Vilsack Lists 10 Reasons Why Farm Bill Passage is Vital
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack presented a case in his most recent blog outlining why passing a food and farm bill is crucial. Vilsack lists 10 reasons why Congress must demonstrate leadership to pass a farm bill this year.
1. American farmers and ranchers need to plan ahead for the next five years – which U.S. farm policy dictates.
2. U.S. livestock producers need a mechanism for disaster assistance, especially in times of widespread drought conditions.
3. Dairy farmers require an effective support system.
4. Conservation practices need to be encouraged through conservation funds for farmers, landowners and forestry lands.
5. Organic and small-scale producers need enhanced access to farm bill programs to help boost their industry.
6. Land grant university institutions and researchers need support to encourage innovation and research that supports agriculture.
7. Rural America is counting on investments in renewable energy and biofuel production for job creation.
8. New and young producers require assistance to increase the number of people producing food.
9. Cotton producers and businesses require a resolution of the Brazil cotton dispute.
10. Americans concerned about the deficit needs a bill that will help contribute to part of the solution to reducing the deficit.
Please note the above lists are not the exact wording that Vilsack has provided, but rather a highlight of his argument. The Farm Bill passed the Senate, but died when it reached the House. The 2008 farm bill extension expires Sept. 30 2013.