Fri, 24 Jan 2014
US - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson has sent a letter to the members of the farm bill conference committee emphasizing the importance of finishing a five-year, comprehensive farm bill as soon as possible.
“It is time to move the farm bill across the finish line,” said Johnson. “Family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, rural communities and consumers have waited long enough for a long-term plan. We are hopeful that the process is nearing an end.”
NFU is especially concerned by attempts to repeal or undermine Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), which provides valuable information to consumers.
“If any harmful changes to COOL are included in the farm bill, it could very likely affect NFU’s ability to support the entire farm bill,” said Johnson. “Farmers, ranchers, producers and consumers strongly support COOL and I urge Congress to defend the current law.”
The letter outlined additional key priorities such as support for establishing fixed reference prices for commodity programs, enacting a price stabilization tool as part of the dairy safety net, providing $900 million in mandatory funding for renewable energy programs, including adequate funding levels for the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program, and maintaining farm bill permanent law to provide Congress the impetus to update and review farm policy periodically.
“There are many important policies and programs in the farm bill that have been debated and amended at length,” said Johnson. “It’s time to seal the deal. I urge the conference committee to take swift action so that we can ensure certainty for all Americans as soon as possible.”