Reaction to Farm Bill Mark Starts Rolling In
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commended Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Pat Roberts for their bipartisan work to write a farm, food and jobs bill this year. He said farmers, ranchers and those living in rural communities deserve to know what the rules will be moving forward. Stating that USDA still needs to review all of the policies, reforms and investments proposed in the mark released Friday - Vilsack expressed optimism that Congress will work to pass legislation that will support farmers, guarantee a safe, affordable and nutritious food supply, support nutrition programs and help create jobs for the American people.
The National Association of Conservation Districts was pleased the Senate Ag Committee leaders recognized the value of conservation in supporting the nation's long-term environmental and economic stability. NACD says the language in the Title II framework demonstrates strong bipartisan support for locally-led conservation efforts. The proposal calls for a 10-percent cut - about six-billion dollars - over 10 years to Title II Farm Bill programs. NACD President Gene Schmidt says it makes sense to invest in conservation. He says farm bill conservation programs play a key role in supporting clean air, clean water and productive soils, help producers avoid unnecessary regulation and support economic and food security. As the pressure to produce food, feed, fuel and fiber for a growing population increases - Schmidt says we can't afford not to invest in natural resource conservation. NACD is urging the full Committee and Senate to support the conservation title recommendations as laid out in the framework.
The American Soybean Association is encouraging the Senate Ag Committee to complete mark-up as quickly as possible in order to facilitate the completion of a balanced and effective farm bill as quickly as possible this year. ASA's leadership is taking a closer look at the mark - but so far is pleased to see the inclusion of a revenue-based risk management program that will complement the federal crop insurance program. ASA President Steve Wellman also applauded the decision not to cut crop insurance funding to achieve deficit reduction objectives.
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