House members urge inclusion of local ag in farm bill conference report | TheFencePost.com

House members urge inclusion of local ag in farm bill conference report

-The Hagstrom Report

A bipartisan coalition of 43 House members led by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, on Tuesday sent the chairs and ranking member of the House and Senate agriculture committees a letter requesting inclusion of the Local Agriculture Market Program in the farm bill conference report.

LAMP would consolidate numerous existing programs that support new market development into a single streamlined program with permanent, mandatory funding.

"Across the country, farmers are looking for new markets as they deal with trade uncertainty and a strained farm economy," Pingree said. "Meanwhile, consumer interest in growing markets, such as local food, is creating new opportunities for farmers in their own communities. While USDA has a number of successful programs to help farmers take advantage of these new market opportunities, they can be hard to navigate, and funding remains uncertain year-to-year. Putting these programs under one roof and solidifying funding would go a long way toward helping more farmers and organizations reliably access them. As conference committee members work out a final farm bill, including LAMP would be a sure-fire way for them to effectively support agricultural economic growth."

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said "LAMP will light the path forward for our nation's family farmers."