National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson sent a letter today to the members of Congress recently named to the 2013 Farm Bill conference committee outlining NFU’s priorities for the final version of the legislation. “NFU is pleased to see the farm bill process move forward with the appointment of conferees,” said Johnson. “As you and other conferees begin formulating your positions on important farm bill conference issues, I urge you to consider the priorities of U.S. family farmers, ranchers, rural communities and hungry Americans.”
The letter outlined key issues such as maintaining farm bill permanent law, as enacted in 1938 and 1949, which provide a regular requirement for Congress to update and review farm and related policy.
“Rescinding permanent law would remove the incentive to update and reauthorize the farm bill, leaving conservation, renewable energy, rural development, research, trade and other provisions without authority to continue,” said Johnson.
Further high priorities include establishing fixed reference prices for commodity programs, enacting an inventory management tool as part of the dairy safety net, providing $900 million in mandatory funding for renewable energy efforts, opposition to adverse amendments to Country-of-Origin Labeling, and including adequate funding levels for the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.
The letter also highlighted 18 other important farm bill issues on which NFU has taken a position. “I urge the conference committee to take swift action so that we can ensure certainty for all Americans with a new farm bill signed into law before the end of the year,” said Johnson.