Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (03/25/1996)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Agricultural Market Transition Act

Subtitle A: Short Title, Purpose, and Definitions

Subtitle B: Production Flexibility Contracts

Subtitle C: Nonrecourse Marketing Assistance Loans and

Loan Deficiency Payments

Subtitle D: Other Commodities

Subtitle E: Administration

Subtitle F: Permanent Price Support Authority

Subtitle G: Commission on 21st Century Production

Agriculture

Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Commodity Provisions

Title II: Agricultural Trade

Subtitle A: Amendments to Agricultural Trade

Development and Assistance Act of 1954 and Related

Statutes

Subtitle B: Amendments to Agricultural Trade Act of

1978

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Agricultural Trade Provisions

Title III: Conservation

Subtitle A: Definitions

Subtitle B: Highly Erodible Land Conservation

Subtitle C: Wetland Conservation

Subtitle D: Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve

Program

Subtitle E: Conservation Funding and Administration

Subtitle F: National Natural Resources Conservation

Foundation

Subtitle G: Forestry

Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Conservation Provisions

Title IV: Nutrition Assistance

Title V: Agricultural Promotion

Subtitle A: Commodity Promotion and Evaluation

Subtitle B: Issuance of Orders for Promotion, Research,

and Information Activities Regarding Agricultural

Commodities

Subtitle C: Canola and Rapeseed

Subtitle D: Kiwifruit

Subtitle E: Popcorn

Subtitle F: Miscellaneous

Title VI: Credit

Subtitle A: Farm Ownership Loans

Subtitle B: Operating Loans

Subtitle C: Emergency Loans

Subtitle D: Administrative Provisions

Subtitle E: General Provisions

Title VII: Rural Development

Subtitle A: Amendments to the Food, Agriculture,

Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990

Subtitle B: Amendments to the Consolidated Farm and

Rural Development Act

Subtitle C: Amendments to the Rural Electrification Act

of 1936

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Rural Development Provisions

Title VIII: Research, Extension, and Education

Subtitle A: Modification and Extension of Activities

Under 1977 Act

Subtitle B: Modification and Extension of Activities

Under 1990 Act

Subtitle C: Repeal of Certain Activities and

Authorities

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Research Provisions

Subtitle E: Research Authority After Fiscal Year 1997

Title IX: Miscellaneous

Subtitle A: Commercial Transportation of Equine

for Slaughter

Subtitle B: General Provisions

Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 - Title I: Agricultural Market Transition Act - Subtitle A: Short Title, Purpose, and Definitions - Agricultural Market Transition Act - Defines specified terms for purposes of this title.

Subtitle B: Production Flexibility Contracts - Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to enter into flexibility contracts through crop year 2002 with eligible agricultural owners and producers with respect to conservation, wetlands, and planting flexibility requirements.

(Sec. 113) Obligates contracts sums for FY 1996 through 2002, with specified amounts for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, upland cotton, and rice (with an additional rice allocation). Sets forth: (1) annual payment rate factors; and (2) limitations for fruits and vegetables.

Subtitle C: Nonrecourse Marketing Assistance Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments - Directs the Secretary to make nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for crop years 1996 through 2002 to producers of wheat, feed grains, upland cotton, extra long staple cotton, rice, and oilseeds. Sets forth loan rate, term, and repayment provisions.

(Sec. 136) Directs the Secretary to establish special marketing loan provisions for upland cotton, including: (1) cotton user marketing certificates; (2) a special import quota; and (3) a limited global import quota.

(Sec. 137) Directs the Secretary to make FY 1996 through 2002 recourse loans for high moisture feed grains and seed cotton.

Subtitle D: Other Commodities - Chapter 1: Dairy - Sets forth 1996 through 1999 milk price support levels. Provides for: (1) allocation of butter and nonfat dry milk purchase prices; and (2) 1995 and 1996 assessment refunds.

(Sec. 142) Establishes a recourse loan program for commercial processors of eligible dairy products.

(Sec. 143) Directs the Secretary to consolidate Federal milk marketing orders, including the inclusion of California as a separate marketing order.

(Sec. 145) Limits maximum State milk manufacturing allowances.

(Sec. 147) Declares congressional consent, with specified conditions, to the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact entered into by Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont (with provision for additional entry by Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia).

(Sec. 148) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to extend the dairy export incentive program through 2002.

