WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to support final passage of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012.
“This bipartisan legislation reduces our deficit by $23 billion, supports 16 million jobs across America, makes significant policy reforms, retains critical farm safety net programs, helps farmers manage their actual risk, continues to feed our nation’s food insecure, streamlines and strengthens important conservation programs, continues critical investment in renewable energy and supports the rural economy,” said Johnson.
Johnson stressed the need to ensure family farmers and ranchers are protected in the event of long-term price declines.
“The Agriculture Risk Coverage program provides a critical safety net for farmers when they are threatened by losses,” said Johnson. “However, I remain deeply concerned that the bill does not provide the level of long-term price protection that NFU has continually supported. Nonetheless, I appreciate the extraordinary effort and compromise crafting this legislation has required.”
Overall, NFU is pleased with many of the provisions in the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill, including mandatory funding for important renewable energy programs.
“The legislation preserves and streamlines vital renewable energy programs that create jobs, strengthen our nation’s energy security and protect our environment,” said Johnson. “These programs generate new markets for farmers and ranchers and spur the development of bio-energy production.”
Following the passage of the 2012 Farm Bill through the Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives will need to write its own version of the bill.
“We look forward to working with the House to get a farm bill passed, and then continuing to work with both chambers of Congress through a conference committee, as we work to get a farm bill completed by the Sept. 30, 2012, deadline, when the current farm bill expires,” said Johnson.