final rules 
within 90 days of publication of regulations.
  Subsection (d) authorizes the Secretary to use funds made 
available for telephone or broadband loans each fiscal year 
2008 through 2012.
Section 6108. Electric loans to rural electric cooperatives.
  Amends title III of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
940] by adding section 317, which allows the Secretary to make 
loans to rural electric cooperatives.
  Subsection (a) provides a definition for Renewable Energy 
Source.
  Subsection (b) allows the Secretary to make loans available 
for the electric generation of renewable energy resources to 
rural and nonrural residents and for the transmission of energy 
from renewable energy sources.
  Subsection (c) provides that the loan rate under this section 
shall be equal to the average tax exempt municipal bond rate of 
similar maturities.
Section 6109. Agency procedures.
  Amends title III of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
940] by adding section 318, which provides Agency procedures 
for loans under this section.
  Subsection (a) requires that loan applicants are contacted at 
least once a month by the Rural Utilities Service regarding the 
status of any pending loan applications.
  Subsection (b) requires the Secretary to ensure that 
applicants for any Rural Utility Service grants have the 
opportunity to present a case for financial need and that these 
special economic circumstances are considered in determining 
the grant status of the applicant.
  Subsection (c) allows the Secretary to adjust population 
limitations related to digital mobile wireless service.
  Subsection (d) requires the Secretary review bonding 
requirements for all programs administered by the Rural 
Utilities Service.
Section 6110. Access to broadband telecommunications services in rural 
        areas.
  Amends section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act [7 U.S.C. 
950bb] by authorizing the Secretary to provide loans and loan 
guarantees for the costs of construction, improvement, and 
acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service 
in rural areas.
  Subsection (a) provides as the purpose for this program to 
provide loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the cost 
of the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities 
and equipment for broadband service in rural areas.
  Subsection (b) provides definitions for Broadband Service and 
Mobile Broadband.
  Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretary to make or guarantee 
loans to eligible entities. Priorities shall be given to those 
applicants that offer to provide broadband service to the 
greatest number of households currently without broadband 
service.
  Subsection (d) identifies eligible entities as those that 
have the ability to furnish, improve, or extend a service to a 
rural area; offer to provide service to at least 25 percent of 
households in a specified rural area that do not currently have 
broadband service offered to them; agree to complete buildout 
within 3 years; and meet a variety of other specific financial 
and other eligibility requirements. The Secretary cannot make 
or guarantee loans for projects in areas where 3 or more 
existing providers already provide comparable service. This 
subsection also ensures that equity and market survey 
requirements are not excessive. Government entities are 
eligible for the program. No Entity may receive more than 20 
percent of the resources of this program in any fiscal year. 
Requires public disclosure of certain information in 
applications and on a public website, but protect proprietary 
information. Establishes processing timeline requirements.
  Subsection (e) requires the Secretary to review and recommend 
modifications of rate-of-data transmission criteria to account 
for technology advancements.
  Subsection (f) requires the Secretary to be technologically 
neutral when setting criteria.
  Subsection (g) sets terms and conditions for loans and loan 
guarantees.
  Subsection (h) allows the Secretary to provide the proceeds 
of any loan made or guaranteed under this act for the purpose 
of refinancing another telecommunications-related loan made 
under this Act.
  Subsection (i) requires the Administrator to submit a report 
to Congress.
  Subsection (j) authorizes the program at such sums as may be 
appropriated from fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
  Subsection (k) terminates this authority after 2012.
  Section 602 amends section 601 of the Rural Electrification 
Act [7 U.S.C. 950bb et seq.] to provide for a National Center 
for Rural Telecommunications Assessment and criteria for the 
center. The Center is to focus on rural telecommunications 
research and assessment. Authorizes $1,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 6111. Substantially underserved trust areas.
  Native American trust lands where more than 20 percent of the 
population do not have electric, telecommunications, broadband 
or water service are considered substantially underserved trust 
areas. The Secretary may make the programs of the Rural Utility 
Service that these areas are eligible for available to them at 
lower loan rates and may waive nonduplication requirements.

                     SUBTITLE C--CONNECT THE NATION

Section 6201. Connect the Nation.
  Creates a competitive, matching grant program (80 Federal/20 
State) called the Connect the Nation Act of 2007 to be housed 
at Department of Commerce. Eligible statewide public-private 
partnerships would benchmark current broadband access and use, 
build detailed GIS maps of service, and create demand through 
grassroots teams. Eligible entities would be limited to 4 years 
of participation. Grant applications would be reviewed through 
a peer review process. Collaboration is required between state 
agencies, service providers, and the relevant labor 
organizations, and community organizations to be considered 
eligible. A total of $40 million per year is authorized.

   SUBTITLE D--FOOD, AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION, AND TRADE ACT OF 1990

Section 6301. Rural electronic commerce extension program.
  Reauthorizes section 1670(e) of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act [7 U.S.C. 5923(e)] through 2012.
Section 6302. Telemedicine, library connectivity, public television, 
        and distance learning services in rural areas.
  Amends chapter 1 of subtitle D of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act [7 U.S.C. 950aaa] by expanding 
financial assistance to library connectivity, public television 
station digital conversion, and schools, libraries and other 
facilities operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the 
Indian Health Service.
  Amends subsection (f) to limit the use of funds under this 
section is for the development, acquisition, and digital 
distribution of instructional programming to rural users; the 
development and acquisition of computer hardware and software, 
audio and visual equipment, computer network components, 
telecommunications transmission facilities, date terminal 
equipment, or interactive video equipment. This section also 
establishes criteria for the use of funds under this 
subsection, including instructional programming to rural users; 
computer hardware and software and other communications 
electronics; technical assistance and instruction; high-speed 
network transmission equipment; and others as determined by the 
Secretary.
  The Committee expects that USDA will continue to administer 
the conversion of facilities from analog to digital signals for 
public television under the current regulations, 7 CFR 1740.
  Reauthorizes appropriations through 2012 and amends section 
1(b) of Public Law 102-551 by reauthorizing through 2012.

                       SUBTITLE E--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 6401. Value-added agricultural product market development 
        grants.
  Amends section 231 of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 
2000 [7 U.S.C. 1621 note; Public Law 106-224] by providing 
updated definitions of assisting organization, technical 
assistance, and value-added agricultural product.
  Amends section 231(b) of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act 
of 2000 [7 U.S.C. 1621 note; Public Law 106-224] by limiting 
grants to no more than $300,000 in the case of grants including 
working capital or $100,000 in the case of all other grants. It 
extends grants to conduct market research, provide training and 
technical assistance, develop supply networks, or provide 
program outreach and limits assisting organizations to no more 
than 10 percent of the total amount of funds available for 
grants under this subsection. Priority shall be given to 
beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers 
and operators of small and median sized farming operations. 
Grants will support new ventures that do no have established 
markets including local food systems and infrastructure to 
support local foods. The program is authorized for such sums as 
are appropriated from 2008 through 2012.
Section 6402. Study of railroad issues.
  Provides that the Secretary in coordination with the 
Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a study of railroad 
issues regarding the movement of agricultural products, 
domestically produced renewable fuels and domestically produced 
resources for the production of electricity in rural areas. The 
report is to be completed within 270 days of enactment.
Section 6403. Issuance of loans for housing and related facilities for 
        domestic farm labor.
  This provision broadens the domestic farm labor housing 
program to include low income workers who work in food 
processing as well as those who work on unprocessed foods.

                TITLE VII--RESEARCH AND RELATED MATTERS

  SUBTITLE A--NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND TEACHING 
                           POLICY ACT OF 1977

Section 7001. Definitions.
  This section modifies section 1404 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103) to expand the definition of college and 
university to include research foundations maintained by a 
college or university. This section also defines the term 
``Hispanic-serving Institution'' and ``Hispanic-Serving 
Agricultural Colleges and Universities''.
Section 7002. National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and 
        Economics Advisory Board.
  This section reauthorizes section 1408(h) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123 (h)), the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.
Section 7003. Veterinary medicine loan repayment.
  This section modifies section 1415A of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3151a) to set a deadline for rulemaking to 
implement the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA), 
a program for loan repayment for veterinarians who work in 
areas of veterinarian shortage.
  The Committee finds that the implementation of NVMSA should 
prioritize large and mixed animal practitioner shortages in 
rural communities, and that no funds should be used for the 
existing Federal employee loan repayment program under 5 U.S.C. 
5379.
Section 7004. Eligibility of University of the District of Columbia for 
        grants and fellowships for food and agricultural sciences 
        education.
  This section clarifies the participation of the University of 
the District of Columbia (UDC) in grants and fellowships for 
agricultural sciences education pursuant to section 1417 of the 
National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy 
Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152).
Section 7005. Grants to 1890 institutions to expand extension capacity.
  This section modifies section 1417(b)(4) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152(b)(4)) to include extension as one of the 
purposes of grants available to 1890 institutions through this 
program.
Section 7006. Expansion of food and agricultural sciences award.
  This section modifies section 1417(i) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152(i)) to expand the current National 
Agricultural Teaching Award to include research and extension.
Section 7007. Grants and fellowships for food and agricultural sciences 
        education.
  This section reauthorizes section 1417 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152) to continue annual appropriations for 
grants and fellowships for food and agricultural sciences 
education. It also modifies section 1417 to add agriculture 
programs for grades K-12 to the purposes of these grants, and 
to require a report to Congress on the distribution of funds 
for teaching programs under this section.
Section 7008. Grants for research on production and marketing of 
        alcohols and industrial hydrocarbons from agricultural 
        commodities and forest products.
  This section reauthorizes section 1419(d) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3154(d)) to continue annual appropriations for 
grants to colleges, universities, and Federal laboratories to 
conduct research related to alcohol and other forms of biomass 
fuels, and the development of the most economical and 
commercially feasible means of producing, collecting, and 
transporting agricultural crops, wastes, residues, and 
byproducts for use as feedstocks for the production of alcohol 
and other forms of biomass energy.
Section 7009. Policy research centers.
  This section reauthorizes section 1419A of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3155) to continue annual appropriations for 
grants and cooperative agreements with policy research centers 
to conduct research and education programs concerning the 
effect of policies on the farm and agricultural sectors; the 
environment; rural families and economies; and consumers, food 
and nutrition. This section also modifies section 1419A of the 
Act to include the Food Agricultural Policy Research Institute, 
the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, the Rural Policy 
Research Institute, and the Community Vitality Center as 
centers that qualify for these grants.
Section 7010. Human nutrition intervention and health promotion 
        research program.
  This section reauthorizes section 1424(d) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3174(d)) to continue annual appropriations for a 
multi-year research initiative on human nutrition intervention 
and health promotion.
Section 7011. Pilot research program to combine medical and 
        agricultural research.
  This section reauthorizes section 1424A(d) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3174a(d)) to continue annual appropriations for 
a pilot research program to link major cancer and heart disease 
research efforts with agricultural research efforts to identify 
compounds in vegetables and fruits that prevent these diseases.
  The Committee is interested in the potential for the 
development of pharmaceuticals for human use through the use of 
bovine blood products. The usefulness of bovine blood products 
has resulted from a number of technical advances which can 
ensure the proper and necessary level of control of the animal 
based raw materials so that they can now meet or exceed the 
requirements to develop safe and efficacious pharmaceuticals 
for human use. The Committee expects the Department to fund 
pilot projects through this authorization which can accelerate 
the development of pharmaceuticals for human use from bovine 
blood products.
Section 7012. Nutrition Education Program.
  This section modifies section 1425 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3175) to authorize 1890 institutions and the 
University of the District of Columbia to receive funds for the 
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and sets 
a minimum amount for fund distribution. This section also 
reauthorizes annual appropriations to carry out EFNEP.
Section 7013. Continuing animal health and disease research programs.
  This section reauthorizes section 1433(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3195(a)) to continue annual appropriations to 
support continuing animal health and disease research programs.
Section 7014. Appropriations for research on national or regional 
        problems.
  This section reauthorizes section 1434(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3196(a)) to continue annual appropriations to 
support research on specific national or regional animal health 
or disease problems, or national or regional problems relating 
to pre-harvest, on-farm food safety.
Section 7015. Animal health and disease research program.
  This section modifies section 1434(b) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 to clarify that 1890 institutions are eligible for animal 
health and disease research grants under this section.
Sec. 7016. Authorization level for extension at 1890 land-grant 
        colleges.
  This section modifies section 1444(a)(2) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3221(a)(2)) to increase the percentage of the 
Smith-Lever (extension) formula fund that is allocated to 1890 
institutions from 15 percent to 20 percent.
Sec. 7017. Authorization level for agricultural research at 1890 land-
        grant colleges.
  This section modifies section 1445(a)(2) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3222(a)(2)) to increase the percentage of the 
Hatch Act (research) formula fund that is allocated to 1890 
institutions from 25 percent to 30 percent.
Section 7018. Grants to upgrade agricultural and food sciences 
        facilities at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee 
        University.
  This section reauthorizes section 1447(b) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3222b(b)) to continue annual appropriations for 
grants to 1890 land-grant institutions to acquire and improve 
agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment.
Section 7019. Grants to upgrade agriculture and food sciences 
        facilities at the District of Columbia land grant university.
  This section adds section 1447A to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3222b) to authorize $750,000 in annual appropriations for 
grants to be made to the University of the District of Columbia 
to acquire, alter, or repair facilities or relevant equipment 
necessary for conducting agricultural research.
Section 7020. National research and training virtual centers.
  This section reauthorizes section 1448 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3222c) to continue annual appropriations for a 
competitive grant to five national research and training 
virtual centers located at 1890 land-grant institutions.
Section 7021. Matching funds requirement for research and extension 
        activities of 1890 institutions.
  This section reauthorizes section 1455 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3241) to continue the requirement for States to 
provide matching funds to be provided to 1890 land-grant 
institutions for agricultural research, extension, and 
education activities.
Section 7022. Hispanic-serving institutions.
  This section modifies section 1455 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3241) to increase annual appropriations from 
$20,000,000 to $40,000,000 for competitive grants to Hispanic-
serving institutions to promote and strengthen the 
institutions' abilities to carry out education, applied 
research, and related community development programs. This 
section also modifies section 1455 of the Act to allow single 
institutions to receive grants.
Section 7023. Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities.
  This section adds section 1456 to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3241) to authorize the establishment of an endowment fund to 
provide funds to Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and 
universities. This section also authorizes appropriations for 
institutional capacity-building grants, competitive grants, and 
extension at Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and 
universities.
Section 7024. International agricultural research, extension, and 
        education.
  This section modifies section 1458(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3291 (a)) to expand the international 
agricultural research, extension, and education program at 
USDA, to prioritize institutions that have existing agreements 
with U.S. institutions, to expand eligibility to Hispanic-
serving agricultural colleges and universities, and to 
establish a fellowship program for students to study at foreign 
agricultural colleges and universities.
Section 7025. Competitive grants for international agricultural science 
        and education programs.
  This section reauthorizes section 1459A(c) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3292b(c)) to continue annual appropriations for 
competitive grants directed to agricultural research, 
extension, and teaching activities to colleges and universities 
to strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and promote 
international market development.
Section 7026. Indirect costs.
  This section modifies section 1462(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3310) to raise the allowance of indirect costs a 
recipient institution can receive from a grants awarded by the 
Department to 30 percent from the current rate of 19 percent.
Section 7027. Research equipment grants.
  This section reauthorizes section 1462A(e) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3310a(e)) to continue annual appropriations for 
competitive grants for the acquisition of special purpose 
scientific research equipment for use in the food and 
agricultural science programs of eligible institutions.
Section 7028. University research.
  This section reauthorizes section 1463 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3311) to continue annual appropriations for 
certain existing and new agricultural research programs.
Section 7029. Extension service.
  This section reauthorizes section 1464 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3312) to continue annual appropriations for 
extension programs of the Department of Agriculture.
Section 7030. Supplemental and alternative crops.
  This section reauthorizes section 1473D(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3319d(a)) to continue annual appropriations for 
a research project for the development of supplemental and 
alternative crops.
Section 7031. Aquaculture research facilities.
  This section reauthorizes section 1477 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3324) to continue annual appropriations for 
research and extension at eligible institutions to increase to 
increase the production and marketing of aquacultural food 
products. It also modifies section 1475(f) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
3322(f)) to prioritize the study and management of viral 
hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) under this section.
Section 7032. Rangeland research.
  This section reauthorizes section 1483(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3336(a)) to continue annual appropriations for 
grants to land-grant colleges and universities, state 
agricultural experiment stations, and other institutions to 
conduct rangeland research. This section also modifies section 
1480(a) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 3333(a)) to authorize pilot 
programs to address natural resources management issues and 
facilitate the collection of information and analysis to 
provide information for improved management of public and 
private rangeland.
  It is the intent of the Committee that grants for pilot 
programs under this section are to be awarded to the University 
of Idaho and other institutions for conservation and research 
in Owyhee County to further the Owyhee Initiative. Pilot 
program findings are to be peer-reviewed to ensure the best 
available science is available to Federal agencies for 
evaluation of rangeland management.
Section 7033. Special authorization for biosecurity planning and 
        response.
  This section reauthorizes section 1484(a) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3351(a)) to continue annual appropriations for 
biosecurity planning and response.
Section 7034. Resident instruction and distance education grants 
        program for insular area institutions of higher education.
  This section reauthorizes section 1490(f) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3362(f)) to continue annual appropriations for 
competitive or non-competitive grants to eligible institutions 
in insular areas to strengthen distance food and agricultural 
education programs using digital network technologies. This 
section also reauthorizes section 1491 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 
3363) to continue annual appropriations for competitive grants 
to insular area institutions to strengthen food and 
agricultural science education.
Section 7035. Farm management training and public farm benchmarking 
        database.
  This section adds section 1468 to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3313) to establish a National Farm Management Center to improve 
farm management knowledge and skills of agriculture producers 
through an education program and creation of a database that 
allows producers to compare farm management data with other 
producers. This section also authorizes annual appropriations 
for the center and database.
  The Committee recognizes the University of Minnesota Center 
for Farm Financial Management as having a proven record and 
ability to develop and implement a program to improve farm 
management.
  The Committee encourages the Secretary to work with the 
University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management to 
establish the farm management training and public farm 
benchmarking database.
Section 7036. Tropical and subtropical agricultural research.
  This section adds section 1473E to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a competitive program for research 
on tropical and subtropical agriculture, and to authorize 
annual appropriations for the program.
Section 7037. Regional centers of excellence.
  This section adds section 1473F to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish regional centers of excellence where 
Federal, state, and industry dollars fund research applicable 
to a specific commodity. This section also authorizes annual 
appropriations for the centers.
Section 7038. National Drought Mitigation Center.
  This section adds section 1473G to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to authorize the Secretary to enter into an 
agreement with the National Drought Mitigation Center. This 
section also authorizes annual appropriations for the Center.
Section 7039. Agricultural development in the American-Pacific region.
  This section adds section 1473H to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish consortia of institutions in the 
American-Pacific region to carry out integrated research, 
extension, and instruction programs in support of food and 
agricultural sciences. This section also authorizes annual 
appropriations for the consortia.
Section 7040. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology 
        Fellowship Program.
  This section adds section 1473I to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to authorize annual appropriations for the 
Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology 
Fellowship Program. The fellowship program brings scientists 
from developing countries to a U.S. land-grant institution to 
learn about improving agricultural productivity.
Section 7041. New Era Rural Technology Program.
  This section adds section 1473J to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a grant program for community 
colleges to develop an agriculture-based renewable energy, and 
timber industry workforce. This section also authorizes annual 
appropriations for the program.
  The Committee recognizes the importance of developing a 
workforce to support the fields of bioenergy, pulp and paper 
manufacturing, and agriculture-based renewable energy 
resources. Alabama Southern Community College, Neosho County 
Community College, Northeast Iowa Community College, Eastern 
Iowa Community College District, Kennebec Valley Community 
College, Itasca Community College, York Technical College, 
Midstate Technical College, and Jones County Junior College are 
recognized as being among the rural community colleges with a 
proven record and ability to develop and implement programs to 
supply certified technicians. The Committee encourages the 
Secretary to work with these and other community colleges to 
establish the New Era Rural Technology Program.
Section 7042. Farm and ranch stress assistance network.
  This section adds section 1473K to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a farm and ranch stress assistance 
network. This network provides behavioral programs to 
participants in the U.S. agricultural sector. This section also 
authorizes annual appropriations for the network.
Section 7043. Rural Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Facilitation 
        Program.
  This section adds section 1473L to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a program for the promotion of rural 
entrepreneurship, rural business development, and collaboration 
among rural entrepreneurs, local business communities, non 
profit organizations, and K-12 and higher education 
institutions. This program also provides rural entrepreneurs 
with technical assistance and access to capital, and it 
determines the best methods of entrepreneurial training.
Section 7044. Seed distribution.
  This section adds section 1473M to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a program that distributes vegetable 
seeds to underserved communities free-of-charge. This section 
also authorizes annual appropriations for the program.
Section 7045. Farm and ranch safety.
  This section adds section 1473N to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a grant program to determine how to 
decrease the incidence of injury and death on farms and 
ranches. This section also authorizes annual appropriations for 
the program.
Section 7046. Women and minorities in stem fields.
  This section adds section 1473O to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a grant program to increase 
participation by women and underrepresented minorities from 
rural areas in science, technology, engineering, and 
mathematics fields (STEM fields). This section also authorizes 
annual appropriations for the program.
Section 7047. Natural products research program.
  This section adds section 1473P to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a research program relating for the 
discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals 
and agrichemicals from natural products, including those from 
plants, marine and microbial sources. This section also 
authorizes annual appropriations for the program.
Section 7048. International anti-hunger and nutrition program.
  This section adds section 1473Q to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to authorize the Secretary to support nonprofit 
organizations that focus on promoting research concerning anti-
hunger and improved nutrition efforts internationally, and 
increased quantity, quality, and availability of food.
Section 7049. Consortium for agricultural and rural transportation 
        research and education.
  This section adds section 1473R to the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 
3310 et seq.) to establish a research program focusing on 
critical rural and agricultural transportation and logistics 
issues facing agricultural producers and other rural 
businesses.

