Wed, 29 Jan 2014
US - The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson, under direction from the NFU Board of Directors, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner calling for the 2014 Farm Bill to be called up and voted on this week.
"Farm bill conference committee members have agreed to a compromise that will provide farmers, ranchers, rural residents and America’s consumers with policy certainty over the next five years," said Mr Johnson.
"Thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Cochran, and Ranking Member Peterson, and, the farm bill is now at the final stage in the legislative process."
The letter outlines several of NFU’s priorities that were included in the final report language.
"NFU is pleased with the conference report for a variety of reasons," said Mr Johnson.
"The bill includes fixed reference prices to provide assistance to farmers only when truly necessary. It provides a strong crop insurance title and approximately $4 billion in livestock disaster assistance.
"The bill increases funding for the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Programme and related initiatives.
"We are also encouraged by the inclusion of robust mandatory funding levels for renewable energy programmes.
"We’re also very happy that the bill preserves the ability of American family farmers and ranchers to distinguish their products in the marketplace through the existing Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law."
"On behalf of all family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, rural residents and consumers, I call on Congress to pass the bill this week," continued Mr Johnson. "It is time to move forward and pass the farm bill."