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Release: NSAC Comment on Final FY 15 Budget Bill

December 10, 2014


December 10, 2014, Washington, DC – Late on December 9, Congress released their final annual appropriations bill to keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year, and while there is some good news, overall it’s bleak news for sustainable agriculture – complete with drastic cuts to critical conservation programs and anti-farmer policy riders that favor big livestock integrators over actual farmers.

Ferd Hoefner, NSAC Policy Director, issued the following statement on the bill:

“The 2014 Farm Bill cut $4 billion from voluntary conservation assistance programs, or over $6 billion when accounting for sequestration.  The new spending bill unveiled today piles on, taking hundreds of millions more, primarily from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.  We are witnessing the browning of the farm bill.  It is a sad day for those who believe in voluntary solutions to our agro-environmental problems, and a sad day for those who believe annual appropriations bills should not be using backdoor mechanisms to cut mandatory farm bill spending that is not within their jurisdiction.

The spending bill also includes the policy rider from the House bill to prevent the Packers and Stockyards program at USDA from doing anything to protect the rights of farmers and ensure a fair marketplace for meat and poultry.  The rider is so extreme as to effectively gut the law, including an unprecedented action to force the repeal existing regulations.  Adoption of the rider will deny farmers protection from retaliation when they use their first amendment rights, deny them the right to a jury trial, and even deny them the right to know how the prices they receive are calculated.  It is an extreme, radical, and blatantly anti-farmer provision that has no place in an appropriations bill, or indeed in any bill.”

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NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to support the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.


Categories: Press Releases


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