   SUBTITLE B--FOOD, AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION, AND TRADE ACT OF 1990

Section 7101. National genetic resources program.
  This section reauthorizes section 1635(b) of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
5844(b)) to continue annual appropriations for the National 
Genetic Resources Program that provides for the collection, 
preservation, and dissemination of genetic material of 
importance to food and agriculture production in the United 
States. This section also modifies section 1632 of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5841) 
to add research on plant and animal breeding to the purposes 
and functions of this program.
Section 7102. High-priority research and extension initiatives.
  This section modifies section 1672 of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5925) to add the 
following to the list of high-priority research and extension 
initiatives: Colony Collapse Disorder and Pollinator Research 
Program; Marine Shrimp Farming Program; Cranberry Research 
Program; Turfgrass Research Initiative; Pesticide Safety 
Research Initiative; Swine Genome Project; High Plains Aquifer 
Region; Cellulosic Feedstock Transportation and Delivery 
Initiative; Deer Initiative; Pasture-Based Beef Systems. This 
section also reauthorizes annual appropriations for competitive 
grants for the specified high-priority research and extension 
initiatives, and authorizes $20,000,000 of the annual 
appropriations for the Colony Collapse Disorder and Pollinator 
Research Program.
  It is the intent of the Committee that grants used to carry 
out research under the Pasture-Based Beef Systems program 
described in this section are to be awarded to South Carolina 
and Alabama for the Pasture-Based Beef Systems for Appalachia 
Initiative.
  The Committee expects the Secretary to award grants under the 
Deer Initiative described in this section to support 
collaborative research focusing on the development of viable 
strategies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of 
infectious, parasitic and toxic diseases of farmed deer and the 
mapping of the deer genome. The Committee recommends the 
establishment of a Center of Infectious Disease and Applied 
genetics of Farmed Deer at a consortium of universities with 
veterinary schools, qualified veterinary medical personnel, 
appropriate facilities with experience in husbandry and care of 
captive deer, and equipment specific to cervidae. The Committee 
encourages the consortium of universities to be located in 
States that have a large farmed deer population. The consortium 
will carry out research dedicated to developing vaccines for 
epizootic hemorrhagic disease and blue tongue disease in farmed 
deer, and will work to map the deer genome with emphasis on the 
identification of genes that confer resistance or 
susceptibility to disease relevant to the production of farmed 
deer.
Section 7103. Nutrient management research and extension initiative.
  This section reauthorizes section 1672A of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
5925a) to continue annual appropriations for competitive grants 
for the nutrient management research and extension initiative.
Section 7104. Organic agriculture research and extension initiative.
  This section reauthorizes section 1672B of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
5925b) to direct $16,000,000 per year in mandatory funds for 
the Organic Research and Extension Initiative, which enhances 
the ability of organic producers and processors to grow and 
market organic food, feed, and fiber.
Section 7105. Agricultural telecommunications program.
  This section reauthorizes section 1673(h) of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
5926(h)) to continue annual appropriations for the development 
and utilization of an agricultural communications network to 
strengthen agricultural extension, resident education and 
research, and marketing of agricultural commodities.
Section 7106. Assistive technology program for farmers with 
        disabilities.
  This section reauthorizes section 1680(c)(1) of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
5933(c)(1)) to continue annual appropriations for demonstration 
grants to support cooperative programs between the Extension 
Service and private nonprofit disability organizations to 
provide agricultural education and assistance for individuals 
with disabilities who are engaged in farming.
Section 7107. National rural information center clearinghouse.
  This section reauthorizes section 2381(e) of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
3125b(e)) to continue annual appropriations for the National 
Rural Information Center Clearinghouse which provides and 
distributes information and data to any industry, organization, 
or Federal, State, or local government entity on programs and 
services provided in rural areas.

SUBTITLE C--AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND EDUCATION REFORM ACT 
                                OF 1998

Section 7201. Initiative for future agriculture and food systems.
  This section modifies section 401(c) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7621 (c)) to add sustainable and renewable agriculture-based 
energy production, ecosystem services, and beginning farmers 
and ranchers to the purposes of the Initiative for Future 
Agriculture and Food Systems (IFAFS). This section also 
modifies section 401(b) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 7621 (b)) to allow 
32 percent of appropriated funds for the National Research 
Initiative (NRI) to go towards IFAFS projects, and to authorize 
annual appropriations for IFAFS.
Section 7202. Partnerships for high-value agricultural product quality 
        research.
  This section reauthorizes section 402(g) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7622(g)) to continue annual appropriations for eligible 
institutions and partnerships to enhance U.S. commodity 
competitiveness and increase exports through research and 
extension activities on high-value agricultural products.
Section 7203. Precision agriculture.
  This section reauthorizes section 403(i)(1) of the 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 
1998 (7 U.S.C. 7623(i)(1)) to continue annual appropriations 
for grants to promote precision agriculture.
Section 7204. Biobased products.
  This section reauthorizes section 404(e)(2) of the 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 
1998 (7 U.S.C. 7624(e)(2)) to continue annual appropriations 
for (1) cooperative agreements with private entities to use the 
facilities and expertise of the Agricultural Research Service 
(ARS) to develop and commercialize new biobased products 
(products derived from forestry or renewable agricultural 
materials), and (2) to carry out an ARS-based pilot project on 
biobased products.
Section 7205. Thomas Jefferson initiative for crop diversification.
  This section reauthorizes section 405(h) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7625(h)) to continue annual appropriations for the Thomas 
Jefferson Initiative for Crop Diversification for the 
production and marketing of new and nontraditional crops to 
strengthen and diversify agricultural production.
Section 7206. Integrated research, education, and extension competitive 
        grants program.
  This section reauthorizes section 406(f) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7626(f)) to continue annual appropriations for an integrated 
research, education, and extension matching grant program.
Section 7207. Support for research regarding diseases of wheat, 
        triticale, and barley caused by fusarium graminearum or by 
        Tilletia indica.
  This section reauthorizes section 408(e) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7628(e)) to continue annual appropriations for grants to 
consortia of land grant colleges and universities for research 
on diseases of wheat, triticale, and barley caused by Fusarium 
graminearum or Tilletia indica (wheat scab or Karnal bunt, 
respectively) and related fungi.
Section 7208. Bovine Johne's Disease Control Program.
  This section reauthorizes section 409(b) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7629(b)) to continue annual appropriations for research, 
testing and evaluation for the control and management of 
Johne's Disease in livestock.
Section 7209. Grants for youth organizations.
  This section reauthorizes section 410(c) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7630(c)) to continue annual appropriations for pilot projects 
to expand youth organization programming in rural areas.
Section 7210. Agricultural biotechnology research and development for 
        developing countries.
  This section reauthorizes section 411(c) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7631(c)) to continue annual appropriations for competitive 
grants to institutions or nonprofit organizations to develop 
agricultural biotechnology for developing countries.
Section 7211. Specialty crop research initiative.
  This section adds section 412 to the Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7621 et 
seq.) to authorize $16,000,000 in mandatory funds per year for 
a specialty crop research initiative at the Department of 
Agriculture through the Agricultural Research Service and 
extramural competitive grants. Priorities for the initiative 
include research on: plant breeding, genetics, and genomics; 
invasive species; mechanization; and food safety.
Section 7212. Office of pest management policy.
  This section modifies section 614(b) of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7653(b)) to place this office within the Office of the Chief 
Economist. The section also reauthorizes section 614(f) of the 
Act (7 U.S.C. 7653(f)) to continue annual appropriations for 
the Office of Pest Management Policy within the Department of 
Agriculture to develop and coordinate Department policy on pest 
management and pesticides, to coordinate with other Federal and 
state agencies and to provide outreach services.
Section 7213. Food animal residue avoidance database program.
  This section modifies section 604 of the Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 
7642) to authorize annual appropriations of $2,500,000 for the 
Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database program.

                         SUBTITLE D--OTHER LAWS

Section 7301. Critical Agricultural Materials Act.
  This section reauthorizes section 16(a) of the Critical 
Agricultural Materials Act (7 U.S.C. 178n(a)) to continue 
annual appropriations for activities conducted under the Act.
Section 7302. Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994.
  This section modifies section 532 of the Equity in 
Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note) 
to add Ilisagvik College in Alaska to the list of land-grant 
tribal colleges known as 1994 colleges. This section also 
reauthorizes sections 533(b), 535, and 536(c) of the Act to 
continue annual appropriations for the endowment of the 1994 
land-grant colleges; annual appropriations for constructing, 
acquiring, and remodeling buildings, laboratories, and other 
capital facilities at the 1994 colleges; annual appropriations 
for research grants to the 1994 land-grant colleges to conduct 
agricultural research that addresses high priority concerns of 
tribal, national, or multi-state significance.
Section 7303. Smith-Lever Act.
  This section modifies section 3 of the Act of May 8, 1914--
the Smith-Lever Act--(7 U.S.C. 343) to allow 1890 institutions 
to participate in the Children, Youth, and Families Education 
and Research Network Program. This section also modifies 
section 5 of the Act of May 8, 1914--the Smith-Lever Act--(7 
U.S.C. 345) to eliminate the Governor's Report requirement for 
the extension service.
Section 7304. Hatch Act of 1887.
  This section modifies section 3(d)(4) of the Hatch Act of 
1887 (7 U.S.C. 361c(d)(4)) to require a 50 percent match of 
funds from the District of Columbia for the University of the 
District of Columbia to receive formula funds for agricultural 
research, and it allows the Secretary to waive this requirement 
if necessary. This section also modifies section 6 of the Hatch 
Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 361f) and section 1444(f) and 1445(e) of 
the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching 
Policy Act of 1977 to eliminate Penalty Mail Authorities for 
agricultural experiment stations and the cooperative extension 
service.
Section 7305. Research Facilities Act.
  This section reauthorizes section 6(a) of the Research 
Facilities Act (7 U.S.C. 390d(a)) to continue annual 
appropriations for the study, plan, design, structure, and 
related costs of agricultural research facilities under the 
Act.
Section 7306. National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching 
        Policy Act Amendments of 1985.
  This section reauthorizes section 1431 of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act 
Amendments of 1985 (99 Stat. 1556) to continue annual 
appropriations for the cost of planning, construction, and 
other public improvements for Federal agricultural research 
facilities.
Section 7307. Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act.
  This section reauthorizes annual appropriations for the 
National Research Initiative (NRI), and modifies the 
Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 
U.S.C. 450i) to add research on agricultural genomics and 
biotechnology, classical animal and plant breeding, and 
beginning farmers and ranchers to the research priorities of 
the NRI. This section also extends the availability of grant 
funds for classical plant and animal breeding to ten years.
Section 7308. Education grants to Alaska native serving institutions 
        and native Hawaiian serving institutions.
  This section modifies section 759 of the Agriculture, Rural 
Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act, 2000 (7 U.S.C. 3242) to permit consortia of 
Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions to 
designate fiscal agents and allocate funds for their members.
Section 7309. Beginning farmer and rancher development program.
  This section modifies section 7405(h) of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 3319f(h)) to direct $30,000,000 in annual appropriations 
for competitive grants to support new and established local and 
regional training, education outreach, and technical 
initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. This section 
also modifies section 7405(c) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 3319f(c)) 
to: incorporate energy conservation efficiency and transition 
to organic farming into the programs and services eligible to 
receive competitive grants under this program; limit grants 
under this program to $250,000; change the evaluation criteria 
for grants under this program; ensure geographic diversity of 
grants under this program; add organizations that work with 
refugee or immigrant beginning farmers or ranchers as eligible 
for grants.
Section 7310. Mcintire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act.
  This section modifies section 2 of the McIntire-Stennis 
Cooperative Forestry Act (16 U.S.C. 582a-1) to authorize1890 
institutions to participate in the McIntire-Stennis cooperative 
forestry program.
Section 7311. National Aquaculture Act of 1980.
  This section reauthorizes section 10 of the National 
Aquaculture Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 2809) to continue annual 
appropriations for the Department of Agriculture, Department of 
Commerce, and the Department of Interior for funding of 
programs under this Act.
Section 7312. National arboretum.
  This section adds section 7 to the Act of March 4, 1927 (20 
U.S.C. 191 et seq.) to authorize construction for a Chinese 
Garden at the National Arboretum.
Section 7313. Eligibility of University of the District of Columbia for 
        certain land-grant university assistance.
  This section modifies section 208 of the District of Columbia 
Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act (88 Stat. 
1428) to authorize the University of the District of Columbia 
to receive formula funds for agricultural extension.
Section 7314. Exchange/sale authority.
  This section adds section 308 to title III of the Federal 
Crop Insurance and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act 
of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 2204 note) to authorize USDA to exchange, 
sell, or otherwise dispose of any qualified items of personal 
property and to retain and apply the sale or other proceeds to 
acquire any qualified items of personal property or to offset 
costs related to the maintenance, care, or feeding of any 
qualified items of personal property.
Section 7315 Carbon cycle research.
  This section reauthorizes the carbon cycle research program 
established in the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 (7 
U.S.C. 6711) and transfers authority from that Act to the 
National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy 
Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 1303). This section also authorizes 
$15,000,000 in annual appropriations for this program.

