The multi-year farm bill, passed earlier this week by the Senate and last week by the House of Representatives, includes provisions that will benefit those in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. Specifically, international marketing, disaster relief and research funding are addressed in the massive farm bill formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Thoroughbred bloodstock markets increasingly rely on robust international trade. The Market Access Program (MAP), reauthorized in the farm bill, provides funding for overseas marketing and promotional activities related to agricultural products, including horses.
Horse farms and ranches may also benefit from disaster relief programs in the farm bill. The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) help livestock producers should natural disaster or disease strike. The bill explicitly names horses in its definition of livestock.
Finally, the managers’ statement that accompanied the farm bill addressed equine health by encouraging the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary “to consider increasing resources allocated to research priorities for equine health in the Department’s annual budget submission.”
President Obama is expected to sign the farm bill once it reaches his desk.