(Sec. 149) Directs the Secretary to assist the dairy industry to establish an export trading company, and designate an entity if the industry is unable to establish one.

Chapter 2: Peanuts and Sugar - Directs the Secretary to: (1) make nonrecourse loans available to quota peanut producers at $610 per ton and to additional peanut producers at appropriate rates; (2) make related warehouse storage loans available; (3) provide for marketing area pools for quota and additional peanuts, with separate pools for New Mexico-produced Valencia peanuts; (4) require that all domestic and export peanuts comply with specified quality standards; and (5) provide for a nonrefundable marketing assessment.

Provides that: (1) net gains from each marketing pool shall be distributed only to pool producers; and (2) losses in quota pools shall be covered using a specified order of priority.

Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 with regard to the peanut program to: (1) extend peanut quota provisions through crop year 2002; (2) eliminate the minimum national poundage quota; (3) eliminate seed peanuts from the national poundage quota determination; (4) create a temporary quota allocation for seed peanuts; (5) eliminate the Texas increased quota allocation; (6) permit under specified conditions quota sale, lease, or transfer to any county within a State in the fall or spring; (7) prohibit quotas to be held by public entities and nonproducer nonresident quota holders; and (8) authorize transfers of additional peanuts to the quota pool where natural disasters prevented quota poundage harvesting and marketing.

(Sec. 156) Directs the Secretary to make recourse loans available to processors of domestically grown sugarcane and sugar beets at 18 cents per pound and 22.9 cents per pound, respectively. Requires reductions if foreign subsidy reductions exceed Uruguay Round Agreement commitments.

Sets loan terms at the earlier of nine months or the end of the fiscal year, with supplemental loans available for loans made in the last three months of a fiscal year.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide nonrecourse loans when the imported tariff rate quota for sugar imports exceeds 1,500,000 short tons raw value.

Sets forth first processor sugarcane and sugar beet marketing assessment rates for FY 1996 through 2003, which shall be collected monthly and remitted to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Sets forth enforcement and reporting provisions.

Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to repeal marketing allotment provisions.

Makes this section (other than assessment provisions) applicable to the 1996 through 2002 crops of sugarcane and sugar beets.

Subtitle E: Administration - Amends the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to place certain limits on CCC expenditures.

(Sec. 163) Increases the CCC interest rate applicable to agricultural commodity loans by 100 basis points.

(Sec. 164) States that unless fraudulently obtained, producers shall not be liable for loan deficiencies under this title.

Subtitle F: Permanent Price Support Authority - Repeals and suspends specified price support provisions under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 and the Agricultural Act of 1949.

Subtitle G: Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture - Establishes the Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture which shall assess: (1) the changes in U.S. production agriculture resulting from this Act; and (2) the current and future condition of U.S. production agriculture and the appropriate role of the Government. Terminates the Commission upon submission of a required report.

Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Commodity Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to conduct an options pilot program for supported commodities through December 31, 2002. Repeals the Options Pilot Program Act of 1990. Directs the Secretary to provide risk management education.

(Sec. 193) Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to authorize the Secretary, in consultation with insurance providers, to offer catastrophic risk protection in a State (or portion of a State) through local Department of Agriculture (Department) offices if sufficient coverage is otherwise unavailable. Provides for transfer of current policies to private insurers. Establishes a crop insurance pilot project.

(Sec. 194) Amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to establish in the Department (as an independent office) the Office of Risk Management which shall have jurisdiction over the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and related crop insurance matters. Obligates FY 1996 funding for the Office from specified appropriations for the Consolidated Farm Services Agency.

(Sec. 195) Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to establish a revenue insurance pilot program.

(Sec. 196) Directs the Secretary to operate a noninsured crop disaster assistance program through the Consolidated Farm Service Agency for food or fiber crops not covered by Federal crop insurance catastrophic risk protection.

Title II: Agricultural Trade - Subtitle A: Amendments to Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 and Related Statutes - Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Public Law 480) to include private entities within the scope of foreign agricultural assistance under such Act. Revises assistance priorities.

(Sec. 203) Gives authority for project development and implementation to U.S. agricultural trade organizations (entities which promote the export and sale of U.S. commodities but do not directly profit from the specific commodity sales).

(Sec. 204) Eliminates the minimum ten-year payment period. Reduces the discretionary payment deferment period from seven years to five years.