         SUBTITLE E--NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE

Section 7401. National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
  Subsection (a) adds section 253 to subtitle F of the 
Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 
6972) to transfer all authorities under the Cooperative State 
Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) to a 
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Various 
programs currently under CSREES are categorized as either a 
competitive program or an infrastructure program, with 
additional programs to be categorized by the Secretary, and all 
programs currently under CSREES continue under NIFA.
  The Director of NIFA is required to report to and consult 
with the Secretary on the research, extension, and education 
activities of NIFA. It is the intent of the Committee that the 
Director work with the Undersecretary for Research, Education, 
and Economics to ensure proper coordination and integration of 
all research programs within the responsibility of the 
Department.
  The Committee is concerned about the visibility of 
competitive research grants, the increasing demands placed on 
the land-grant system, and the weakening financial support of 
both competitive grants and formula funds. To that end, this 
legislation creates four offices established at NIFA, which 
will increase competitive grant opportunities and re-establish 
the importance of the land-grand college and university system. 
First, the Office of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Education Network administers all infrastructure programs, also 
known as capacity programs, such as formula programs for State 
Agricultural Experiment Stations and the Extension Service. 
Second, the Office of Competitive Programs for Fundamental 
Research administers competitive programs that fund fundamental 
(basic) food and agricultural research, such as the National 
Research Initiative's projects that cover basic research. 
Third, the Office of Competitive Programs for Applied Research 
administers competitive programs for applied food and 
agricultural research. Fourth, the Office of Competitive 
Programs for Education and Other Purposes administers 
competitive programs for education and other fellowships. The 
Director of NIFA has the discretion to divide programs that 
intersect more than one competitive program office. The 
Committee expects the Director to receive significant input 
from highly-qualified scientists who have expertise in the 
fields of agricultural research, science, food and nutrition, 
natural resource and environment, or related appropriate fields 
when evaluating grant proposals reviewed in the Office of 
Competitive Programs for Fundamental Research and in the Office 
of Competitive Programs for Applied Research.
  Subsection (a) also authorizes appropriations for NIFA, above 
the authorizations of individual programs, to be allocated 
according to recommendations in a roadmap to be spearheaded by 
the Undersecretary of Research, Education and Economics under 
section 7402 of this legislation.
  Subsection (b) modifies section 1408(b) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 
1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123(b)) to change membership in the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics 
Advisory Board from thirty-one members to twenty-four members. 
Members representing the following organizations are not 
members of the NAREEE Advisory Board in this legislation: a 
national animal commodity organization, a national crop 
commodity organization; a national aquaculture association; a 
non-land grant college or university with a historic commitment 
to research in the food and agricultural sciences; the portion 
of the scientific community not closely associated with 
agriculture; an agency within USDA that lacks research 
capabilities; a research agency of the Federal Government other 
than USDA; and national organizations directly concerned with 
agricultural research, education, and extension. One member 
actively engaged in aquaculture is added to compensate for the 
loss of representation from a national aquaculture association.
  Subsection (c) is a series of conforming amendments to modify 
each place in existing law to reflect the change from ``the 
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service'' 
to ``the National Institute of Food and Agriculture''.
Section 7402. Coordination of Agricultural Research Service and 
        National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
  This section adds section 309 to title III of the Department 
of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994(7 U.S.C. 2204) to 
formalize coordination between the Agricultural Research 
Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 
This section requires an annual report to Congress on 
coordination between the agencies. It also tasks the 
Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics with 
undertaking a roadmap to identify major opportunities and gaps 
in agricultural research, extension, and education, and to use 
this roadmap to set the research agenda and recommend funding 
levels for programs in this mission area of the Department.

                       SUBTITLE F--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 7501. Joint nutrition monitoring and related research 
        activities.
  This section reaffirms the joint nutrition monitoring and 
research activities conducted under the National Nutrition 
Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990 by the Departments 
of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.
Section 7502. Demonstration project authority for temporary positions.
  The Demonstration Project Authority for Temporary Positions 
(DEMO) was established within the Agricultural Research Service 
and the Forest Service in 1990, and it is the primary hiring 
mechanism for both agencies, but it did not include temporary 
hiring. This section authorizes the DEMO hiring process for 
temporary recruitment on an indefinite basis.
Section 7503. Review of plan of work requirements.
  This section requires a review of the Plan of Work 
requirements under the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, the Hatch Act, and 
the Smith-Lever Act.
Section 7504. Study and report on access to nutritious foods.
  This section directs the Secretary to study and report on 
areas in the United States with limited access to affordable 
and nutritious food, with a focus on predominantly lower-income 
neighborhoods and communities.
  The Committee is concerned about arthropod-borne diseases 
that increasingly affect the U.S. livestock industry and 
wildlife. Consequently, the Committee expects the Agricultural 
Research Service to update the March 2005 feasibility study on 
the arthropod-borne animal disease research laboratory to cover 
present potential and option.
  The Committee is aware of the Forest Service's work on the 
Fire Research and Management Exchange System, an internet-
based, centralized national portal for access to and exchange 
of science-based data, analysis tools, training materials and 
other information related to interagency wildland fire 
management. The Committee believes that the system can make a 
major contribution to science-based understanding and response 
to wildland fires, which continue to threaten many areas of our 
nation. The committee expects the Forest Service to continue to 
work with its partners to develop a plan for nationwide 
implementation by 2011.
  The Committee commends the USDA Graduate School for its 
strong tradition of service and high quality programs and 
expects the school to continue its operations as it is 
currently structured.

                          TITLE VIII--FORESTRY

        SUBTITLE A--COOPERATIVE FORESTRY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1978

Section 8001. National priorities for private forest conservation.
  Amends section 2 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act 
of 1978 [16 U.S.C. 2101] by creating a new subsection (c). This 
section establishes national private forest conservation 
priorities that the Secretary shall use when allocating funds 
made available under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 
1978.
  Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to submit a report to 
Congress by September 20, 2011 that describes how Cooperative 
Forestry Assistance Act funding has been used to address the 
national priorities established in subsection (c).
Section 8002. Community Forest and Open Space Program.
  Amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 by 
inserting after section 7 (16 U.S.C. 2103c) a new section (7A) 
entitled Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program 
that will provide Federal matching grants to help county or 
local governments, Indian tribes, or non-profit organizations 
acquire private forests that are threatened by conversion to 
non-forest uses and are economically, environmentally and 
culturally important to communities.
  Subsection (a) provides definitions that will be used for the 
Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. 
Subsection (b) is the establishment of the program.
  Subsection (c) establishes a grant program that provides a 
Federal cost share equal to not more than 50-percent of the 
cost to acquire one or more parcels of land. An eligible entity 
shall provide a non-Federal match in cash, donation, or in kind 
equal to the outstanding amount. An application process is 
established where an eligible entity shall submit to the state 
forester or equivalent official (or in the case of an eligible 
entity that is an Indian tribe an equivalent official of the 
Indian tribe) an application that includes a description of 
land to be acquired and a forest plan that includes a 
description of community benefits achieved from acquisition.
  Subsection (d) requires eligible entities to provide public 
access for recreational use consistent with the purposes of the 
program.
  Subsection (e) requires an eligible entity that sells or 
converts land acquired under this program to non-forest use to 
reimburse the Federal Government an amount equal to the greater 
of the sale price or current appraisal value. The eligible 
entity will also no longer be eligible for additional grants 
under this program.
  Subsection (f) allows the Secretary to allocate 10-percent of 
funds to made available for this program to state foresters or 
equivalent official (or in the case of an eligible entity that 
is an Indian tribe an equivalent official of the Indian tribe) 
for program administration and technical assistance.Subsection 
(g) authorizes an appropriation of such sums as necessary to 
carryout the program.
Section 8003. Federal, state, and local coordination and cooperation.
  Amends section 19(b)(2)(D) of the Cooperative Forestry 
Assistance Act of 1978 by stating applications submitted by 
Indian tribes do not have to pass through the State 
Coordinating Committee.
Section 8004. Comprehensive statewide forest planning.
  Amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 by 
inserting after section (19) (16 U.S.C. 2113) a new section 
(20) entitled comprehensive statewide forest planning. This 
section establishes a program the assist States to develop 
comprehensive statewide assessments and plans which identify 
the critical forestry resources and needs in a State.
  Subsection (a) establishes the comprehensive statewide forest 
planning program under which the Secretary shall provide 
financial and technical assistance to States for use in the 
development and implementation of statewide forest resource 
assessments and plans.
  Subsection (b) establishes that for a State to be eligible to 
receive funds under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 
1978, the state forester or equivalent state official shall 
develop a statewide forest resource assessment and plan that 
incorporates any current forest management plan in the State; 
addresses the needs of the region without regard to state 
borders; and provides a comprehensive statewide plan for 
managing forestland that achieves the national priorities in 
section 2(c) Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.
  Subsection (c) requires the State Forester or equivalent 
state official to coordinate with the State Forest Stewardship 
Coordination Committee, state wildlife agencies, the State 
Technical Committee and other applicable Federal land 
management agencies in developing statewide assessments and 
plans.
  Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to review the statewide 
assessments and plans established under this section.
  Subsection (e) authorizes $10,000,000 to be appropriated to 
carryout this section.
Section 8005. Assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia, the 
        Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
  Amends section 13(d)(1) of the Cooperative Forestry 
Assistance Act of 1978 [16 U.S.C. 2109(d)(1)] by allowing the 
Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall 
Islands, and the Republic of Palau to be eligible for 
Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act funding.

        SUBTITLE B--TRIBAL-FOREST SERVICE COOPERATIVE RELATIONS

Section 8101. Definitions.
  Provides definitions for Indian, Indian Tribe and National 
Forestry System that will be used under this subtitle.

     PART I--COLLABORATION BETWEEN INDIAN TRIBES AND FOREST SERVICE

Section 8111. Forest Legacy Program.
  Amends section 7(a) of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance 
Act of 1978 [16 U.S.C. 2103c] by including Indian tribes as a 
direct participant in the Forest Legacy Program.
  Subsection (b) amends section 7(l) of the Cooperative 
Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 [16 U.S.C. 2103c(l)] to allow 
Indian tribes to receive a grant from the Secretary to carry 
out the Forest Legacy Program.
Section 8112. Forestry and resource management assistance for Indian 
        tribes.
  Creates a stand alone provision that authorizes the Secretary 
to provide financial, technical, educational and related 
assistance to Indian tribes for consultation and coordination 
with the Forest Service on issues relating to access to Forest 
Service land by members of a tribe for traditional, religious 
and cultural purposes; coordinated or cooperative management of 
resources shared by the tribe and the Forest Service; the 
provision of tribal traditional or cultural knowledge or 
expertise; projects and activities for conservation education 
and awareness with respect to forestland and grassland that is 
eligible Indian land; and technical assistance for forest 
resources planning, management, and conservation on eligible 
Indian land.
  Subsection (c) establishes that Indian tribes can only 
participate in the established Forestry and resource management 
assistance program or the forest stewardship program under 
section 5 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.
  Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to promulgate 
regulations to implement subsection (b), including rules for 
determining the distribution of assistance.
  Subsection (e) requires the Secretary to coordinate with the 
Secretary of the Interior to ensure that activities under 
subsection (b) do not conflict with Indian tribal programs at 
the Department of the Interior.

          PART II--CULTURAL AND HERITAGE COOPERATION AUTHORITY

Section 8121. Purposes.
  Authorizes the reburial of human remains and cultural items, 
including items repatriated under the Native American Graves 
Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), on 
National Forest System land; prevents the unauthorized 
disclosure of information regarding burial sites; authorizes 
that the Secretary may allow access to National Forest System 
land by Indians and Indian tribes for traditional and cultural 
purposes; authorizes the Secretary to protect the 
confidentiality of certain information that is culturally 
sensitive to Indian tribes.
Section 8122. Definitions.
  For the purpose of this section provides definitions for 
adjacent site, cultural items, human remains, lineal 
descendant, reburial site, and traditional and cultural 
purpose.
Section 8123. Reburial of human remains and cultural items.
  Authorizes that the Secretary may allow the use of National 
Forest System land for reburial of human remains or cultural 
items in possession of the Indian tribe or lineal descendant 
that have been disinterred from National Forest System land or 
adjacent site.
Section 8124. Temporary closure for traditional and cultural purposes.
  Authorizes that the Secretary may temporarily close from 
public access specifically designated National Forest System 
land to protect the privacy of tribal activities for 
traditional and cultural purposes on the smallest practicable 
area for a minimal period of time.
Section 8125. Forest products for traditional and cultural purposes.
  Authorizes that the Secretary may provide Indian tribes 
forest products from National Forest System used for 
traditional and cultural purposes as long as those forest 
products are not used for commercial purposes.
Section 8126. Prohibition on disclosure.
  Authorizes that the Secretary shall not be required to 
disclose information under the Freedom of Information Act [5 
U.S.C. 552] relating to human or cultural items reburied on 
National Forest System land or a site used for traditional and 
cultural purposes by an Indian tribe.
  Subsection (b) allows the Secretary to disclose information 
about the location of human remains or cultural items if the 
Secretary consults with an affected Indian tribe or lineal 
descendant before disclosure and determines that disclosure is 
necessary to protect human remains or cultural items from harm, 
theft, or destruction and mitigates any adverse impacts that 
may result from disclosure.
Section 8127. Severability and savings provision.
  Authorizes if any provision in this section is not valid that 
will not affect the remainder of the section; if any 
preexisting agreement is in place this section will not 
supersede the existing agreement.

                  SUBTITLE C--AMENDMENTS TO OTHER LAWS

Section 8201. Renewable resources extension activates.
  Amends section 6 of the Renewable Resources Extension Act of 
1978 [16 U.S.C. 1675] to reauthorize the program through 2012.
Section 8203. Office of International Forestry.
  Amends section 2450(d) of the Global Climate Change 
Prevention Act [7 U.S.C. 6704(d)] by reauthorizing the Office 
of International Forestry within the U.S Forest Service through 
2012.

