California farmers welcome passage of Senate farm bill
» June 21, 2012 «
Farm Bureau urges House to pass a bill promptly
Following today's Senate passage of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, California farmers commended the Senate action and urged the House of Representatives to act promptly on federal farm legislation.
The California Farm Bureau Federation supports many aspects of the 2012 Farm Bill, including a number of programs that benefit California farmers, ranchers, consumers and the environment.
"The Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that contains $23 billion in savings but maintains programs to help farmers stay competitive in global markets, feed those in need and improve the environment," California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger said. "We hope the House will be as efficient as the Senate in debating the bill, and that the final version of the farm bill retains many of the programs that the Senate thoughtfully crafted."
For example, the Senate farm bill decreases the number of conservation programs from 23 to 13. The new structure streamlines some processes for farmers and ranchers and gives USDA more flexibility to account for economic and environmental differences across the country. At the same time, the farm bill continues to fund and prioritize programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Grassland Reserve Program, which focus on conserving working farmland instead of taking land out of food and fiber production.
The California Farm Bureau succeeded in urging passage of an amendment that pulled the Air Quality Initiative back from elimination. The program provides assistance to farmers and ranchers for agricultural air quality programs.
The Senate farm bill also directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the benefits of offering insurance for fruit, vegetable, nut and other specialty crop growers against losses from food safety or contamination issues. Other farm bill programs of particular interest to California farmers protect against invasive pest species and assist in domestic and foreign market development.
"California farmers produce a large proportion of the nation's specialty crops, and we're pleased to see that programs benefiting specialty crop growers stayed intact as the Senate debated the farm bill," Wenger said.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 74,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top