Groups Urge Full and Fair Farm Bill NOW
July 18th, 2013
Today, over 240 groups issued a joint statement urging Congressional leaders to pass a full and fair Farm Bill without delay, and to quickly move to conference the House-passed and Senate-passed versions of the Farm Bill.
NSAC issued the following statement along with the release of this letter:
“Today 243 food and farm organizations from around the country called on Congress to appoint conferees and get to work immediately on producing a final full and fair Farm Bill before the current farm bill extension expires on September 30. The joint statement speaks with urgency to the need for real farm policy reform, equity for all parts of agriculture, and strong nutrition assistance measures. NSAC is pleased to have joined with many other organizations to develop, circulate, and issue the statement. It will continue to circulate for additional sign-ons over the course of the next week.”
NSAC worked closely with several partners and allies to draft this statement including the Rural Coalition, National Family Farm Coalition, and Community Food and Justice Coalition, among others.
The statement urges leaders of Congress to move to conference a full and fair Farm Bill this summer, which includes all titles (including those programs within the Nutrition Title), full funding for conservation programs, and important commodity and crop insurance reforms. Additionally, the undersigned groups pledge to work with Congress to secure passage of a farm bill that restores robust funding for programs that support:
- beginning, socially disadvantaged, tribal, women and veteran farmers;
- rural economic development and job creation, including renewable energy projects;
- fruit and vegetable production and organic farmers and ranchers; and
- farmers markets, healthy food access, and community food and urban agriculture projects.
The statement also strongly urges Congress to maintain some type of provisions that require Congress to update and modify the farm bill on a regular five-year basis as conditions in the food and farm system change.
Earlier this week, the House officially sent their version of the farm bill to the Senate, in order to begin the conference process. However, House Republican leaders are still working towards passing a stand-alone nutrition bill that would likely include even greater cuts to nutrition programs than the Farm Bill that failed to pass the House earlier this summer.
Regardless of whether or not the House is able to pass a stand-alone nutrition bill, House and Senate agriculture leaders can and should begin the conference process immediately, as there remain only 18 legislative days until the current farm bill extension expires on September 30, and should work together to send a full and fair farm bill to the President for his signature before the end of September.
To read more about the factors influencing the conference process, click here.
To download a copy of the statement issued today, click here.