                            TITLE IX--ENERGY

Section 9001. Strike and replace amendment.
  This section replaces title IX of the FSRIA of 2002.
Section 9001. Definitions.
  This section provides definitions to be used throughout the 
energy title, including ``advanced biofuels'' and ``renewable 
biomass'' (both definitions are similar to the Senate-passed 
energy legislation, HR6. This is intended to accomplish 
consistency across government agencies and programs). Within 
the definition of renewable biomass, the Committee expects the 
term `to restore ecosystem health' to be defined using the 
Society for Ecological Restoration's definition of `ecological 
restoration', namely `the process of assisting the recovery of 
an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.' 
The Committee further expects that in practice, preventative 
treatments to address ecosystem health may include projects 
whose goals are to enhance, improve, or restore ecosystem 
structure and function, including, but not limited to, actions 
such as to maintain or enhance habitats, watersheds, and soil 
productivity. The definition of ``advanced biofuels'' excludes 
corn ethanol. Additionally, ``biomass conversion facility'' is 
defined as a facility that converts or proposes to convert 
renewable biomass into heat, power, biobased products or 
advanced biofuels. This section also contains an updated 
definition of ``biobased product'' to ensure that intermediate 
biobased ingredients and feedstocks are included in the 
biobased procurement and labeling programs. ``Biobased 
product'' is defined as a commercial or industrial product 
(other than food or feed) that is composed of biological 
products, including renewable domestic agricultural materials 
and forestry materials, or an intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock. The term ``intermediate ingredient or feedstock'' is 
also defined in this bill as a material or compound made in 
whole or in significant part from biological products or 
forestry materials, that is subsequently used to make a more 
complex compound or product.
Section 9002. Biobased Markets Program.
  This section continues the Federal Procurement of Biobased 
Products Program established in section 9002 of the FSRIA of 
2002 (7 U.S.C. 8102). This section restates the guidelines 
governing the certification of and preference for biobased 
products for procurement by Federal agencies. The section also 
clarifies that, under this program: products for which there is 
only one product or manufacturer in the category may be 
certified for procurement; biobased intermediate ingredients 
and feedstocks qualify for certification and procurement; and 
biobased products composed of greater than 50 percent biobased 
intermediate ingredients or feedstocks will be automatically 
certified for procurement. It also specifies that the Secretary 
may not require more information from manufacturers or vendors 
of biobased products than the Secretary would require from the 
manufacturers or vendors of non-biobased products.
  The section requires the Secretary to offer biobased 
procurement system models to States within 180 days of 
enactment of this bill. The Office of Federal Procurement 
Policy (OFPP) is required to work across agencies to coordinate 
implementation of this section, collect data related to 
procurement of biobased products and conduct research and 
promotion related to this section. The OFPP is also required to 
submit a report on implementation of this program to Congress 
every 2 years.
  Each Federal procuring agency is required to submit to the 
OFPP information regarding: implementation efforts; results of 
annual review and monitoring of this program; details of 
contracts the agency enters into that contain a biobased 
product procurement requirement; and the details of actual 
biobased product procurement under such contracts. The General 
Services Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency are 
required to submit to the OFPP each year the details of 
biobased product procurement through GSA Advantage!, the 
Federal Supply Schedule, and the Defense Logistics Agency.
  The section requires each procuring agency to establish an 
agency promotion program for biobased products and an annual 
review of the effectiveness of the agency's biobased 
procurement program.
  This section also requires the Secretary to develop a 
voluntary label for biobased products within 90 days of 
enactment of this legislation. It requires the Secretary to 
consult with the EPA, business representatives, and other 
Federal agencies in the process of issuing criteria for the 
label.
  This section also requires the Secretary to provide 
recognition to agencies and private entities that use 
significant amounts of biobased products and encourages Federal 
agencies to establish their own, intra-agency, recognition 
programs.
  The section requires the Architect of the Capitol, the 
Sergeant at Arms of the Senate and the Chief Administrative 
Officer of the House of Representatives to begin to participate 
in the biobased procurement program within 90 days of enactment 
of this bill. It also requires the USDA to sponsor or support a 
biobased products showcase annually beginning in 2008.
  This section allows the Secretary to establish one or more 
testing centers for performance standards and biobased content 
of biobased products.
  A biofuel, bioenergy and biobased products education and 
awareness campaign is also established under this section. The 
Secretary is required to work with the DOE to issue grants to 
eligible entities to implement public education and awareness 
programs related to biofuels (excluding biodiesel), bioenergy 
and biobased products. Eligible entities include: state energy 
or agricultural offices; regional, state-based, or tribal 
energy organizations; land-grant colleges or universities or 
other institutions of higher education; rural electric 
cooperatives or utilities; nonprofit organizations; state 
environmental quality offices; and other similar entities. In 
addition to other appropriate assistance under this program the 
Committee expects the Secretary to provide for assistance to 
entities proposing to disseminate information and/or provide 
technical assistance to advance the availability and use of E-
85 fuel.
  The Secretary is required, under this section, to submit a 
report to Congress every six months that would include a 
comprehensive management plan for implementation of this 
section as well as information on the progress of the 
designation and labeling programs for biobased products.
  This section provides $3 million in mandatory funding for 
each of FY 2008 through 2012 for the testing of biobased 
products for certification and the biofuels, bioenergy and 
biobased products education and awareness campaign.
Section 9003. Biodiesel fuel education.
  This section continues the Biodiesel Education Program 
created by the FSRIA of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8104), under which the 
Secretary makes grants to eligible entities to educate the 
public about the benefits of biodiesel. This section provides 
$2 million per year in mandatory funding for this program for 
FY 2008 through FY 2012. The Committee expects projects 
selected for grants under section 9004 of the FSRIA of 2002 to 
continue under the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program.
Section 9004. Biomass crop transition.
  This section establishes a program of payments to eligible 
participants planting eligible crops for use in a biomass 
conversion facility. An eligible participant is defined as an 
agricultural producer or forest landowner that: establishes 1 
or more eligible crops on private land to be used in a biomass 
conversion facility; has a financial commitment from an 
existing or proposed biomass conversion facility to purchase 
the eligible crops and; is producing the crops close enough to 
their intended market to be economically practicable. For the 
purposes of the Biomass Crop Transition Assistance Program 
established in this section, an eligible crop is defined as any 
perennial crop of renewable biomass that does not qualify for 
any payments under the Producer Income Protection programs in 
title I. For the section relating to the production of annual 
crops, any annual crop of renewable biomass that is not 
eligible for payments under title I is eligible.
  Under this section, the Secretary is directed to enter into 
contracts with eligible participants or with farmer-owned 
cooperatives, agricultural trade associations, or other similar 
entities on behalf of producer members. These groups can be 
treated as eligible participants if contracting with them 
offers improved efficiency in administration of the program. 
Under a contract, an eligible participant is required to: 
produce one or more eligible crops; follow conservation 
compliance; implement conservation practices necessary to 
advance the goals and objectives of state, regional, and 
national fish and wildlife conservation plans and initiatives; 
and comply with mandatory environmental requirements under 
Federal, state, and local law.
  It is the intent of the Committee that in implementing this 
section, the Secretary shall balance production goals with 
appropriate and necessary conservation guidelines. The 
Committee recognizes that cultivation of perennial grasses has 
inherent environmental and conservation benefits. The Committee 
hopes the development of new cultivation practices for 
perennial grasses will reduce erosion, the use of chemical 
inputs and provide wildlife habitat compared to those currently 
employed for title I crops. The Committee intends the new 
program will be temporary in nature and all efforts should be 
made to communicate to contract participants that funds in the 
program are limited and finite. The Committee does not intend 
for the program to act as an open entitlement.
  During the first year of the contract, the Secretary is 
directed to provide a payment to the eligible participant to 
cover the costs of establishing the eligible crop. In 
subsequent years, the Secretary provides a payment in an amount 
sufficient to encourage production of the eligible crop by the 
eligible participant.
  This section also allows the Secretary to provide technical 
assistance and cost-sharing for annual renewable biomass crops 
for use in a biomass conversion facility. It also requires 
these producers to follow conservation compliance.
  In addition to the other transition assistance, this section 
provides a fixed, per-ton payment to eligible participants upon 
delivery of biomass crops to a biomass conversion facility. The 
fixed payment rate is to reflect the costs of collecting, 
harvesting, storing, and transporting the crop.
  Eligible participants and biomass conversion facilities under 
this section are required to keep records of the methods used 
in production, collection, harvesting, storing and transporting 
the crop, and to make those records available to the Secretary 
upon request. The Secretary, using this information, shall make 
information available to the public on the production potential 
and best practices for producing, collecting, harvesting, 
storing, and transporting eligible crops for advanced biofuel 
production.
  This section provides mandatory funding of $130 million over 
the life of the bill for the biomass crop transition assistance 
and annual crop assistance programs and $10 million for each of 
fiscal years 2009 through 2011 for the collection, harvesting, 
storage and transportation payments.
Section 9005. Biorefinery and repowering assistance.
  This section establishes grant and loan guarantee programs to 
support the use of biomass to produce advanced biofuels and to 
convert facilities to the use of renewable energy to displace 
their use of fossil energy. It is the intent of the Committee 
that, to the maximum extent practicable, priority be given to 
applicants seeking assistance for development and construction 
of biorefineries that convert cellulosic feedstocks. It is also 
the intent of the Committee that assistance for development and 
construction of biorefineries should include retrofitting of 
existing biorefineries. This provision provides competitive 
grants for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs for the 
development of pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries to 
produce advanced biofuels. Project selections shall be based on 
the likelihood of demonstrating commercial viability of new or 
emerging processes for producing advanced biofuels, and also 
are to consider applicant's and other funding sources, 
participation of producer associations and cooperatives, 
beneficial impacts on resource conservation, public health and 
the environment, and the potential for rural economic 
development, among others.
  This section also provides competitive grants for up to 20 
percent of total project costs for the repowering of fossil-
fueled biomass conversion facilities, power plants, or 
manufacturing facilities with renewable resources such as 
biomass, solar, or wind power. Additionally, this section 
provides matching funds for feasibility studies for the 
repowering of such facilities, with a funding limit of not more 
than 50 percent of study costs or $150,000.
  Subsection (f) of this section provides loan guarantees for 
up to 80 percent of total eligible project costs for the 
development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries 
and the repowering of biomass conversion facilities, power 
plants and manufacturing facilities with renewable energy. 
Applicants for biorefineries are required to establish 
commitments to cover at least 20 percent of project costs from 
non-Federal sources, and to demonstrate that local investors 
have been given the opportunity to invest in the project. In 
addition, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed 
technology has been established to be ready for commercial 
scale operation. Any loan guaranteed for commercial scale 
biorefineries cannot exceed $250 million and a loan guaranteed 
for repowering cannot exceed $70 million. This subsection 
includes a preference for local ownership of biorefinery 
facilities.
  This section includes a preference for projects that receive 
financial support from the State in which the project is 
carried out.
  This section provides $300 million in mandatory funding in 
fiscal year 2008 to remain available until expended.
Section 9006. Bioenergy Program for advanced biofuels.
  This section reinstates the CCC Bioenergy Program, 
established in section 9010 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 
8108), which expired in 2006 and provided assistance to biofuel 
producers for the purchase of feedstocks.
  This section defines an eligible entity for this program as a 
producer of an advanced biofuel, which excludes corn starch 
ethanol by definition. The Secretary is directed to make 
payments to eligible entities to encourage increased purchases 
of renewable biomass and increased production of advanced 
biofuels. The Secretary and advanced biofuel producer are 
required to enter into a contract in order to carry out the 
purposes of this program. This section describes the basis for 
payment under this program, including level of biofuel 
production, feedstock prices and net non-renewable energy 
content of the advanced biofuel produced. It is the intention 
of the Committee that the Secretary continue to determine the 
payment rate under this section for biodiesel as it was 
determined under section 9010 of the FSRIA of 2002.
  Limitations on the program include a requirement that the 
funds available be distributed to eligible entities in an 
equitable manner; that eligible entities receiving a payment 
under this program are not eligible for any small producer tax 
credit; and that no payment should be made for advanced 
biofuels produced at facilities that have total refining 
capacity of greater than 150 million gallons per year. It is 
the intention of the Committee that the limit on the size of 
the refinery apply to all fuel refining of any type that takes 
place at the refinery--not only the advanced biofuel refining 
capacity. This section provides $245 million in mandatory 
funding for FY 2008 through FY 2012 for this program, to remain 
available until expended.
Section 9007. Rural Energy for America Program.
  This section establishes the Rural Energy for America Program 
(REAP). This program continues the Energy Audit and Renewable 
Development Program that was created by the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 8105) to provide energy audits and technical assistance 
to agricultural producers and rural small businesses through 
granted entities that are competitively selected. Eligible 
entities include state agencies, regional, State, or Tribal 
energy organizations, colleges and universities, rural electric 
cooperatives or public power entities, non-profit 
organizations, or similar entities. Granted entities are 
selected on the basis of ability and experience in providing 
energy audits and energy technical assistance, geographic scope 
of the program proposed, number of agricultural producers and 
rural small businesses expected to benefit from the program, 
energy, environment, and public health benefits, and the 
proposed plan for providing energy information. Cost sharing of 
at least 25 percent is required of agricultural producers or 
rural small businesses receiving energy audits.
  The Committee expects that the definition for the term public 
power entity used in this section be the same as the definition 
of state utility as defined in section 217 (a)(4) of the 
Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824q(a)).
  This section also continues and expands the Renewable Energy 
Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program created by 
the FSRIA of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8106). This program provides grants 
and loan guarantees for renewable energy systems and energy 
efficiency projects for agricultural producers and rural small 
businesses. Additionally, this section adds the option to 
receive a production incentive payment in lieu of a grant. In 
awarding grants, loan guarantees, and production incentive 
payments, the Secretary considers the type of renewable energy 
or energy efficiency system proposed and its expected energy 
impacts, expected energy cost savings, and expected 
environmental benefits, among other factors. The program 
stipulates that the amount of a grant may cover up to 25 
percent of project costs, and that a loan guarantee may cover 
up to the lesser of 75 percent of the cost of the activity or 
$25 million. The Committee intends that bioenergy production 
and utilization projects that also produce biochar as a 
byproduct to be used as a soil conditioner are eligible for 
support under the Rural Energy for America program.
  This section creates a separate allocation of funding for 
grants and loan guarantees to build and evaluate on-farm and 
community animal manure-to-energy facilities such as methane 
digesters. The majority of feedstocks used in such facilities 
must be animal manure, but these may be supplemented with other 
forms of renewable biomass such as waste materials from food 
processing or other green wastes. Funds provided may be used 
for installation, first year operation, and evaluation of 
animal manure-to-energy facilities. Facilities using 
technologies that are not yet commercial are eligible to use 
funding for the first 2 years of operations. It is the 
Committee's intent that funding under this subsection may be 
used for collection and transportation subsystems of manure to 
energy facilities, including: logistics; coordination between 
facilities seeking to connect by sharing one or more components 
of biogas production; and construction of equipment or 
facilities necessary to collect or transport feedstocks. Grant 
and loan guarantee recipients are selected on the basis of the 
quality of energy produced, energy conversion efficiency of the 
facility, a range of environmental impacts, the net impact on 
greenhouse gas emissions of the facility, and geographic 
diversity, among other factors. Grants are limited to 50 
percent of project costs for projects costing less than 
$500,000, and are limited to the greater of $250,000 or 25 
percent of project costs for larger projects, provided, 
however, that no grant will exceed $2 million. Loan guarantees 
are limited to the lesser of 80 percent of eligible project 
costs and $25 million.
  This section also establishes streamlined grant and loan 
applications for under $20,000, and requires that 20 percent of 
funds authorized in this section be used for such projects. The 
Energy Star Program is also extended in this section to 
identify and promote energy-efficient equipment and facilities 
in the agricultural sector.
  The Committee expects references to energy efficiency and 
renewable energy sources in this section to include geothermal 
ground loops.
  The Committee intends that in carrying section 9007(b)(3), 
the Secretary may conduct the merit review process through the 
solicitation of input regarding applications from qualified 
experts either individually or collectively.
Section 9008. Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000.
  This section provides for the continuation of the Biomass 
Research and Development Act of 2000, established in title III 
of the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 (7 U.S.C. 7624 
note; Public Law 106-224) and moves it in statute to this 
legislation. This program funds competitive grants for basic 
and applied research related to the conversion of biomass into 
bioenergy and biobased products. An individual with expertise 
in plant biology and biomass feedstock development is added to 
the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory 
Committee.
  This section changes the current law by eliminating the 
specific allocation of funding by technical area, instead 
providing that each technical area should receive a minimum of 
15 percent of the available funding. Additionally, changes to 
this section emphasize the utilization of biofuel byproducts, 
such as dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS), and 
development of technologies for collection, harvest, storage, 
preprocessing and transportation of renewable biomass 
feedstocks. This section provides mandatory funding of $75 
million over the life of the bill for this program.
  The Committee feels strongly that the Board should fund 
projects that address the critical need for integrated research 
and technology development in the area of biofuels. Funded 
projects should take an integrated approach along the full 
biofuels and biobased products value chain and should serve as 
a platform for both technology transfer and workforce 
development. The Committee encourages consideration of 
collaborative research on corn and cellulosic genomics to 
support improved biofuels conversion processes.
  The Committee is aware that The Pennsylvania State University 
is working on all aspects of biofuels development from plant 
transformation to production, harvest, and storage; and from 
biomass pretreatment to fuel formulation and engine testing in 
collaboration with private industry and the government. The 
Committee recognizes that this is a viable model which can 
provide invaluable feedback and systematic improvement to our 
development of a national biofuels infrastructure.
Section 9009. Sun Grant Program.
  This section reauthorizes, through the life of this bill, the 
Sun Grant Program. This program was created as the Research, 
Extension and Educational Programs on Biobased Energy, 
Technologies and Products in section 9011 of the FSRIA of 2002 
(7 U.S.C. 8109(d)). It is a regional land grant research 
program for the advancement of biobased energy technology 
development. Land grants current designated as Sun Grant 
centers include: South Dakota State University; Oklahoma State 
University; the University of Tennessee; Oregon State 
University; and Cornell University.
  Changes in this section to the current law include the 
establishment of a Western Insular Pacific Sub-Center at the 
University of Hawaii and the elimination of the words ``for 
administration'' in paragraph (e)(1). This wording change 
clarifies that the Sun Grant centers may use their dedicated 25 
percent allocation of funding for purposes beyond 
administration, such as research and coordination. The section 
also, for the first time, provides mandatory funding for the 
Sun Grant program of $25 million over the life of the bill.
Section 9010. Regional biomass crop experiments.
  This section establishes a program of regional biomass crop 
experiments at 10 geographically dispersed and competitively-
selected land-grant universities. This program of continuing 
crop experiments will provide farmers and foresters with 
information needed on which crops are most suited to their 
regions and soil types as well as the most effective agronomic 
practices for their production. The applicant universities will 
be required to commit adequate crop land and other resources 
needed for these on-going crop experiments. The crop 
experiments will include all appropriate biomass species, 
including perennials, annuals, and woody biomass species. The 
section calls for coordination among participants, as well as 
coordination of participants with the Biomass Research and 
Development Board and with the Sun Grant Centers. This section 
also establishes a ``best practices'' database on all aspects 
of biomass crop production. This section provides mandatory 
funding of $10 million for fiscal year 2008, $20 million for 
fiscal year 2009, and $10 million for fiscal year 2010, all to 
remain available until expended.
Section 9011. Biochar research, development and demonstration.
  This section establishes a research, development and 
demonstration program on the production and use of biochar as a 
soil conditioner and as a means for sequestering carbon in 
soils. The program provides grants on a competitive basis for 
laboratory research and field trials. Areas of focus include 
coproduction of biochar with bioenergy in pyrolysis or 
thermocombustion processes, soil effects of biochar 
applications, and soil carbon changes with biochar 
applications. Authorized funding is $3 million per year for 
each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 9012. Renewable woody biomass for energy.
  This section directs the Forest Service to create a program 
of grants to eligible entities for research, development and 
demonstration of wood-to-energy technologies. Entities eligible 
for this program would include: the Forest Service; other 
Federal agencies; State and local governments; federally 
recognized Indian tribes; colleges and universities; and 
private entities.
  This section directs the Secretary to give priority to 
projects that: develop technology and techniques to use low-
value woody biomass sources for the production of energy; 
develop processes that integrate production of energy from 
woody biomass into existing manufacturing streams; develop new 
transportation fuels from woody biomass; and improve the growth 
and yield of trees intended for renewable energy production. $5 
million per year is authorized to be appropriated for this 
program.
Section 9013. Community Wood Energy Program.
  This section creates a program, through the Forest Service, 
of competitive, cost-shared grants. Grants are available for 
feasibility studies as well as capital equipment to supply 
public buildings with energy from sustainably-harvested wood 
from the local area. Feasibility study grants are limited to 
$50,000, and capital equipment is limited in size to systems 
that produces less than 50 million Btu per hour for heating or 
2 megawatts of electricity. Important defined terms in this 
section include ``community wood energy plan,'' which is 
defined as a plan that identifies how local forests can be 
accessed in a sustainable manner to help meet the wood supply 
needs of a community wood energy system and ``community wood 
energy system'' which is a system that services schools, town 
halls, libraries, and other public buildings and uses woody 
biomass as the primary fuel. $5 million per year is authorized 
to be appropriated for this program.
Section 9014. Rural energy systems renewal.
  Many rural communities are concerned about their dependence 
on fossil fuel and about the environmental and climatic impacts 
of their energy systems and are interested in formulating 
strategies for changing their energy system. This section 
establishes a program of competitive grants to support 
community-based rural energy systems renewal projects. Project 
funds may be used for assessing current energy systems, 
including sources, uses and impacts, and for formulating 
strategies and plans for renovating their energy systems. This 
section also directs the Secretary, in consultation with the 
Secretary of Energy, to provide technical assistance for such 
rural community energy systems' renewal projects. Grant 
recipients are required to provide at least 50 percent of 
project costs. Authorized funds are $5 million per year for 
fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
Section 9015. Voluntary Renewable Biomass Certification Program.
  There is an interest in providing information to consumers 
about the environmental and resource conservation practices 
used in growing biomass feedstocks used to produce biofuels and 
other biobased products. This section directs the Secretary, in 
consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency, to establish a voluntary program to certify 
renewable biomass that meets sustainable growing standards 
designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect wildlife 
habitat, and protect air, soil, and water quality. Products 
such as biofuels made from certified biomass may be so 
designated provided that appropriate documentation is 
available. Within this section, the Committee expects the term 
``sustainable'' to be used in a manner consistent with the 
meaning defined in section 6021 of this Act.
Section 9016. Administration.
  This section establishes an entity within the Department to 
provide coordination and oversight for departmental programs 
and activities relating to renewable energy and biobased 
products. Responsibilities include coordination of related 
activities with other Federal, state, and local agencies. This 
entity will compile and disseminate information on agricultural 
sector energy research and Federal agricultural energy 
programs, including development and management of a best 
practices database derived from the programs and policies 
established under this energy title.
Section 9017. Biofuels infrastructure study.
  This section directs the Secretary, in collaboration with the 
Secretaries of Energy and Transportation and the Administrator 
of the EPA, to conduct a study of the infrastructure needs 
associated with a significant expansion in biofuel production 
and use. The study will include an assessment of the 
feasibility of dedicated ethanol or biofuel pipelines, the 
potential for utilization of existing pipelines, other biofuel 
transport modalities, as well as infrastructure needs for 
biomass transport and storage, and an examination of water 
resource needs for biorefineries. A report to Congress on the 
results of the study is required.
Section 9018. Rural nitrogen fertilizer study.
  The nation is experiencing both increasing imports of 
nitrogen fertilizer and increasing fertilizer prices. 
Developing technologies to produce nitrogen fertilizers using 
renewable energy in the agricultural sector would help to 
address these issues as well as provide an opportunity for 
rural economic development. This section directs the Secretary 
to conduct a study of the feasibility of nitrogen fertilizer 
production in rural areas using renewable energy. The study 
will identify alternative technologies as well as technology 
research needs. A report on the findings, including 
recommendations for a program to develop technologies to 
produce nitrogen fertilizer using renewable energy in rural 
areas, is required.
Section 9019. Study of life cycle analysis of biofuels.
  There is a growing interest in understanding of the full 
life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the 
production and use of biofuels and conventional fuels. This 
section directs the Secretary, in consultation with the 
Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency, to conduct a study of methods for evaluating 
the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of conventional fuels 
and biofuels. The Secretary is required to provide a report of 
the study findings and to provide recommendations for a method 
for performing simplified, streamlined life-cycle analysis of 
greenhouse gas emissions for biofuels and conventional fuels.
Section 9020. E-85 Fuel Program.
  This section directs the Secretary to make grants to majority 
producer-owned ethanol production facilities for up to 20 
percent of the costs associated with the installation, 
blending, storage and distribution equipment necessary to 
market and sell E-85 ethanol blends at retail. This section 
also allows grant recipients to provide sub-grants to rural 
retailers of E-85 to install necessary infrastructure. $20 
million is authorized to be appropriated over the life of this 
bill.
Section 9021. Research and development of renewable energy.
  This section establishes a renewable energy research and 
development program to be carried out in conjunction with the 
Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory. The program is to 
focus on bioenergy crops suited for arid and semiarid regions, 
on bioenergy conversion processes, on biomass harvesting, 
transport and storage technologies, and on water efficient 
irrigation systems and biofuel production technologies, among 
others. Authorized funding of $5 million is provided for each 
of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012. Additional funds are 
authorized specifically for cellulosic biofuel research and for 
development of smaller-scale biorefineries.
Section 9022. Northeast Dairy Nutrient Management and Energy 
        Development Program.
  This section creates a consortium, composed of Land Grant 
Colleges and Universities in the Northeast region of the U.S., 
and authorizes funding as necessary for the consortium to 
conduct multi-state, integrated research, extension and 
demonstration projects related to nutrient management and 
energy development. The Northeast region is defined to include 
including the States of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, 
Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. The 
section establishes a steering committee and a Board of 
Directors composed of entities from outside the consortium to 
administer the program. The Committee urges USDA to establish 
the program as soon as funds are available. Further, the 
Committee encourages the USDA to require collaboration among 
eligible land grant colleges and universities, producers and 
producer groups, State departments of agriculture and private 
sector technology providers from the region.
Section 9023. Future Farmsteads Program.
  This section directs the Secretary to select and equip, in 5 
regions of the country, working farmsteads appropriate to each 
region that demonstrate improved on-farm energy production and 
efficiency. The program is to be carried out in coordination 
with land grant institutions, agricultural commodity 
commissions, biofuel companies, sensor and controls companies 
and internet technology companies.
  The Committee expects one of the Farmstead Program regions to 
be located in the Southeast and housed at the University of 
Georgia Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, GA.
Section 9002. Sense of the Senate concerning higher levels of ethanol 
        blended gasoline.
  The majority of fuel ethanol currently is used as a 10 
percent blend with gasoline (called E10), and it is expected 
that the market for this blend level may have difficulty 
providing adequate market demand for the projected growth in 
ethanol production levels. This section expresses the sense of 
the Senate that the Secretary should study the economic and 
environmental benefits of intermediate blend levels, such as 
E13, E15, E20 and higher, and should ensure that use of 
intermediate blends is approved soon after appropriate tests 
have confirmed the suitability of such blends for 
transportation use.
Section 9003. Conforming amendments.
  This section repeals the Biomass Research and Development Act 
of 2000 in title III of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 
2000 because it is moved in statute to this Act. Additionally, 
this section clarifies that biobased products certified under 
existing law are to be considered certified under this Act. 
Lastly, this section repeals the Bioenergy Education and 
Awareness Campaign, section 947 of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005, because a very similar program is created and funded 
through this Act.