(Sec. 206) Repeals the value-added food partial waiver of repayment provision.

(Sec. 207) Prohibits the Administrator (Administrator) of the Agency for International Development (AID) from denying nonemergency assistance to an eligible organization in a country in which AID has no presence or is not involved in such country's development plan.

Increases maximum annual set-asides for eligible organizations.

(Sec. 208) Expands foreign currency local sales or barter arrangements to include countries in the same region as the recipient country. Increases minimum local sales levels from ten percent to fifteen percent.

(Sec. 209) Extends minimum agricultural assistance and nonemergency assistance authorities through FY 2002 (at current FY 1995 levels). Prohibits waiver of such assistance minimums before the beginning of a fiscal year.

(Sec. 210) Extends the Food Aid Consultative Group through December 31, 2002. Revises membership provisions. Requires meetings with the Administrator at least twice per year.

(Sec. 212) Revises commodity determination provisions.

(Sec. 214) Authorizes multi-year agreements to be made available under programs of: (1) agricultural commodity sales to developing countries; and (2) commodity donations to least developed countries. Requires multi-year contracts to be made available for the commodity donation program.

(Sec. 215) Authorizes (currently requires) the CCC to acquire and make commodities available under such Act. Includes Canadian transshipment expenses within authorized costs.

(Sec. 216) Includes commodity donations to least developed country programs within specified freight procurement provisions.

(Sec. 217) Extends Public Law 480 sales or assistance authority through December 31, 2002.

(Sec. 218) Repeals provisions regarding: (1) regulations; and (2) independent program evaluations.

(Sec. 220) Eliminates certain set-asides for the credit sales and commodity donation to least developed countries programs. Revises specified transfer of funds provisions.

(Sec. 222) Establishes a five-country micronutrient fortification pilot program. Terminates such program on September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 224) Extends through FY 2002 and increases obligations for the farmer-to-farmer program.

(Sec. 225) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1980 to cite title III of such Act as the Food Security Commodity Reserve Act of 1996.

Replaces the food security wheat reserve with a commodity wheat reserve made up of not more than 4,000,000 metric tons of wheat, corn, rice, or sorghum to be used for emergency food assistance or urgent humanitarian relief. Permits: (1) U.S. processing of commodities; (2) commodity exchanges, including powered milk and vegetable oil; and (3) use of the CCC. Terminates program authority on September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 226) Amends the Food Programs Act of 1985 to extend the Food for Progress program through FY 2002.

(Sec. 228) Amends the Mutual Security Act of 1954 to repeal certain export sale foreign currency use provisions.

Subtitle B: Amendments to Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 - Amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 to direct the Secretary to develop an agricultural export strategy that: (1) takes into consideration new market opportunities such as those created by the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round Agreements; and (2) identifies priority markets.

Directs the President to identify in the annual budget each overseas office of the Foreign Agricultural Service that provides U.S. exporters with priority market assistance.

(Sec. 243) Amends the export credit guarantee program to: (1) provide for U.S. supplier credits; (2) set forth additional (discretionary) criteria for recipient eligibility; (3) eliminate the prohibition on CCC guarantee of foreign agricultural components; (4) permit third country bank credit guarantees; (5) revise processed and high-value products set-asides, including elimination of specified set-asides for the independent states of the former Soviet Union; and (6) extend program authority through FY 2002.

(Sec. 244) Extends the market access program through FY 2002. Restricts the use of funds for non-generic activities.

(Sec. 245) Directs the CCC to make funds available for FY 1996 through 2002 for the export enhancement program.

(Sec. 246) Requires exporter-participants in the credit guarantee, market promotion, or export enhancement programs to maintain commodity arrival certificates.

(Sec. 247) Eliminates certain nonprogram transaction compliance provisions.

(Sec. 249) Establishes a trade compensation and assistance program which shall become effective if a unilateral suspension of U.S. agricultural exports to a country is not joined by other countries within a specified time.

(Sec. 250) Authorizes the Foreign Agricultural Service to provide agricultural technical assistance and training.

(Sec. 252) Establishes the foreign market development cooperator program. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Agricultural Trade Provisions - Establishes the Edward R. Madigan United States Agricultural Export Excellence Award.

(Sec. 262) Amends the Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983 to repeal specified tobacco reporting requirements.

