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NFU Members Lay Out 2007 Farm Bill Priorities

by 5m Editor
6 March 2007, at 8:39am

ORLANDO - National Farmers Union members approved a list of provisions the organization would like to see included in the 2007 Farm Bill. Delegates debated and voted on NFU policy positions this afternoon.

NFU is encouraging Congress to establish farm programs that return profitability and economic opportunity to production agriculture and rural communities. A counter-cyclical safety net, farmer-owned strategic renewable energy reserve and a permanent disaster program are just three of the provisions the group will be advocating.

“NFU held listening sessions across the country last summer and heard over and over again that farmers and ranchers simply want to receive a fair price from the marketplace,” NFU President Tom Buis said. “We believe these provisions will help producers achieve this goal.”

Specifically, NFU supports the following:

A farm income safety net that uses counter-cyclical payments indexed to the cost of production to support family farmers during periods of low commodity prices.

A farmer-owned strategic renewable energy reserve tied to the needs of producers who utilize agricultural products, livestock feed consumers and food manufacturers, which protects against years of poor crop production, with storage payments set at levels equal to commercial storage and adequate release levels that encourage fair market prices. A renewable energy title that makes energy independence a national priority, one that prioritizes and facilitates farmer, rancher, and community ownership of renewable energy and value-added projects, including ethanol, biodiesel, and farmer and community-owned wind energy.

A comprehensive competition title that addresses current anti-trust practices and ensures anti-trust laws will be enforced.

A permanent disaster program, funded from the general treasury in the same manner as other natural disasters so that agricultural disaster assistance does not require “offsets.”

A conservation title that provides adequate funding to support the authorized programs, as intended by Congress. The title should include full funding for the Conservation Security Program, substantial increase in the funding for the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical services to assist farmers and ranchers in the development and implementation of conservation cost-share programs.

A strong nutrition title to help provide basic food and nutrition needs for citizens of all ages, especially our young, elderly, and physically handicapped. Dairy programs that include a strong safety-net and a supply management system to protect producers from a market collapse. Dairy price supports should reflect cost of production shifts for producers.

A rural development title that helps farmers, ranchers, and members of the rural communities develop new and better economic opportunities to support and build the economic base of rural America.

5m Editor