                           TITLE X--LIVESTOCK

                         SUBTITLE A--MARKETING

Section 10001. Livestock mandatory reporting.
  Section 10001 amends section 232(c)(3) of the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1635j(c)(3)). Subsection (a) 
moves the afternoon swine report from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Central Time. It is the Committee's intent that more afternoon 
transactions be included in the afternoon swine report to 
provide more accurate reporting.
  Subsection (b) amends section 232 of the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1635j) to require USDA not 
later than 180 days after enactment, to conduct a study on the 
positive or negative economic effects for inclusion of 
wholesale pork reporting, which is already provided by law for 
beef and lamb. Upon completion of the study, the Secretary of 
Agriculture may then require packer processing plants to at 
least twice each day report wholesale pork product sales. The 
Committee provides authority for the Department of Agriculture 
to collect the necessary data to conduct the wholesale pork 
report.
  Subsection (c) amends section 257 (a) of the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1636f(a)) by making clear that 
retail scanner data shall continue and not be treated as a 
pilot project.
Section 10002. Grading program for catfish.
  Section 10002 amends section 203 of the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1622) to provide authority to 
the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a grading program for 
farm-raised catfish.
  Subsection (b) provides the Department of Agriculture the 
authority to provide inspection activities under the Federal 
Meat Inspection Act for farm raised catfish.
Section 10003. Country of origin labeling.
  Section 10003 amends subtitle D of the Agricultural Marketing 
Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1638 et seq.). Subsection (a) adds goat 
meat and macadamia nuts as covered commodities. In order to 
provide consumers with additional information regarding the 
origin of certain covered commodities, this provision requires 
retailers to provide country of origin labeling for beef, lamb, 
pork and goat meat, fruits and vegetables, fish, peanuts, and 
macadamia nuts.
  A product can be labeled as product of United States if the 
commodity was exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the 
United States.
  Product from animals that were not exclusively born, raised 
and slaughtered in the United States and not imported for 
immediate slaughter will be labeled with all the countries in 
which the animal may have been born, raised or slaughtered. It 
is the Committee's intent that this section regarding multiple 
countries of origin (subsection B) be interpreted that 
mandatory country of origin labeling is required by retailers. 
The ``may'' in this section shall not be interpreted to be a 
voluntary practice by retailers. The ``may'' used in subsection 
(B) is to provide flexibility to packers when working with 
livestock from multiple countries of origin. It is the intent 
of the Committee that all the countries where livestock 
originated and subject to subsection (B) be labeled by 
retailers.
  Product imported for immediate slaughter will be labeled as 
product of the importing country and the United States.
  A label denoting a State, region or locality will suffice as 
identity of United States origin for perishable agricultural 
commodities.
  A person subject to an audit to verify compliance with the 
law can use records maintained in the normal conduct of 
business, including animal health papers, import or customs 
documents, or producer affidavits.
  Subsection (b) provides that a noncompliance will be issued 
after 30 days if it is found that the retailer or a person 
engaged in the business of supplying a covered commodity has 
not made a good faith effort to comply with the law, and 
continues to willfully violate the law. Fines cannot exceed 
$1,000 for each violation. Animals in the U.S. on or before 
January 1, 2008 may be designated as U.S. origin.

                SUBTITLE B--AGRICULTURAL FAIR PRACTICES

Section 10101. Agricultural fair practices.
  Section 10101 amends section 3 of the Agricultural Fair 
Practices Act of 1967 (7 U.S.C. 2302) to expand the definition 
of ``association of producers'' to include general livestock, 
poultry and farm groups.
Section 10102. Agricultural fair practices.
  Section 10102 amends section 4 of the Agricultural Fair 
Practices Act of 1967 (7 U.S.C. 2303) by adding the word 
``form'' to expand the Act to include producers that work to 
form an agricultural producer association. This section also 
adds ``to bargain in good faith with an association of 
producers.''
Section 10103. Agricultural fair practices.
  Section 10103 amends the Agricultural Fair Practices Act of 
1967 by striking sections 5 and 6 (7 U.S.C 2304, 2305) to make 
the law consistent with amendments to create a Special Counsel 
for Agricultural Competition and remove the disclaimer clause 
so that it can be defined through rulemaking. Section 5 (a)(b) 
allows the Special Counsel to bring a civil action in United 
States District Court (consistent with current law). This 
section also allows persons injured by a handler to seek remedy 
in United States District Court and recover damages and 
additional penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. The section 
also allows any person injured by a violation to receive remedy 
for the full amount of damages sustained including the costs of 
litigation and reasonable attorney's fees and sets the statute 
of limitations to no later than four years.
Section 10104. Agricultural fair practices.
  Section 10104 amends the Agricultural Fair Practices Act of 
1967 to provide authority for the Secretary to promulgate rules 
and regulations to carry out the Act, including regulations to 
define fair and normal dealing for purposes of selecting 
customers by handlers.