(Sec. 263) Amends the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1990 and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to repeal certain export enhancement provisions (support level adjustment and triggered marketing loans).

(Sec. 265) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal the "debt-for-health-and protection swap" (assistance for commercial debt swap).

(Sec. 269) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to revise certain congressional findings regarding U.S. trade policy and trade negotiations.

(Sec. 271) Repeals to Agricultural Aid and Trade Missions Act.

(Sec. 272) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1954 to eliminate certain agricultural attache reporting requirements.

(Sec. 273) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal certain world livestock market price information requirements.

(Sec. 274) Amends the Agricultural Act of 1956 to repeal: (1) certain CCC surplus stock reduction reporting requirements; and (2) certain surplus extra-long staple cotton sale requirements.

(Sec. 277) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to rename the program of promotion of agricultural exports to emerging democracies as the program of promotion of agricultural exports to emerging markets (as defined by this Act). Authorizes additional sums of direct credits or export credit guarantees for FY 1996 through 2002.

Extends the Agricultural Fellowship Program through 2002.

(Sec. 279) Amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act to direct the Secretary to establish labeling standards for domestic and imported sheepmeat (lamb and mutton).

(Sec. 280) Amends Federal law to repeal certain provisions with respect to sugar-related assistance for CBI (Caribbean Basin Initiative) beneficiary countries and the Philippines.

(Sec. 281) Expresses the sense of the Congress with respect to multilateral disciplines on credit guarantees, including the composition of disciplines on the practices of foreign government trading entities, such as the Australian and Canadian Wheat Boards, and the Australian and New Zealand Dairy Boards.

Title III: Conservation - Subtitle A: Definitions - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to define specified terms applicable to highly erodible cropland conservation.

Subtitle B: Highly Erodible Land Conservation - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to revise the highly erodible land conservation program, including: (1) program ineligibility; (2) guideline technical requirements; (3) variance procedures; and (4) good faith exemptions.

(Sec. 316) Requires notice of possible violations to be provided during on-site inspections.

(Sec. 317) Directs the Secretary to conduct a wind erosion estimation pilot project.

Subtitle C: Wetland Conservation - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to revise the wetland conservation program, including: (1) program ineligibility; and (2) wetland delineation.

Subtitle D: Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve Program - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to revise and extend the environmental conservation acreage reserve program (ECARP) through 2002.

States that ECARP shall consist of: (1) the conservation reserve program; (2) the wetlands reserve program; and (3) the environmental quality incentives program. Considers prior conservation and wetlands program enrollments to be ECARP enrollments.

Directs the Secretary to designate conservation priority areas.

(Sec. 332) Extends the conservation reserve program through 2002. Reduces maximum acreage enrollment. Authorizes owner or operator early contract termination (with exceptions).

(Sec. 333) Extends the wetlands reserve program. Caps maximum acreage enrollment and revises enrollment methods.

(Sec. 334) Establishes an environmental quality incentives program for FY 1996 through 2002 to combine into a single program the functions of: (1) the agricultural conservation program; (2) the Great Plains conservation program; (3) the water quality incentives program; and (4) the Colorado River Basin salinity control program.

(Sec. 335) Directs the Secretary to establish conservation farm option pilot programs for producers of wheat, feed grains, cotton, and rice enrolled in the agricultural market transition program. Obligates specified FY 1997 through 2002 appropriations for the program.

(Sec. 336) Amends specified Acts to make conforming amendments (including elimination of certain program authorities) with respect to: (1) the agricultural conservation program; (2) the Great Plains conservation program; (3) the Colorado River Basin salinity control program; (4) the rural environmental conservation program; (5) other specified conservation and resource conservation programs; and (6) the agricultural water quality incentive programs.

Subtitle E: Conservation Funding and Administration - Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to extend funding through FY 2002 for: (1) mandatory expenses; and (2) the environmental quality incentives program, including livestock operations.

Subtitle F: National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation - National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation Act - Establishes the National Natural Resources Conservation Foundation as a conservation-related nonprofit corporation. Authorizes FY 1997 through 1999 appropriations.

Subtitle G: Forestry - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for the Office of International Forestry.

(Sec. 373) Amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to: (1) authorize FY 1996 through 2003 appropriations for the forestry incentives program; and (2) authorize a forest legacy grant program.

Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Conservation Provisions - Amends the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to authorize FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for the resource conservation and development program.

(Sec. 385) Authorizes the Secretary during FY 1996 through 2002 to enter into flood risk reduction contracts with operators of frequently flooded farm areas. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 386) Directs the Secretary to establish a voluntary program of private grazing and conservation assistance through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 387) Directs the Secretary to establish: (1) a wildlife habitat incentives program; and (2) a farmland protection program.

(Sec. 389) Establishes an 18-month moratorium on any Forest Service bypass flow decisions. Provides for the establishment of a Water Rights Task Force to study Federal water rights issues.

(Sec. 390) Directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct (Florida) Everglades ecosystem restoration activities. Establishes in the Treasury the Everglades Restoration Account.

(Sec. 391) Directs the Secretary to provide agricultural air quality research oversight.

Title IV: Nutrition Assistance - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to extend through FY 2002 the following food stamp programs and provisions: (1) the allocation among State agencies of funds authorized for employment and training programs under the Act; (2) authorization to conduct pilot or experimental projects; (3) the making of grants to increase program participation; (4) the authorization of appropriations; and (5) the Puerto Rico food assistance block grant.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) make payments to American Samoa for each of FY 1996 through 2002 financing 100 percent of expenditures for a nutrition assistance program extended under certain technical assistance provisions; and (2) make grants for community food projects.

(Sec. 402) Reauthorizes, through FY 2002, the following programs: (1) the commodity distribution program and the commodity supplemental food program (allowing 20 percent of funds carried over to be available for administrative expenses) under the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973; (2) the emergency food assistance program under the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983; (3) the soup kitchens and food banks program under the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988; and (4) surplus commodity processing agreements with private companies.

Title V: Agricultural Promotion - Subtitle A: Commodity Promotion and Evaluation - Provides for periodic evaluation of each industry-funded generic agricultural commodity program's promotional effectiveness.

Subtitle B: Issuance of Orders for Promotion, Research, and Information Activities Regarding Agricultural Commodities - Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 - Authorizes the Secretary to issue agricultural producer, handler, and importer commodity marketing orders. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Canola and Rapeseed - Canola and Rapeseed Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act - Directs the Secretary to issue an order to finance and implement a program of canola and rapeseed research, promotion, market development, and consumer information. Requires: (1) such order to establish a National Canola and Rapeseed Board; and (2) producer referenda. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle D: Kiwifruit - National Kiwifruit Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act - Directs the Secretary to issue an order to finance and implement a program of kiwifruit research, promotion, market development, and consumer information. Requires: (1) such order to establish a National Kiwifruit Board; and (2) producer referenda. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle E: Popcorn - Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act - Directs the Secretary to issue an order to finance and implement a program of popcorn research, promotion, market development, and consumer information. Requires: (1) such order to establish a Popcorn Board; and (2) producer referenda. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle F: Miscellaneous - Amends the Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act of subject honey producers to certain recordkeeping requirements.

Title VI: Credit - Subtitle A: Farm Ownership Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise direct farm ownership loan provisions regarding: (1) recipient eligibility; (2) purposes and preferences; (3) hazard insurance requirements; (4) interest rates for joint financings; and (5) insurance of loans (full faith and credit of the United States).

(Sec. 606) Establishes specified maximum guarantees for loans, refinanced loans, and beginning farmer loans.

Subtitle B: Operating Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise farm operating loan provisions regarding: (1) recipient eligibility; (2) purposes; (3) hazard insurance requirements; and (4) guaranteed assistance eligibility period.

(Sec. 613) Repeals provisions regarding: (1) loan participation; (2) hazard insurance requirements; and (3) special assistance for beginning farms and ranchers.

(Sec. 614) Authorizes line-of-credit loans.

Subtitle C: Emergency Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to revise emergency loan provisions regarding: (1) hazard insurance requirements; (2) maximum indebtedness; (3) loan terms; and (4) insurance (repealed).

