House Farm Bill passes panel

American Farm Bureau Federation

The farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee, in a 35-11 vote, is a fiscally responsible, bipartisan measure that continues to provide a basic-but-broad foundation of risk management protection for America’s farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“As the congressional calendar ticks down, time is of the essence,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “There are very few days remaining for this bill to be completed, but we need a new farm bill this year. We are committed to working with members of Congress to secure a bill that works for all Americans.”

Stallman said farmers are not going to receive all the provisions they had hoped for in this bill, but he commended “the bipartisan efforts that went into providing farmers and ranchers the risk management, marketing, conservation and trade tools necessary to ensure a solid, predictable agricultural economy over the next few years.”

“For more than a year, we have been advocating farm policy that protects and strengthens risk management programs for all farmers,” Stallman said. “This legislation maintains proven program features such as the marketing loan provision and strengthens the crop insurance program while setting a clear example of fiscal responsibility with significant but fair reductions in agriculture spending over the next decade.”

Passage of the bill by the House Agriculture Committee came as presidents of state Farm Bureaus were holding crucial meetings in Washington. Stallman commended House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) for their leadership and teamwork on the bill.

“Just as with the Senate farm bill, there are provisions we think could be improved – and we will continue working with leadership of both committees as the process moves forward,” Stallman said. “But at a time when bipartisan compromise is such a challenge in Washington, it is refreshing to see agriculture, through our elected leaders, set a clear example of working together on building a package of reforms in a fiscally responsible manner. We remain hopeful a farm bill can be completed and sent to President Obama before the current programs expire September 30.”

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