ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

NFU: House Passes Landmark Farm Legislation

by 5m Editor
30 July 2007, at 9:47am

US - National Farmers Union commended House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the House of Representatives today following House passage of the 2007 Farm Bill.

The bill protects the safety net for farmers when prices fall; authorizes a permanent disaster program; increases conservation, nutrition, renewable energy, and fruit and vegetable programs; and, finally, ensures mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) will be implemented for meats, fruits and vegetables.

“The House farm bill is a good bill,”NFU President Tom Buis said. “It protects the safety net for farmers and ranchers while making significant reforms. Conservation spending is increased by $4.6 billion, nutrition program spending by $4 billion, renewable energy efforts by $2.5 billion and, for the first time ever, provides $1.6 billion for fruit and vegetable growers.”

The 2007 Farm Bill has faced many obstacles in the House, most notably a decreased budget baseline from the 2002 bill, despite the bill’s significant savings. The bill received unanimous, bipartisan support from the House Agriculture Committee last week, and while the bill had broad support in the committee, much of today’s contentious debate focused on funding for nutrition programs.

“Members of Congress had to decide to either close a tax loophole enjoyed by foreign corporations avoiding paying American taxes or feed our nation’s hungry children. To me that’s a no-brainer,” Buis said. “I applaud those who chose to stand with the agriculture committee in supporting our efforts to addressing hunger in the United States and passing a farm bill that helps address the challenges we face in rural America.”

“After five years of repeated delays, Congress finally said it is time to implement mandatory country of origin labeling for meats, fruits and vegetables to allow our nation’s consumers the right to know where there food comes from,” Buis said.

While a permanent disaster program, a top NFU priority, is authorized by the bill, the resources are still not available for its funding. Buis said he is hopeful that the resources will be found as the Senate Agriculture Committee begins farm bill consideration in September. Buis also said that he hopes to see needed competition reforms, such as a ban on packer ownership of livestock, included in the Senate bill.

“NFU has been seeking a farm bill that will allow producers to get a price from the marketplace,” Buis said. “This bill moves in that direction and we appreciate the hard work that has gone into developing this legislation.”

5m Editor