Subtitle D: Administrative Provisions - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to: (1) authorize (through FY 2002) the Secretary to enter into farm loan servicing contracts with eligible financial institutions; (2) authorize use of private collection agencies; (3) reduce loan service notice requirements; (4) revise the definition of veteran for loan preference purposes; (5) set forth property sale provisions; (6) authorize (with set-asides) specified FY 1996 through 2002 loan and guarantee appropriations; (7) reduce the homestead property application period; (8) revise cash flow margin and loan termination provisions; (9) require implementation of certain target participation rates in accordance with a specified Supreme Court holding (Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Federico Pena, Secretary of Transportation); (10) require partial interest payments by delinquent borrowers as a condition of loan servicing; (11) prohibit direct operating loans to delinquent borrowers and limit borrowing ability of persons who have received debt forgiveness; and (12) require the Secretary to conduct a rural credit study.

Subtitle E: General Provisions - Makes conforming amendments to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

Title VII: Rural Development - Subtitle A: Amendments to the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 - Chapter I: General Provisions - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to repeal: (1) the rural investment partnerships program; and (2) the water and waste facility loan and the rural wastewater circuit rider programs.

(Sec. 704) Revises the current rural distance learning and medical link programs into programs to finance the construction of facilities and systems to provide rural areas with telemedicine and distance learning services. Authorizes: (1) loans to rural Electrification Act of 1936 borrowers; and (2) financial assistance to other facilities to provide necessary services. Sets forth priority, fund use, and administrative provisions. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

(Sec. 705) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to eliminate: (1) the authorization of appropriations limitation on rural technology grants; (2) the Bureau of the Census requirement to monitor rural economic progress; (3) the Office of Technology Assessment requirement to analyze rural computer access to a national library; and (4) a grant project for rural health infrastructure improvement.

Chapter 2: Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to replace the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Center with an Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation (Alternative Corporation) as an agency within the Department of Agriculture. Sets forth operating and administrative provisions. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations for the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Revolving Fund.

(Sec. 729) Authorizes executive agencies to establish procurement preferences and set-asides for alternative agricultural research and commercialization products.

(Sec. 730) Directs the Alternative Corporation to develop a five- year business plan and feasibility study.

Subtitle B: Amendments to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act - Chapter I: General Provisions - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to increase the amount of grants authorized to be made by the Secretary for water and waste facilities. Revises the definition of "rural" and "rural area," for the purposes of eligibility for grants and loans for such facilities, to limit eligibility to only those cities, towns, or unincorporated areas with populations of no more than 10,000. Revises water pollution control funding standards. Revises the purposes for which the Secretary may make rural business development grants to include training in interactive communications technologies to develop international trade. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2002. Eliminates provisions for: (1) grants to volunteer fire departments; and (2) loans financing transmission facilities for publicly owned and operated rural electric systems receiving bulk power from specified Department of the Interior power administrations.

Increases the maximum amount of appropriated funds to be reserved for grants to nonprofit organizations furnishing technical assistance and training to associations providing water and waste facility services.

(Sec. 742) Revises population and income restrictions for emergency community water assistance grants. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 743) Eliminates the program of emergency community water assistance grants for smallest rural communities.

(Sec. 744) Revises provisions regarding the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund and the Rural Development Insurance Fund to eliminate the Secretary's authority to utilize the Fund to make, sell, and insure loans which could be insured under the real estate loan provisions whenever the Secretary has reasonable assurance that they can be sold without undue delay.

(Sec. 747) Revises rural industrialization provisions, including: (1) authorizing grants to aid industries to adjust to terminated agricultural programs or increased foreign competition; (2) replacing subterminal facilities loans with a rural cooperative grant program (authorization of appropriations through FY 2002); and (3) authorizing loan guarantees to family farmers for cooperative stock purchases.

(Sec. 748) Authorizes the Secretary, with respect to agricultural credit, to compromise and adjust debts and claims arising from loan guarantees. Requires related notification of the Attorney General.

(Sec. 749) Repeals agricultural real estate loan provisions regarding: (1) issuance of notes to make direct loans; (2) the Farmers Home Administration direct loan account; (3) sale and assignment of notes and mortgages in such account; and (4) allocation among States of direct loans.

(Sec. 750) Repeals the requirement for the Secretary's annual congressional testimony regarding the budget for agricultural credit programs.

(Sec. 751) Exempts utility line loans from the prohibition on use of loans to manipulate a wetland.

(Sec. 752) Establishes a program under which the Secretary may guarantee rural development loans made by a certified lender.

(Sec. 753) Repeals provisions regarding: (1) delivery of certain rural development programs; (2) State rural economic review panels; and (3) allocation and transfer of loans and guarantees.