                   SUBTITLE C--PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS

Section 10201. Special counsel for agricultural competition.
  Section 10201 amends the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 
U.S.C. 181 et seq.) by creating a Special Counsel for 
Agricultural Competition within USDA. Activities relating to 
investigations and prosecutions will be combined into one 
office. The Office of Special Counsel will assume the 
responsibility over the duties and functions currently operated 
by the Packers and Stockyards programs at USDA. It is not the 
Committee's intent to duplicate current activities by the 
Packers and Stockyards programs, but rather absorb those 
activities and employees as part of the Office of Special 
Counsel. It is the intent of the Committee that grain 
inspection activities become separated from Packers and 
Stockyards programs (Special Counsel) and either be combined to 
another agency or become administered by itself. The Special 
Counsel will serve as a liaison between the Department of 
Justice and Federal Trade Commission. The Special Counsel shall 
report to the Secretary of Agriculture. The Special Counsel 
shall provide detailed reports to Congress, twice each year, 
that describe enforcement actions taken by the Office of 
Special Counsel, including any enforcement actions objected to 
or prohibited by the Secretary.
  It is the Committee's intent that the Special Counsel serve 
as a point person to coordinate, oversee, supervise and enforce 
activities relating to investigations and prosecutions. 
Attorneys at USDA's Office of General Counsel currently 
responsible for Packers and Stockyards cases will now report to 
both the Special Counsel and the Department's General Counsel.
Section 10202. Investigation of live poultry dealers.
  Section 10202 amends section 2(a) of the Packers and 
Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. 1821(a)) to provide the 
Secretary of Agriculture enforcement authority over poultry, 
including pullet and breeder hens.
Section 10203. Production contracts.
  Section 10203 amends section 2 (a) of the Packers and 
Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. 192(a))to provide definitions 
for capital investment, contractor, contract producer, 
investment requirements and production contracts.
          Subsection (b) amends title II of the Packers and 
        Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. 198 et seq.) to allow a 
        contract producer to cancel a production contract 
        within three business days after the date at which the 
        production contract is executed.
          Allows contract producers who have made an investment 
        of $100,000 or more for purposes of securing the 
        production contract with a packer, live poultry dealer, 
        or swine contractor be given at least 90 days to 
        correct an alleged breach before the contract can be 
        terminated, except when the producer has abandoned the 
        contractual relationship, conviction of the contract 
        producer, natural end of the contract, or the well-
        being of the livestock or poultry is in jeopardy under 
        the care of the contract producer.
          Inserts section 208 Right of Contract Producers to 
        Cancel Production ContractsProhibits a packer, live 
        poultry dealer, or swine contractor from requiring 
        additional investments during the term of the contract 
        unless the additional investments are offset by 
        additional consideration and the contract producer 
        agrees in writing that there is an acceptable and 
        satisfactory consideration or unless without the 
        additional investments the well-being of the livestock 
        or poultry would be in jeopardy.
          Inserts section 209 Choice of Law, Jurisdiction, and 
        VenueProvides that no provisions in livestock or 
        poultry production or marketing contracts can require 
        the application of a law from a State other than the 
        State in which the production occurs, unless the 
        producer selects a venue that is otherwise permitted by 
        law.
          Inserts section 210 ArbitrationAllows producers to 
        settle disputes using arbitration only if, after the 
        controversy arises, both parties consent in writing to 
        use arbitration to settle the controversy.
Section 10204. Right to discuss terms of contract.
  Section 10204 amends section 10503 of the FSRIA of 2002 (7 
U.S.C. 229b(b)) to make clear that livestock or poultry 
producers can choose to discuss the terms of his or her 
contract with business associates, neighbors or other 
producers.
Section 10205. Attorneys' fees.
  Section 10205 amends section 308(a) the Packers and 
Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C.209(a)) to allow producers to 
receive remedy for violations that include the costs of the 
litigation and reasonable attorneys' fees.
Section 10206. Appointment of outside counsel.
  Section 10206 amends section 407 the Packers and Stockyards 
Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. 228) to provide the authority to the 
Secretary of Agriculture, if necessary, to seek outside counsel 
to aid in investigations and civil cases.
Section 10207. Prohibition on packers owning, feeding, or controlling 
        livestock.
  Section 10207 amends section 202 of the Packers and 
Stockyards Act, 1921 (7 U.S.C. 192) to prohibit packers from 
owning, feeding livestock directly, through a subsidiary or 
through an arrangement that gives the packer operational, 
managerial or supervisory control over the livestock or the 
farming operation that produces the livestock, to such an 
extent that the producer is no longer materially participating 
in the management of the operation with respect to the 
production of the livestock. The prohibition on owning or 
feeding livestock does not apply to: packers within 14 days 
before slaughter; cooperatives where the majority of ownership 
interest is held by active cooperative members; packers not 
required to report to the Secretary under section 212 of the 
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1635a); or a 
packer that only owns one livestock processing plant.
Section 10208. Regulations.
  Section 10208 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to 
promulgate regulations that define the term ``unreasonable 
preferences or advantage'' under the Packers and Stockyards 
Act. It also provides guidance for the rulemaking to ensure 
that advantage or preferences are based on verifiable lower 
costs of acquiring livestock from larger volume producers. This 
section also requires the Secretary to develop rules that 
require live poultry dealers to provide notice to poultry 
growers if the live poultry dealer imposes an extended layout 
time in excess of thirty days, prior to removal of the previous 
flock.

                      SUBTITLE D--RELATED PROGRAMS

Section 10301. Sense of Congress regarding pseudorabies program.
  Section 10301 is a Sense of Congress recognizing the threat 
that feral swine pose to the domestic swine and overall 
livestock population.
Section 10302. Sense of Congress regarding cattle fever tick 
        eradication program.
  Section 10302 is a Sense of Congress recognizing the 
potential threat of cattle fever tick and southern cattle tick 
to cattle and for the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a 
national strategic plan for eradication purposes.
Section 10303. National sheep and goat industry improvement center.
  Section 10303 amends section 375 of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2008j to reauthorize the 
National Sheep and Goat Industry Improvement Center and 
authorizes $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 
2012 for infrastructure development, business planning, 
production, resource development and market and environmental 
research. $1 million in mandatory funds is provided for fiscal 
year 2008.
Section 10304. Trichinae Certification Program.
  Section 10304 amends section 10409 of the Animal Health 
Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8308) authorizing $1,250,000 for each 
of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 for a trichinae certification 
program. This section also requires the Secretary to issue 
final regulations to implement the program 60 days after 
enactment of this Act.
Section 10305. Protection of information in the animal identification 
        system.
  Section 10305 amends the Animal Health Protection Act (7 
U.S.C. 8301 et seq) by inserting section 10416 to make clear 
that any use of information obtained through the national 
animal identification system by any person or entity shall be a 
violation of this Act. This section also clarifies how the 
Secretary can and cannot disclose information obtained through 
a national animal identification system.
Section 10306. Low pathogenic avian influenza.
  Section 10306 amends section 10407 (d)(2) Animal Health 
Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8306(d)2)) to codify USDA's interim 
rule (part 56 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations in effect 
on the date of enactment) to provide compensation to any owner 
or poultry grower participating in the voluntary control 
program for low pathogenic avian influenza under the National 
Poultry Improvement Plan and that such payments shall be made 
in the amount equal to 100 percent of eligible costs.
Section 10307. Study on bioenergy operations.
  Section 10307 requires the Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
through the Office of the Chief Economist to conduct a report 
describing the potential economic issues associated with animal 
manure used in normal agricultural operations and as a 
feedstock in bioenergy production.
  It is the intent of the Committee that the study evaluate any 
potential risks, including associated cost estimations, 
liability and regulatory issues raising potential obstacles to: 
(1) obtaining financing and liability insurance for bioenergy 
operations that utilize animal manure as a feedstock in a 
normal manner; (2) the normal transport, handling and storage 
of manure for bioenergy purposes; (3) the normal application of 
manure as a fertilizer for agricultural operations; and (4) the 
development of bioenergy operations, including smaller 
operations that utilize animal manure as a primary feedstock. 
In completing this study, USDA should seek technical advice and 
consultation from governmental, educational, and private 
entities and organizations.
Section 10308. Sense of the Senate on indemnification of livestock 
        producers.
  Section 10308 is a Sense of the Senate directing the 
Secretary to partner with the private insurance industry to 
implement an approach for expediting the indemnification of 
livestock producers in the case of catastrophic disease 
outbreaks.

                        TITLE XI--MISCELLANEOUS

                   SUBTITLE A--AGRICULTURAL SECURITY

               PART I--GENERAL AUTHORITY AND COORDINATION

Section 11021. Policy.
  Subsection (a) clarifies that Part I does not alter or impede 
any authority of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other 
applicable Federal departments and agencies to perform the 
responsibilities provided to USDA or other applicable Federal 
departments and agencies pursuant to Federal law.
  Subsection (b) requires USDA to cooperate with the Department 
of Homeland Security (DHS) with the responsibilities of DHS and 
Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPD) 5, 7, 8. 9. 
and 10.
Section 11022. Interagency coordination.
  Subsection (a) defines the role of DHS as the principal 
Federal agency to lead, coordinate, and integrate efforts by 
Federal departments and agencies, State, local, and tribal 
governments, and the private sector to enhance the agriculture 
and food system.
  Subsection (b) defines the roles of USDA as the sector-
specific lead for agricultural biosecurity efforts relating to 
agriculture, agricultural disease, meat, poultry, and egg food 
products. USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services 
(HHS) will coordinate during incidents relating to a zoonotic 
disease where the agent originated as an agricultural disease, 
or from a plant or animal population directly related to 
agriculture.
  Subsection (c) defines the role of USDA and DHS during 
routine domestic incidents relating to a potential or actual 
agricultural disease. If a routine domestic incident of 
agricultural disease is determined by the USDA or DHS to pose a 
significant threat to the agricultural biosecurity of the 
United States, DHS shall serve as the principal Federal 
official to lead and coordinate the appropriate Federal 
response to the incident.
  Subsection (d) establishes the Office of Homeland Security at 
USDA and requires the Secretary to appoint a Director for the 
Office. The Director will coordinate all homeland security 
activities at USDA and serve as the primary liaison with other 
Federal agencies on homeland security coordination efforts. 
This subsection also establishes an Agricultural Biosecurity 
Communication Center to coordinate preparedness activities 
within USDA relating to agricultural biosecurity threats. The 
Agricultural Biosecurity Communication Center will coordinate 
with existing communication and coordination centers at DHS.
Section 11023. Submission of integrated food defense budget.
  This section requires USDA, DHS, and HHS to submit an 
integrated food defense budget to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) and directs OMB, subject to the approval of the 
President, to include the integrated budget in the President's 
budget.
Section 11024. Transfer of certain agricultural inspection functions of 
        the Department of Agriculture.
  This section repeals section 421 of the Homeland Security Act 
of 2002 and inserts it into this legislation.
  Subsection (h) clarifies that nothing in the transfer of 
agricultural inspectors from USDA to DHS preempts USDA's role 
as the sector-specific lead for agricultural disease 
emergencies. This subsection also clarifies that USDA retains 
responsibility for other activities of the Agricultural 
Quarantine Inspection Program, such as pre-clearance of 
commodities, trade protocol verification, fumigation, 
quarantine, diagnosis, eradication, and indemnification. USDA 
also retains responsibility for export, interstate, and 
intrastate activities, and for all agricultural inspection 
training.

    PART II--AGRICULTURAL QUARANTINE INSPECTION PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT

Section 11031. Definitions.
  This section defines the term ``program'' as the agricultural 
quarantine inspection program, and the term ``Secretary'' as 
the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Administrator 
of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Section 11032. Joint task force.
  This section establishes, not later than 30 days after 
enactment, a USDA-DHS Joint Task Force to provide coordinated 
central planning and make recommendations for improving the 
agricultural quarantine inspection program. The task force will 
be composed of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees.
Section 11033. Advisory board.
  This section establishes, not later than 180 days after 
enactment, an Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Program 
Advisory Board to advise USDA and DHS on policies and other 
issues related to the mission of the program. The Advisory 
Board will also ensure that interested stakeholders in the 
agriculture industry, State and local governments, and the 
general public have formal opportunities to provide input on 
improving the program.
Section 11034. Reports to Congress.
  This section requires USDA and DHS to jointly submit an 
annual report to Congress on resource needs and recommendations 
to improve agricultural inspections at ports of entry.
Section 11035. Port Risk Committees.
  This section requires USDA and DHS to jointly create, not 
later than 1 year after enactment, Port Risk Committees to 
service the agriculture mission for selected U.S. ports of 
entry as determined by DHS and USDA. The committees will 
determine necessary risk mitigation actions and regularly 
report to regional-level officials at APHIS and field office 
officials at CBP.
Section 11036. Emergency response planning at ports of entry.
  This section requires USDA and DHS to develop, not later than 
1 year after enactment, a comprehensive plan to identify and 
deploy trained personnel when significant agricultural pests 
and disease are detected at ports of entry. USDA and DHS are 
also required to coordinate national continuity of operations 
plans and plans for ports of entry.
Section 11037. Plant pest identification joint plan.
  This section requires USDA and DHS to prepare, not later than 
1 year after enactment, a joint plan to establish standards for 
plant pest and disease identification, inspection techniques 
training and discard authority.
Section 11038. Liaison officer positions.
  Subsection (a) requires the Secretary to establish a program 
liaison officer position in APHIS. The officer will be located 
in the same building as the highest ranking CBP official 
responsible for agricultural inspections at CBP.
  Subsection (b) requires the Secretary, acting through CBP, to 
establish a program liaison officer position in CBP. The 
officer will be located in the same building as the highest 
ranking APHIS official responsible for agricultural inspections 
at APHIS.
  Subsection (c) requires the liaison officers in subsections 
(a) and (b) to ensure daily communication between designated 
officials at APHIS and CBP.

                        PART III--MISCELLANEOUS

Section 11041. Designation and expedited review and approval of 
        qualified agricultural countermeasures.
  This section requires USDA and DHS, in consultation with 
appropriate departments and agencies, to designate a list of 
qualified agricultural countermeasures to protect against the 
intentional introduction or natural occurrence of agricultural 
disease emergencies. This section also provides for expedited 
review of qualified agricultural countermeasures for use or 
further testing. This section allows DHS and USDA, in 
consultation with appropriate departments and agencies, to de-
list qualified agricultural countermeasures that are no longer 
effective in maintaining or enhancing the agricultural 
biosecurity of the United States.
Section 11042. Agricultural disease emergency detection and response.
  Subsection (a)(1) requires DHS, in coordination with USDA and 
HHS, to assess potential agricultural biosecurity threats and 
determine which agricultural disease incidents or outbreaks 
would constitute an emergency.
  Subsection (a)(2) requires, once an emergency determination 
has been made for a potential threat, each Federal agency to 
notify DHS of any applicable regulations or emergency response 
procedures that would be deployed during an outbreak of an 
agricultural disease.
  Subsection (a)(3) requires DHS, in consultation with USDA and 
HHS, to share emergency procedure information with State, local 
and tribal governments, and to institute test exercises to 
determine effectiveness of emergency procedures.
  Subsection (b) requires USDA and DHS to develop and deploy an 
advance surveillance system for the entry of potential 
agricultural biological threats, to develop standards and 
implementation guidelines to monitor those threats, to enhance 
animal and plant health laboratory networks for diagnostic 
purposes. The data and information obtained through these 
activities will be integrated with the National Biosurveillance 
Integration Center at DHS.
  Subsection (c) requires USDA, in consultation with DHS and 
HHS, to develop and validate on-site rapid diagnostic tools to 
be used in agricultural disease emergencies.
  Subsection (d) requires USDA to coordinate emergency response 
procedures with state departments of agriculture and state and 
local agencies responsible for early disease detection and 
control. This subsection also requires USDA submit to Congress, 
not later than 180 days after enactment, an evaluation of the 
current staff, budgets and capabilities of regional 
coordinators at APHIS.
  Subsection (e) requires USDA to establish an Agricultural 
Biosecurity Task Force to identify best practices for use in 
state or regional biosecurity programs.
  Subsection (f) requires candidates for veterinary 
accreditation from USDA to receive training in foreign animal 
disease detection and response.
Section 11043. National Plant Disease Recovery System and National 
        Veterinary Stockpile.
  Subsection (a) establishes the National Plant Disease 
Recovery System (NPDRS). The NPDRS will include agricultural 
countermeasures, available within a single growing season, to 
respond to an outbreak of plant disease that poses a 
significant biosecurity threat.
  Subsection (b) establishes the National Veterinary Stockpile 
(NVS). The NVS will include agricultural countermeasures, 
available to any state veterinarian not later than 24 hours 
after an official request, to leverage the infrastructure of 
the strategic national stockpile.
Section 11044. Research and development of agricultural 
        countermeasures.
  This section establishes a competitive grant program at USDA 
to stimulate research and development activity for qualified 
agricultural countermeasures. This section also provides for a 
waiver of the competitive grant process in the case of 
emergencies and permits the use of foreign animal and plant 
diseases in research and development activities. USDA will 
provide information to DHS on each grant funded through this 
authorization. This section authorizes appropriations of 
$50,000,000 for each fiscal year from 2008 to 2012.
Section 11045. Veterinary Workforce Grant Program.
  This section establishes a veterinary workforce grant program 
at USDA to increase the number of veterinarians trained in 
biosecurity. This section also authorizes such sums as 
necessary for each fiscal year from 2008 to 2012.
Section 11046. Assistance to build local capacity in biosecurity 
        planning, preparedness, and response.
  Subsection (a) requires USDA to provide grants to support the 
development and expansion of advanced training programs in 
agricultural biosecurity planning and response for food science 
professionals and veterinarians. This subsection also 
authorizes such sums as necessary for each fiscal year from 
2008 to 2012.
  Subsection (b) requires USDA to provide grant and low-
interest loan assistance to States for use in assessing 
agricultural disease response capability for food science and 
veterinary biosecurity planning. This subsection also 
authorizes $25,000,000 for each fiscal year from 2008 to 2013.
Section 11047. Border inspections of agricultural products.
  Subsection (a) requires DHS, in consultation with USDA and 
HHS to coordinate with Federal intelligence officials to carry 
out increased inspections of agricultural products from 
countries with known capabilities to carry out an agroterrorist 
act.
  Subsection (b) requires USDA, DHS and HHS to use a compatible 
communication system for inspections of agricultural products 
at the border in order to better coordinate the inspection 
process.
Section 11048. Live virus of foot and mouth disease research.
  Subsection (a) requires USDA to issue a permit to DHS for 
work on live Foot and Mouth Disease virus at the National Bio 
and Agro-Defense Laboratory.
  Subsection (b) allows USDA to invalidate the permit if 
research is not conducted in accordance with USDA regulations.
  Subsection (c) clarifies that the suspension, revocation or 
impairment of the permit shall only be made by the Secretary of 
Agriculture and is a nondelegable function.

