Thursday, July 11, 2013

Groups respond to split Farm Bill's passage

Reactions from farm groups and others to the House of Representatives' passage of an agriculture-only Farm Bill are trickling in. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association's president, Scott George, says he's "pleased that cattlemen and women are one step closer toward final legislation." The Dairy Farmers of America calls it "bittersweet" because the bill didn't include a desired dairy provision. The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance is happy, too, and looks forward "to working with negotiators to advance legislation through conference committee and to the president’s desk for his signature."

As I posted earlier on Facebook, the north state's Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, voted for the bill.

“We’ve moved the ball forward toward reform of federal policies, but more work remains to be done,” he said afterward.

According to LaMalfa, the bill contains the following reforms:

· Direct Payments are eliminated and no payments are made to those who don’t farm.
· Traditional farm policy is cut by almost $23 billion – a record 36 percent reduction.
· The bill ensures a reliable food supply and stable consumer food prices for Americans without fluctuations due to federal policy.
· Crop insurance policies require farmers to have more skin in the game, and only provide assistance in the event of a natural disaster or market crash.
· Prohibits EPA from implementing the unjustified and unscientific biological opinions of the National Marine Fisheries Service until there is an unbiased, scientific peer review of those opinions.
· Requires regulatory agencies across the government to use scientifically sound information in moving forward with their regulatory initiatives.
· Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to advocate on behalf of farmers and ranchers as other agencies move forward with regulations affecting food and fiber.
· Eliminates duplicative reporting requirement for seed importers.

The Capital Press' Carol Ryan Dumas is contacting other groups and individual farmers for a reaction story, which you can look for at tomorrow.

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