Farm groups call for quick passage of farm bill
The American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Asociation of Wheat Growers on Thursday called for quick passage of the farm bill conference report, even though the text has not been released.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said,
“The 2018 farm bill emerging from the conference committee is good news for farmers amid a prolonged downturn in the agricultural economy.”
Duvall noted that congressional agriculture leaders — Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, Senate Ag ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Ag ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn. — “made the bill a priority for this Congress, and all Americans — farmers and consumers — are better off for it.”
“Continued access to risk-management tools, assistance in foreign market development, and conservation and environmental stewardship programs within the legislation are especially important for farmers and ranchers,” Duvall said.
“These programs will help provide certainty to rural America at a time when it is much needed given the financial headwinds so many family farms now face. Additionally, the bill continues to help low-income children, families, seniors and military veterans access the high-quality foods produced by farm families.
“Farmers and ranchers continue to face challenges outside of the farm bill. Every day we struggle to find the workers we need. Exports were once a backbone of U.S. agriculture, but we now face an uphill battle reclaiming our once robust market share. While the administration is reviewing the cost and effectiveness of federal regulations, overregulation remains a burden that farmers and ranchers cannot afford, especially now. We urge Congress to continue working on these issues to maintain our nation’s food security and continue agriculture’s significant contributions to U.S. job creation and economic growth.”
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said, “Getting a farm bill through the finish line before the end of the year is critical for the long-term viability and sustainability of family farmers and ranchers across the country.”
“Farmers are enduring a growing financial crisis in the farm economy, and programs that support farm sustainability and diverse markets for family farmers have expired.
“Senate and House agriculture leaders and their staff have worked tirelessly to resolve differences in the chambers’ respective farm bills, and we’re optimistic they’ve come to terms on a farm bill that begins to provide the relief and certainty farmers need amidst struggling markets due to oversupply and trade volatility. We urge Congress to approve a farm bill before the end of the year.”
National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp said, “It’s imperative that farmers and rural communities have a new farm bill this year.”
“NCGA is grateful for today’s announcement that sets the steps in motion to ensure that happens. Our grower members have been making phone calls and sending emails to Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to reach a deal before year’s end. We thank them for heeding this call and look forward to fully reviewing the conference agreement.”
National Association of Wheat Growers President Jimmie Musick said, “NAWG appreciates conferees diligently working together to reach an agreement to strengthen the agriculture industry.”
“This past year our growers have dealt with the impact of the trade war between U.S. and China, extreme weather conditions, and a struggling rural economy and more. Farm bill support programs provide them with some certainty during these volatile times.
“NAWG looks forward to reviewing the language within the bill.”