Carper Highlights Win for Delaware in Farm Bill at Hawkins’ Farm

In the 2018 Farm Bill passed by the Senate last week, Carper secured a bipartisan solution to a problem facing area farmers

HARRINGTON, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper visited Hawkins’ Farm to highlight passage of an amendment in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – more commonly known as the Farm Bill – that will help agricultural producers improve operations on their farms, all while protecting the land, as well as air and water quality.

Sen. Carper first visited Rob and Amanda Hawkins’ new poultry farm near Harrington in March. While there, he learned that beginning farmers like the Hawkins need to spend money on temporary structures only to tear them down when they get their first flock and become eligible for the program. He went to work to find a solution to this environmentally counter-productive and financially wasteful problem for First State farmers.

The amendment, introduced by Sens. Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) and passed by the Senate last week, will allow farmers in the beginning stages of farming to apply for conservation funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Previously, Delaware poultry farmers have been prevented from qualifying for conservation improvements, such as manure storage or composting facilities, until a resource concern is raised or until after birds have been placed on the farm, squandering their ability to access these funds through EQIP.

“This bill goes a long way to ensure farmers have the certainty they need to keep producing for this country and driving our economy,” said Senator Carper. “I’m proud to have worked with our local farmers, Senator Coons, and our colleagues across the aisle, to get a comprehensive and thoughtful piece of legislation over the finish line in the Senate.”

U.S. Senator Tom Carper visited Hawkins’ Farm on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, to highlight an amendment he and Senator Chris Coons introduced in the Farm Bill, that would allow new farmers like Rob, Amanda and their son Bobby (pictured here) apply for conservation funds.