(Sec. 756) Authorizes grants for water systems for rural and Native villages in Alaska. Authorizes FY 1996 through 2002 appropriations.

(Sec. 759) Establishes: (1) a National Sheep Industry Improvement Center; and (2) a National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Revolving Fund in the Treasury.

Chapter 2: Rural Community Advancement Program - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to establish a rural community advancement program of grants, loans, guarantees, and other assistance to local communities and federally recognized Indian tribes. Establishes in the Treasury a Rural Development Trust Fund. Authorizes a rural venture capital demonstration program.

(Sec. 763) Authorizes a community facilities grant program.

Subtitle C: Amendments to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 - Amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to replace loan and loan allocation provisions with an authorization of appropriations for activities under such Act.

(Sec. 773) Eliminates loan authority for: (1) electrical plants and transmission lines; and (2) electrical and plumbing equipment.

(Sec. 778) Prohibits restrictions on water and waste facility services to electric customers.

(Sec. 780) Repeals: (1) the privatization program; and (2) the Rural Business Incubator Fund.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Rural Development Provisions - Amends the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act and the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to revise interest rate formulas.

(Sec. 792) Amends the Rural Development Act of 1972 to repeal the grant program for financially stressed farmers and rural families.

(Sec. 793) Establishes in the Treasury a Fund for Rural America for rural research, development, and housing.

(Sec. 794) Amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to rename the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Economic and Community Development as the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development.

Title VIII: Research, Extension, and Education - Subtitle A: Modification and Extension of Activities under 1977 Act - Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to replace the National Agricultural Research and Extension Users Advisory Board with the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, which shall remain in existence until September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 804) Directs the Secretary to monitor and evaluate information technology systems. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 805) Makes university research foundations eligible for food and agricultural sciences education grants and fellowships. Extends program authorization of appropriations through FY 1997. Directs the Secretary to make grants to public secondary schools and associate's degree institutions for agriscience and agribusiness education.

(Sec. 806) Authorizes appropriations through FY 1997 for research grants on the production and marketing of alcohols and industrial hydrocarbons from agricultural and forest products.

(Sec. 807) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to eligible policy research centers for research and education programs concerning public policies' effect on agriculture, environment, and consumers. Authorizes FY 1996 and 1997 appropriations.

(Sec. 808) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants for human nutrition and health promotion research. Authorizes FY 1996 and 1997 appropriations. (Replaces the current provision providing for a Southeast food science center.)

Directs the Secretary to conduct a pilot research program to combine medical and agricultural research (including cancer and heart disease research). Authorizes FY 1997 appropriations.

(Sec. 811) Extends authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for: (1) animal health and disease research (includes aquaculture species within such program); and (2) regional and national animal health and disease research (includes food safety within such program).

(Sec. 813) Extends authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for: (1) grants to upgrade agricultural and food science facilities at 1890 land-grant colleges; and (2) national research and training centers.

(Sec. 815) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants for programs serving Hispanic-serving institutions (as defined by this Act). Authorizes FY 1997 appropriations.

(Sec. 817) Extends authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for: (1) international agricultural research and extension; (2) agricultural research programs; (3) extension education; (4) aquaculture programs (includes ornamental fish in such programs); and (5) rangeland research.

(Sec. 819) Extends the supplemental and alternative crops research program. (Eliminates such program's pilot status.)

Subtitle B: Modification and Extension of Activities Under 1990 Act - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to extend authority or extend authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for: (1) the water quality research, education, and coordination program; (2) the national genetics resources program; (3) the national agricultural weather information system; (4) livestock product safety and inspection programs; (5) the plant genome mapping program; (6) agricultural research programs; (7) national centers for agriculture product quality research; (8) the assistive technology program for farmers with disabilities; (9) national rural information center clearinghouse; and (10) the global climate change program.

(Sec. 839) Provides for the establishment of a red meat safety research center.

