President Barack Obama signed into law the 2014 farm bill, the "Agricultural Act of 2014," during a visit to Michigan State University last Friday. The nearly $957 billion farm bill is a five-year comprehensive bill. Passing this farm bill was one of the most difficult tasks for the agriculture community compared to previous farm bills.
At the ceremony, President Obama also announced a new initiative to help boost agricultural exports. "Made in Rural America" is a program to connect rural businesses with federal resources that will help export agricultural products. A number of federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Department of Commerce, and others, will take steps this year including hosting five regional forums, training state USDA staff to help advise on export opportunities, and hosting a national conference.