                       SUBTITLE B--OTHER PROGRAMS

Section 11051. Foreclosure.
  This section amends section 307 of the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1927).
  Subsection (a) Moratorium. This section mandates a moratorium 
on all loan acceleration and foreclosure proceedings where 
there is a related pending claim of discrimination against the 
Department related to a loan acceleration or foreclosure. This 
section also waives any interest and offsets that might accrue 
on all loans under this subtitle for which loan and foreclosure 
proceedings have been instituted for the period of the 
moratorium. If a farmer or rancher does not prevail on his 
claim of discrimination, then the farmer or rancher will be 
liable for any interests and offsets that accrued during the 
period that the loan was in abeyance. The moratorium will 
terminate on either the date the Secretary resolves the 
discrimination claim or the court renders a final decision on 
the claim, whichever is earlier.
  Subsection (b) Report. This section requires the Inspector 
General of USDA to determine whether loan foreclosure 
proceedings of socially disadvantaged farmers have been 
implemented according to applicable laws and regulations. The 
Inspector General shall submit a report of its determination to 
the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture not later than a 
year after this legislation's enactment.
Section 11052. Outreach and technical assistance for socially 
        disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
  This section amends section 2501 of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C.2279) in order to 
reauthorize and makes several changes to the 2501 Program for 
socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. First, it changes 
the program requirements to provide a stronger focus on 
improving the participation of socially disadvantaged farmers 
in existing USDA programs and also clarifies that grants 
provided under this section shall be made to organizations with 
a demonstrated track record of improving such participation. 
Second, it streamlines program administration by giving the 
Secretary of Agriculture the authority to renew contracts for 
existing grantees which have demonstrated an ability to meet 
program requirements. Third, it requires the Secretary to 
promulgate regulations establishing criteria for grants under 
this program. Fourth, it requires the Secretary, within 18 
months of enactment, to co-locate the 2501 Program and the 
Office of Outreach.
Section 11053. Additional contracting authority.
  Section 11053 amends section 2501(a)(3) of the Food, 
Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 
2279(a)(3)).
  This section clarifies that the agencies and programs of the 
Department of Agriculture are authorized to enter into 
contracts and cooperative agreements with community-based 
organizations to provide service to socially disadvantaged 
farmers and ranchers, clarifies that the Secretary is not 
required to require matching funds for such agreements, and 
allows Federal agencies to contribute to grants or cooperative 
agreements made under the 2501 Program as the agency determines 
that contributing funds for such purpose will further the 
authorized programs of the contributing agency.
Section 11054. Improved program delivery by the Department of 
        Agriculture on Indian reservations.
  Section 11054 amends 2501(g)(1) of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(g)(1).
  This section strikes the requirement that tribal authorities 
provide office space for USDA to establish program offices on 
Indian reservations.
Section 11055. Accurate documentation in the census of agriculture and 
        certain studies.
  Section 11055 amends section 2501 of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C.2279).
  This section requires the Secretary, to the maximum extent 
practicable, to ensure that the number, local, and economic 
contributions of socially disadvantaged farmers are accurately 
documented in the Census of Agriculture and studies carried out 
by the Economic Research Service.
Section 11056. Improved data requirements.
  Section 11056 amends section 2501A of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C.2279-1). Current 
law requires the Secretary to annually compute the 
participation rate of socially disadvantaged farmers and 
ranchers as a percentage of the total participation of all 
farmers and ranchers for each program USDA administers for 
farmers and ranchers.
  This section builds upon data reporting requirements first 
included in the FSRIA of 2002. It requires the Secretary of 
Agriculture to compute the application and participation rates 
of socially disadvantaged farmers in USDA programs at both the 
state and county level. The Secretary is required to annually 
compile and present data gathered under this section.
Section 11057. Receipt for service or denial of service.
  Section 11057 amends section 2501A of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C.2279-1)(as amended 
by section 11056).
  This section requires the Secretary of Agriculture to issue 
to farmers and ranchers seeking a benefit or service offered by 
USDA, a receipt that contains the date, place, and subject of 
the request as well as the action taken, not taken, or 
recommended to the farmer or rancher.
Section 11058. National Appeals Division.
  Section 11058 amends section 280 of the Department of 
Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 7000).
  This section establishes a reporting requirement that states 
the head of each agency shall report to the House and Senate 
Agriculture Committees, and post on their website information 
that includes a description of all cases returned to the agency 
by the National Appeals Division, the status of implementation 
of each final determination and if the final determination has 
not been implemented then the reason and the projected date of 
implementation. The reporting requirement to Congress should be 
every 180 days and the website should be updated not less than 
monthly.
Section 11059. Farmworker Coordinator.
  Section 11059 amends section 296(b) of the Department of 
Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 7014(b) to 
provide the Secretary with the authority to establish in the 
Department a position of Farmworker Coordinator.
  This section establishes within USDA the position of 
Farmworker Coordinator. This new position would provide 
financial and informational assistance to low-income migrant 
and seasonal farmworkers during times of natural disasters. 
Additionally, this position would be responsible for assisting 
farmworkers that are seeking information on how to start their 
own farming business.
Section 11060. Congressional Bipartisan Food Safety Commission.
  Section 11060 amends 21 U.S.C. 341 note; 116 Stat. 527, 
section 10807 of the FSRIA of 2002.
  This section establishes a Congressional Bipartisan Food 
Safety Commission. The members of the Commission will be 
appointed 60 days after the enactment of this legislation. It 
will meet, and conduct hearings to comprehensively review the 
food safety system of the United States. One year after its 
initial meeting, the Commission will publish a report on its 
findings, upon which the Commission will dissolve. The report 
of the Commission will: summarize information about the food 
safety system; make recommendations to modernize the U.S. food 
safety system, and harmonize and update food safety statutes, 
among other recommendations; and draft specific statutory 
language to implement the recommendations of the Commission.
Section 11061. Emergency grants to assist low-income migrant and 
        seasonal farmworkers.
  Section 11061 amends section 2281 of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation and Trade Act of 1990(42 U.S.C. 5177a).
  This section authorizes $2,000,000 in discretionary funding 
that the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to use for the 
purpose of making grants to public agencies or other community-
based organizations that provide short-term emergency family 
needs for low-income migrant and seasonal farmworkers during 
natural disasters.
Section 11062. Grants to reduce production of methamphetamines from 
        anhydrous ammonia.
  Current law: no provision.
  This section authorizes grants to assist eligible entities in 
reducing the amount of methamphetamine that is produced from an 
anhydrous ammonia fertilizer nurse tank. An eligible entity can 
be either a producer of an agricultural commodity, a 
cooperative association or a person who sells an agricultural 
product or chemical. The grant can be used either for a 
physical lock or a chemical substance.
Section 11063. Invasive species management, Hawaii.
  Current law: no provision.
  Subsection (a) defines the terms ``Secretaries,'' ``Secretary 
concerned,'' and ``State.''
  Subsection (b) requires cooperation among the Federal 
agencies involved in preventing the introduction of and 
controlling invasive species in the State of Hawaii. It also 
requires the development of collaborative Federal and state 
procedures to minimize the introduction of invasive species 
into Hawaii, and a report to Congress on the development of 
those procedures. This subsection establishes a process for 
Hawaii to seek approval from the Federal Government to impose 
restrictions on the introduction or movement of invasive 
species or disease into the State that are in addition to 
Federal restrictions. In the event of an emergency or imminent 
invasive species threat, this subsection allows Hawaii to 
impose restrictions of up to 60 days to prevent introduction of 
the threat upon approval by the Federal Government.
  Subsection (c) authorizes appropriations to carry out the 
activities in this section.
Section 11064. Oversight and compliance.
  Current law: no provision.
  This section requires the Secretary of Agriculture to use the 
reports required under section 5 in the conduct of program 
oversight regarding the participation of socially disadvantaged 
farmers in USDA programs as well as in the evaluation of civil 
rights performance.
Section 11065. Report of civil rights complaints, resolutions, and 
        actions.
  Current law: no provision.
  This section requires the Secretary of Agriculture to issue 
an annual report on program and employment civil rights 
complaints, including the number of complaints filed, the 
length of time required to process complaints, the number of 
complaints resolved with a finding of discrimination, and the 
personnel actions taken by the agency following resolution of 
civil rights complaints.
Section 11066. Grants to improve supply, stability, safety, and 
        training of agricultural labor force.
  Current law: no provision.
  Agricultural employers depend on a well-trained workforce 
that is capable of meeting the needs of their particular type 
of crop production, yet often times do not have the resources 
necessary to properly train and maintain that workforce. This 
provision directs the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit 
organizations to assist agricultural employers and farmworkers 
with services that help improve the quality of the agricultural 
labor force through job training, short-term housing, workplace 
literacy and ESL training, and health and safety instruction, 
among other purposes.
Section 11067. Interstate shipment of meat and poultry for certain 
        small establishments.
  Section 11067 amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
  Subsection (a) defines the terms appropriate state agency, 
designated personnel, eligible establishment, and selected 
establishment.
  Subsection (b) provides the Secretary of Agriculture with the 
authority to act in coordination with an appropriate state 
agency to ship meat and meat products in interstate commerce. 
Federal establishments at the time of enactment, future Federal 
establishments, and previous Federal establishments and those 
Federal establishments that have reorganized under a different 
name or same name are not eligible. It is the intent of the 
Committee that a selected establishment be from a State that 
has a state inspection program. It is the intent of the 
Committee that an official Federal mark be used for carcasses, 
portions of carcasses, and meat items inspected by the selected 
establishment, if the carcass, portion of carcass, or meat item 
``qualifies'' for the mark under the requirements of the 
Federal Meat Inspection Act.
  It is the intent of the Committee that this section be an 
``option'' for state inspected establishments with 25 or less 
employees to ship in interstate commerce. The Secretary may 
select state establishments that are inspected by state 
employees to participate in this option. It is not the 
Committee's intent that the Department of Agriculture to use 
this option to shift its responsibilities and inspection 
activities to the States or as a mechanism to balance its 
budget. It is a Federal/state program. Establishments that are 
selected by the Secretary must undergo a full food safety 
assessment and fully follow the Federal Meat Inspection Act, 
its regulations, notices, directives and policies just as would 
be required of a Federal establishment. The inspection 
personnel of the State that will inspect the selected 
establishment must have undergone all the necessary training to 
carry out the requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, 
its regulations, notices, directives and policies, just as 
required of a Federal inspector.
  The Secretary may select state inspected establishments that 
employ less than 25 employees on average. The term ``average'' 
should be interpreted to provide some flexibility to these 
selected plants that require seasonal employees for certain 
parts of the year, as long as the increase in employees are 
manageable by the establishment and the increase in employees 
does not undermine food safety standards. It is not the 
Committee's intent to routinely allow selected establishments 
to employ above 25 or more employees. The Secretary may develop 
a procedure to transition a selected establishment that 
consistently employs more than 25 employees to a Federal 
establishment. The Secretary may select a establishment that is 
larger than 25 employees, but less than 35 employees but these 
plants must transition to a Federal establishment within three 
years after promulgation of a final rule.
  Subsection ( c) the Secretary shall reimburse a State for 
costs related to the inspection of a selected establishment not 
less than 60 percent of eligible costs. The Secretary may also 
reimburse a State for 100 percent of the eligible state costs 
if the selected establishment provides additional verification 
microbiological testing in excess of typical Federal 
establishments.
  Subsection (d) provides authority for the Secretary to 
designate a Federal employee as a state coordinator for each 
state agency that has a state inspection program. The state 
coordinator will be under direct supervision of the Secretary. 
The state coordinator will inspect selected state inspected 
establishments with a frequency appropriate to ensure that 
these establishments are operating in a manner consistent with 
the Federal Meat Inspection Act. It is the Committee's intent 
that the state coordinator inspect selected establishments 
frequently each month. The state coordinator shall provide on a 
quarterly basis a report that describes the status of each 
selected state establishment in regard to compliance with the 
Federal Meat Inspection Act. If a state coordinator finds a 
selected state inspected establishment in violation of the 
Federal Meat Inspection Act, the state coordinator shall notify 
the Secretary of the violation and deselect or suspend 
inspection. It is the intent of the Committee that the state 
coordinator shall be provided all the tools necessary under the 
Secretary to prevent or control any food safety issue that 
would harm human health.
  Subsection (e) requires USDA's Inspector General not later 
than two years after the effective date of enactment, and not 
less than every two years, to conduct an audit of each activity 
taken by the Secretary to determine compliance of this program 
with the law. The Government Accountability Office shall also 
conduct an audit of the implementation of this program.
  Subsection (f) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to 
establish within the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) at 
USDA an inspection training division to coordinate outreach, 
education, training and technical assistance of very small and 
certain small establishments. It is the intent of the Committee 
that grants provided to state agencies be in coordination with 
the Secretary.
  Subsection (g) allows the Secretary to provide grants to 
appropriate state agencies to help establishments covered by 
intrastate inspection under title III of the Federal Meat 
Inspection Act to transition to the new program under title V.
  Subsection (h) provides the Secretary with the authority to 
transition a state establishment to a Federal establishment in 
the event there is a determination that a selected 
establishment is in violation of the Federal Meat Inspection 
Act.
  Subsection (i) ensures that nothing in the new title V of the 
Federal Meat Inspection Act limits the jurisdiction of the 
Secretary with respect to the regulation of meat and meat 
products.
  Subsection (j) requires the Secretary to conduct public 
comment (including through the conduct of public meetings and 
hearings) and promulgate final regulations to carry out this 
title.
  The Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
  Subsection (a) defines appropriate state agency, designated 
personnel, eligible establishment, and selected establishment.
  Subsection (b) provides the Secretary of Agriculture the 
authority to act in coordination with an appropriate state 
agency to ship meat and meat products in interstate commerce. 
Federal establishments at the time of enactment, future Federal 
establishments, and previous Federal establishments and those 
Federal establishments that have reorganized under a different 
name or same name are not eligible. It is the intent of the 
Committee that a selected establishment be from a State that 
has a state inspection program. It is the intent of the 
Committee that an official Federal mark be used for carcasses, 
portions of carcasses, and meat items inspected by the selected 
establishment, if the carcass, portion of carcass, or meat item 
``qualifies'' for the mark under the requirements of the 
Poultry Products Inspection Act.
  It is the intent of the Committee that this section be an 
``option'' for state inspected establishments with 25 or less 
employees to ship in interstate commerce. The Secretary may 
select state establishments that are inspected by state 
employees to participate in this option. It is not the 
Committee's intent that the Department of Agriculture to use 
this option to shift its responsibilities and inspection 
activities to the States or as a mechanism to balance its 
budget. It is a Federal/state program. Establishments that are 
selected by the Secretary must undergo a full food safety 
assessment and fully follow the Poultry Products Inspection 
Act, its regulations, notices, directives and policies just as 
would be required of a Federal establishment. The inspection 
personnel of the State that will inspect the selected 
establishment must have undergone all the necessary training to 
carry out the requirements of the Poultry Products Inspection 
Act, its regulations, notices, directives and policies, just as 
required of a Federal inspector.
  The Secretary may select state inspected establishments that 
employ less than 25 employees on average. The term ``average'' 
should be interpreted to provide some flexibility to these 
selected plants that require seasonal employees for certain 
parts of the year, as long as the increase in employees are 
manageable by the establishment and the increase in employees 
does not undermine food safety standards. It is not the 
Committee's intent to routinely allow selected establishments 
to employ above 25 or more employees. The Secretary may develop 
a procedure to transition a selected establishment that 
consistently employs more than 25 employees to a Federal 
establishment. The Secretary may select an establishment that 
is larger than 25 employees, but less than 35 employees but 
these plants must transition to a Federal establishment within 
three years after promulgation of a final rule.
  Subsection (c) the Secretary shall reimburse a State for 
costs related to the inspection of a selected establishment not 
less than 60 percent of eligible costs. The Secretary may also 
reimburse a State for 100 percent of the eligible state costs 
if the selected establishment provides additional verification 
microbiological testing in excess of typical Federal 
establishments.
  Subsection (d) provides authority for the Secretary to 
designate a Federal employee as a state coordinator for each 
state agency that has a state inspection program. The state 
coordinator will be under direct supervision of the Secretary. 
The state coordinator will inspect selected state inspected 
establishments with a frequency appropriate to ensure that 
these establishments are operating in a manner consistent with 
the Poultry Products Inspection Act. It is the Committee's 
intent that the state coordinator inspect selected 
establishments frequently each month. The state coordinator 
shall provide on a quarterly basis a report that describes the 
status of each selected state establishment in regard to 
compliance with the Poultry Products Inspection Act. If a state 
coordinator finds a selected state inspected establishment in 
violation of the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the state 
coordinator shall notify the Secretary of the violation and 
deselect or suspend inspection. It is the intent of the 
Committee that the state coordinator shall be provided all the 
tools necessary under the Secretary to prevent or control any 
food safety issue that would harm human health.
  Subsection (e) requires USDA's Inspector General not later 
than two years after the effective date of enactment, and not 
less than every two years, conduct an audit of each activity 
taken by the Secretary to determine compliance of this program 
with the law. The Government Accountability Office shall also 
conduct an audit of the implementation of this program.
  Subsection (f) allows the Secretary to provide grants to 
appropriate state agencies to help establishments covered by 
intrastate inspection to transition to interstate commerce.
  Subsection (g) provides the Secretary with the authority to 
transition a state establishment to a Federal establishment in 
the event there is a determination that a selected 
establishment is in violation of the Poultry Products 
Inspection Act.
  Subsection (h) ensures that nothing in the new title V of the 
Poultry Products Inspection Act limits the jurisdiction of the 
Secretary with respect to the regulation of meat and meat 
products.
  Subsection (i) requires the Secretary to conduct public 
comment (including through the conduct of public meetings and 
hearings) and promulgate final regulations to carry out this 
title.
Section 11068. Prevention and investigation of payment and fraud and 
        error.
  This section would amend the Right to Financial Privacy Act 
of 1978 to require financial institutions to disclose the 
financial records of any customer to any government authority 
that certifies, disburses, or collects payments, when the 
disclosure of such information is necessary to verify the 
identity of any person in connection with the issuance of a 
Federal payment or collection of funds, or the investigation or 
recovery of an improper Federal payment of collection of funds.
Section 11069. Elimination of statute of limitations applicable to 
        collection of debt by administrative offset.
  This section would eliminate the statute of limitations 
applicable to collection of debt by administrative offset on 
any debt outstanding on or after the date of enactment of this 
act.
Section 11070. Stored quantities of propane.
  Section 11070 amends section 550(a) of the Department of 
Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (6 U.S.C. 121 note; 
Public Law 109-295).
  Would strike ``Commission,'' and insert the following:
  ``Commission: Provided further, That the Secretary shall not 
apply interim or final regulations relating to stored threshold 
quantities of propane for sale, storage, or use on homestead 
property, agricultural operations, or small business concerns 
(as defined in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
632)) that are located in rural areas (as defined in section 
520 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1490)), unless the 
Secretary submits to Congress a report describing an immediate 
or imminent threat against such a stored quantity of propane: 
Provided further, That nothing in this section exempts the 
Secretary from implementing any interim or final regulation 
relating to stored threshold quantities of propane for sale, 
use, or storage in an area that is not a rural areas (as so 
defined).''.
Section 11071. Closure of certain county FSA offices.
  Current law: no provision.
  Subsection (a) defines ``critical access county FSA office'' 
as an office of the Farm Service Agency proposed to be closed 
during the period beginning on November 10, 2005 and ending on 
December 31, 2007. Offices categorized as a critical access 
county FSA office during this time period shall have closure 
delayed until after January 1, 2008, to provide additional 
review pursuant to: the third condition under the heading 
``Salaries and Expenses'' under the heading ``Farm State 
Agency'' of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006; 
or offices listed as ``critical access county FSA office'' with 
accordance to that Act submitted to the United States Senate 
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry by the 
Secretary on October 24, 2007. Offices of the Farm Service 
Agency that would not be included in the above definition of a 
``critical access county FSA office'' would include those that 
are located not more than 20 miles from another office of the 
Farm Service Agency, unless the office is located within an 
identified limited-resource area consisting of at least, 4 
contiguous high-poverty counties or employs no full-time 
equivalent employees as of the date that this act is enacted.
  Subsection (b) requires FSA offices categorized as ``critical 
access county FSA offices'' to extend their period of operation 
during the period beginning on November 1, 2007, and ending on 
September 30, 2012. No funds provided by the Secretary by any 
Act may be used to pay the salaries of expenses of any officer 
or employee of the USDA to close any of these offices during 
time period defined above. The Secretary shall ensure that each 
office subject to closure maintains a staff level of no less 
than 3 full-time equivalent employees during the time period 
defined above. Should the Secretary determine to be 
appropriate, an employee of a critical access county FSA office 
may be employed at any other county office of the FSA in that 
State. Should this occur, a critical access county FSA office 
shall be staffed by no less than 1 full-time equivalent 
employee during the time period defined above. The Secretary 
may close a critical access county FSA office during the time 
period defined above only on concurrence by Congress and the 
applicable State Farm Service Agency committee.