Subtitle C: Repeal of Certain Activities and Authorities - Amends specified Acts to repeal authorities for the following: (1) Joint Council on Food and Agricultural Sciences; (2) National Agricultural Research and Extension Users Advisory Board; (3) Animal Health Science Research Advisory Board; (4) resident instruction program at 1890 land-grant colleges; (5) State grants for international trade centers; (6) Rangeland Research Advisory Board; (7) composting research and extension program; (8) agricultural chemical handling program; (9) National Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Council; (10) research and grant program regarding production, processing, and storage of agricultural products; (11) plant and animal pest and disease control program; (12) Commission on agricultural research facilities; (13) special grant to study agricultural trade restraints; (14) pilot project to coordinate food and nutrition education programs; (15) rural economic development demonstration areas; (16) global climate change advisory committee; (17) certain rural development and research grants; (18) human nutrition research grants; (19) 1890 land-grant extension upgrades; and (20) Indian subsistence farming demonstration program.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Research Provisions - Amends the Critical Agricultural Materials Act to extend the authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for critical agricultural materials programs.

(Sec. 882) Amends the Smith-Lever Act to make funding under such Act available to 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University.

(Sec. 884) Amends the Research Facilities Act to revise agricultural research facilities provisions. Defines "agricultural research facility" and "food and agricultural sciences." Directs the Secretary to establish the Strategic Planning Task Force to develop a ten-year agricultural research facilities plan. Authorizes FY 1996 and 1997 appropriations.

(Sec. 885) Amends the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act to: (1) extend authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for competitive research grants; and (2) increase set- asides for mission-linked systems research.

(Sec. 887) Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act Amendments of 1981 to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 1997 for the dairy goat research program.

(Sec. 888) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize the Secretary to make grants for eradication and control of brown citrus aphid and citrus tristeza virus.

(Sec. 889) Amends Federal law to transfer the fish research and experimentation program from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture (Department). Designates (and transfers to the Department) the Fish Farming Experimental Laboratory Stuttgart, and Kelso, Arkansas, as the Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Centers.

(Sec. 890) Amends Federal law to authorize the National Arboretum to grant concessions, charge fees, license its name and logo, and accept voluntary services.

(Sec. 891) Transfers the Southeastern Fish Culture Laboratory in Marion, Alabama, to the Department from the Department of the Interior. Designates it as the Claude Harris National Aquacultural Research Center.

(Sec. 892) Provides for the agricultural use of remote sensing data.

(Sec. 893) States that it is the sense of the Senate that the Department should continue to make methyl bromide alternative research and extension activities a high priority.

Subtitle E: Research Authority After Fiscal Year 1997 - Authorizes, subject to availability of appropriations, FY 1998 through 2002 appropriations for agriculture research, extension, and education activities.

Title IX: Miscellaneous - Subtitle A: Commercial Transportation of Equine for Slaughter - Authorizes the Secretary to issue guidelines for the regulation of commercial transportation of equine for slaughter.

Subtitle B: General Provisions - Amends Federal law to direct the Secretary, in the case of an agricultural quarantine of a State entirely comprised of islands, to give consideration to passenger and commercial movement.

(Sec. 912) Amends the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act to: (1) extend cotton classification services authority through FY 2002; and (2) require that all cotton classing office locations in Missouri as of January 1, 1996, be maintained until at least January 1, 1999.

(Sec. 913) Amends the Plant Variety Protection Act to provide plant variety protection for certain tuber propagated plant varieties.

(Sec. 914) Amends the Swine Health Protection Act to authorize termination of State primary enforcement responsibility under such Act.

(Sec. 915) Amends the George Washington National Forest Mount Pleasant Scenic Area Act to redesignate the George Washington National Forest Mount Pleasant Scenic Area (in Virginia) as the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area.

(Sec. 916) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 2002 for the pseudorabies eradication program.

(Sec. 918) Amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act to establish in the Department the Safe Meat and Poultry Inspection Panel.

(Sec. 920) Authorizes the Secretary to pay certain overseas tort claims.

(Sec. 921) States that the Graduate School of the Department of Agriculture shall operate as a nonappropriated fund instrumentality.

(Sec. 922) Sets forth Department student internship provisions.

(Sec. 923) Sets forth conveyance of personal and real property provisions regarding: (1) certain educational institutions; (2) White Oak Cemetery, Washington County, Arkansas; and (3) sale of specified land by the University of Arkansas.

(Sec. 926) Designates a specified Agricultural Research Service facility near Booneville, Arkansas, as the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center.

(Sec. 927) Authorizes the Secretary to obligate funds for road improvements at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center, Maryland, as part of the Department of Agriculture Washington Area Strategic Space Plan.