President signs ag bill into law

FGIS_0515On Wednesday, Sept. 30, President Obama signed into law HR 2051, the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015, which reauthorizes the Grain Standards Act (GSA). The bill also extended the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 and authorized appropriations for the National Forest Foundation.

The GSA component of the bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service to immediately take such steps as are necessary to resume inspections when a delegated state agency discontinues services. Additionally, the reauthorization will require a recertification process, including a public comment period for delegated state agencies, as well as several reporting requirements.

“This bill establishes more transparency and ensures there is no disruption in inspection services should a delegated state agency discontinue providing services. This bill provides the certainty wheat growers need,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President Brett Blankenship.

WAWG has been an active advocate for reauthorization, writing letters to the Senate Agriculture Committee and joining forces with other state ag groups urging Congress to take action.

The GSA was set to expire on Sept. 30. The Senate passed the act on Sept. 21 by voice vote, followed by the House passing the bill on Sept. 28, also by voice vote.