                      Rollcall Votes in Committee

    Senator Roberts offered an amendment to strike an amendment 
to the payment limitation for the environmental quality 
incentives program. On a rollcall vote of 13 yeas and 8 nays as 
follows, the amendment was adopted:
        YEAS--13                      NAYS--8
Mr. Chambliss                       Mr. Grassley
Mr. Lugar                           Mr. Conrad
Mr. Cochran                         Mr. Baucus\1\
Mr. McConnell\1\                    Mrs. Stabenow
Mr. Roberts                         Mr. Brown
Mr. Graham\1\                       Mr. Casey
Mr. Coleman                         Ms. Klobuchar
Mr. Crapo                           Mr. Harkin
Mr. Thune
Mr. Leahy
Mrs. Lincoln
Mr. Nelson
Mr. Salazar

    \1\By proxy

    Senator Lugar offered an amendment to modify the minimum 
amount of program benefits, to increase a certain asset limit 
for individuals and the elderly disabled, and to increase 
amounts made available for the emergency food assistance 
program, with an offset. On a rollcall vote of 4 yeas and 17 
nays as follows, the amendment was defeated:
        YEAS--4                       NAYS--17
Mr. Lugar                           Mr. Chambliss
Mr. McConnell\1\                    Mr. Cochran
Mr. Brown                           Mr. Roberts
Mr. Casey                           Mr. Graham\1\
                                    Mr. Coleman
                                    Mr. Crapo
                                    Mr. Thune
                                    Mr. Grassley\1\
                                    Mr. Leahy\1\
                                    Mr. Conrad
                                    Mr. Baucus
                                    Mrs. Lincoln
                                    Mrs. Stabenow
                                    Mr. Nelson
                                    Mr. Salazar
                                    Ms. Klobuchar
                                    Mr. Harkin

    \1\By proxy

    Senator Casey offered an amendment to adjust factors to 
consider for Federal milk marketing orders. On a rollcall vote 
of 9 yeas and 12 nays as follows, the amendment was defeated:
        YEAS--9                       NAYS--12
Mr. Coleman                         Mr. Chambliss
Mr. Grassley                        Mr. Lugar\1\
Mr. Leahy\1\                        Mr. Cochran
Mrs. Stabenow                       Mr. McConnell\1\
Mr. Nelson                          Mr. Roberts
Mr. Brown                           Mr. Graham\1\
Mr. Casey                           Mr. Crapo
Ms. Klobuchar\1\                    Mr. Thune
Mr. Harkin                          Mr. Conrad
                                    Mr. Baucus
                                    Mrs. Lincoln
                                    Mr. Salazar

    \1\By proxy


              Additional, Supplemental, or Minority Views

  ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATORS CHAMBLISS, LINCOLN, ROBERTS, AND THUNE

  It is with regret that we file these additional views. 
Although the bill was reported from the Senate Committee on 
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry by unanimous voice vote, 
unfortunately the report does not reflect such unanimity of 
opinion. A committee report accompanying legislation is part of 
the legislative history of the enacted statute. Ideally, it is 
a useful guide to both the Executive branch and the Judicial 
branch in interpreting the underlying statute. Unfortunately, 
the report accompanying the Committee originated text reported 
on October 25, 2007, by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, 
Nutrition, and Forestry, will be of little use to either of 
these branches in divining intent.
  The report does not accurately reflect the intent of the 
statutory language in many instances because of language 
omitted from the report. In some instances this is a result of 
the accompanying report failing to fully elucidate and provide 
guidance for certain statutory provisions, such as those in the 
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and section 10307, study 
on bioenergy operations. Both of these sections would greatly 
benefit from further attention to detail.
  For example in the case of CSP, it would be helpful to 
discuss the importance of crop rotation as an agricultural 
practice. Certain crop rotations can reduce disease and related 
inputs necessary to control disease. Crop rotations can also 
promote the more efficient use of water that is provided 
through rainfall or irrigation. Optimal crop rotations can be 
critical to the yield and quality of the crop and revenues of 
the producer. The purpose of this program is to encourage and 
help producers adopt optimal crop rotations.
  In the Southeast, peanuts are a prime example of a crop that 
responds well to increased rotation lengths. Increased rotation 
lengths help peanut producers conserve water, more effectively 
control disease, reduce inputs to control disease and increase 
productivity. Based on two decades of research, the University 
of Georgia recommends a minimum of three years between peanut 
crops in the same field. The university's research shows higher 
yields are realized and fewer inputs are needed as producers 
move from a three to four year rotation.
  In the Midwest, the dominant crop rotation is a two-year 
annual rotation of corn and soybeans. Research at the 
University of Nebraska and Kansas State University has shown 
that replacing corn with sorghum gives higher yield and yield 
stability under drought conditions. In the Great Plains, 
irrigated agriculture is threatened by periodic drought and 
reduced water availability because of diversion for other uses. 
The water optimizer and crop simulation software developed at 
the University of Nebraska are examples of decision-support 
tools that can help farmers sustain productivity and 
profitability by identifying crop rotations that are best 
matched to the available water supply.
  The Conservation Stewardship program authorizes the Secretary 
to provide a payment in addition to a conservation stewardship 
payment to a producer who agrees to adopt an optimal rotation 
for the producer's crop. The Secretary will determine optimal 
crop rotations based on the best available science with 
consideration given to the ability of producers to reasonably 
adopt them. Further, the Secretary should provide payment rates 
to encourage the adoption of optimal crop rotations.
  In the case of section 10307, the Secretary of Agriculture is 
directed to study and report to Congress on the potential 
economic issues associated with animal manure used in normal 
agricultural operations as a feedstock in bioenergy production. 
Unfortunately, the cursory explanation given this important 
provision in the report will do little to assist USDA in 
carrying out this section.
  Serious efforts are underway to turn animal manure into 
biopower, which would support rural development, diversify our 
sources of domestic energy, and utilize manure in an 
environmentally friendly manner. However, it is important to 
acknowledge that legal questions have been raised about whether 
certain environmental laws regulate and impart new economic and 
legal liabilities on the production, storage, transport, and 
use of animal manure and its constituents for any beneficial 
purpose. Depending on how these legal questions are decided, 
significant barriers could arise in the ongoing efforts to 
convert animal manure into bioenergy.
  USDA should study and report findings of the potential 
impacts on bioenergy operations in the event that animal manure 
and/or its constituents are found to be classified as 
``hazardous substances or pollutants'' or other not lawfully 
excluded waste substance.
  USDA needs to evaluate and report on the following:
           Any additional burdens or risks, including 
        associated cost estimations, ability to obtain 
        financing and insurance liability, that could be 
        applied to current bioenergy operations that utilize 
        animal manure as a feedstock.
           Any additional burdens or risks, including 
        associated cost estimations and regulatory obligations 
        that could be applied to the transport, handling and 
        storage of manure for bioenergy purposes.
           Any additional burdens, risks or associated 
        cost estimations to agricultural operations from 
        applying alternative (non-manure) fertilizers to crops 
        and fields, including any impact on costs of associated 
        fossil fuel feedstocks related to the production of 
        fertilizer.
           Whether additional regulatory or legal 
        requirements, if any, would inhibit the development of 
        bioenergy operations, including smaller operations that 
        utilize animal manure as a primary feedstock.
  In completing this study, USDA is encouraged to seek 
technical advice and consultation from appropriate resources 
within the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection 
Agency, the National Academies of Science, the Office of 
Management and Budget, and the Small Business Administration.
  In other instances, ambiguities will result from an egregious 
lack of description surrounding important amendments adopted in 
the Committee. For example, an amendment relating to subtitle 
B, Average Crop Revenue Program, offered by Senator Roberts 
vitally needs additional explanatory notes in order to divine 
the full intent of the Committee in adopting this amendment.
  The Committee consideration of the Roberts amendment to the 
Average Crop Revenue program, involved extensive discussion on 
the potential unintended effects on the Federal crop insurance 
program, resulting from re-rating of premiums and the offset of 
crop insurance indemnities by the Average Crop Revenue payments 
in the underlying measure. Concerns were expressed that crop 
insurance participation would be discouraged as a result of 
these provisions.
  The Committee discussed cross-subsidization of low risk and 
high risk policies, with a USDA representative being questioned 
about the current administrative process with respect to re-
rating. The representative explained that actuarially sound 
rates have been established and almost every county for every 
crop in the U.S. is at the target rate. For instance, corn 
premium rates were reduced by five to ten percent in almost 
every county for the 2007 crop, and further rate reductions 
would occur for the 2008 crop.
  Discussion occurred regarding the complexity of administering 
the program as written in the underlying measure and USDA was 
questioned further about whether or not the Roberts amendment 
would substantially reduce the complexity of administering the 
program. USDA answered that administrative complexity regarding 
implementation would be simplified if the Roberts amendment 
were adopted.
  The Committee discussed the contribution of the crop 
insurance industry to the bill with Members pointing out the 
billions of dollars of savings that were achieved from crop 
insurance before the Average Crop Revenue program was 
incorporated into the underlying measure. Additionally, the 
Roberts amendment included a reduction in the administrative 
and operating expense reimbursement to insurance providers.
  Prior to the adoption of the Roberts amendment the Committee 
discussed where to allocate any potential additional savings 
generated by the Roberts amendment. The Committee discussed 
whether it was appropriate to increase the rate of the fixed 
payments or whether the percentage of acres eligible for the 
fixed payments should be increased. Senator Chambliss expressed 
concern about raising the rate of the fixed payments if the 
rate of direct payments under the traditional program could not 
also be raised. After further discussion, the Committee agreed 
to increase the percentage of acres eligible for the fixed 
payment from 85 percent in the Roberts amendment text to as 
close to 100 percent as possible if savings were sufficient and 
to apply additional savings, if any, to the nutrition 
priorities contained in the amendment offered previously by 
Senator Lugar. The transcript reflects that the Roberts 
amendment, as modified, was adopted unanimously by voice vote.
  As stated previously, the utility of a committee report is 
its use as a guide to both the Executive branch and the 
Judicial branch in interpreting the Congressional intent of the 
underlying statute. Unfortunately, this report will do little 
to assist anyone searching for explanations for this 
comprehensive piece of legislation.

                  ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR ROBERTS

  The Farm Bill as reported by the Committee contains language 
that limits opportunities for livestock producers to market 
their products. It is the role of the government to protect 
producers from unfair practices and monopolies, and I 
understand the calls from some for increased government 
involvement. At the same time, we must take careful steps to 
ensure that in any action we might take, we do not suffer from 
the law of unintended consequences and risk the significant 
gains the industry has experienced.
  According to a 2007 congressionally mandated report conducted 
by the Research Triangle Institute International, alternative 
marketing arrangements in the livestock and meat industries 
provide benefits all along the food chain, from producer to 
consumer. In addition, the report stated that, ``even if the 
complete elimination of alternative marketing arrangements 
would eliminate market power that might currently exist, the 
net effect would be reductions in prices, quantities, and 
producer and consumer surplus in almost all sectors of the 
industry because of additional processing costs and reductions 
in beef quality. Collectively, this suggests that reducing the 
use of alternative marketing arrangements would result in 
economic losses for beef consumers and the beef industry.'' 
Banning packer ownership of cattle more than 14 days in advance 
of slaughter limits producer opportunities to respond to 
consumer demands for specialized products.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that, in its opinion, 
it is necessary to dispense with the requirements of that 
paragraph in order to expedite the business of the Senate.