Farm bill reaction: Halfway there - The Packer

Farm bill reaction: Halfway there

06/21/2012 04:19:00 PM
Tom Karst

Produce Marketing Association President Bryan Silbermann


“PMA commends the Senate for their attention to the needs of specialty crops throughout the 2012 farm bill. This success would not have been a reality without the leadership of Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, who continued the breakthroughs for specialty crops made in the last farm bill, but in a far more difficult budgetary environment. The efforts of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance also deserve recognition, once again successfully advocating for the inclusion of programs targeted to the needs of produce and other specialty crops.


“As the 2012 farm bill discussions move to the U.S. House of Representatives, PMA looks forward to continuing to advocate for the priorities of the fruit and vegetable industry.”


American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman


“There is still a lot of hard work ahead to fully secure the kind of policy we believe our farm and ranch families need, but we applaud the Senate for approving a workable bill and moving this process forward. The Senate has provided us solid footing by approving a bill that stands firm on $23 billion in savings, yet protects and strengthens the federal crop insurance program and provides a commodity title that attempts to encourage producers to follow market signals rather than make planting decisions in anticipation of government payments. And we are convinced that having a new farm bill in place this year is overwhelmingly in the best interest of our members.”

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Policy Director Ferd Hoefner


"The bill would benefit greatly from more agriculture reform, a greater local and regional food focus, and a much greater commitment to economic development and jobs.We are also disappointed with the $3.7 billion cut to conservation programs on working farms and ranches.


Senate adoption of amendments by Senator Brown (D-OH) on rural development and beginning farmers, Senator Chambliss (R-GA) on soil and wetland conservation, and Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Coburn (R-OK) on crop insurance subsidy limits brought the bill more in line with the ‘reform’ and ‘jobs’ in its title. These amendments, along with others like Senator Merkley's (D-OR) on crop insurance for organic farmers and Senator Grassley's (R-IA) on commodity payment limit reform, significantly improved the bill.  Without passage of these amendments, we could not have supported passage of the final bill.”

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