Policy Perspectives

Farm Bill News

On May 7-8, WineAmerica hosted its annual DC fly-in when 40+ members had over 90 meetings with their Senators, Representatives, and key committee chairs.

On May 9, the long-stalled Farm Bill started moving.

Coincidence? Probably, but that doesn’t diminish the power of fly-ins or the importance of the Farm Bill to the grape and wine community. And there’s truly good news in the pending House version, such as:

  • Doubles funding for the Market Access Program (MAP), from $200 to $400 million, to support export of agricultural products such as wine
  • Nearly doubles the Specialty Crop Research Initiative to $175 million
  • Increases by $15 million, to $100 million per year, funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which many wineries and associations have used over the years

This is still far from becoming law, with some twists and turns along the way, but we are encouraged by the progress made so far.