Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. this week, and after trying to shed light on the complexities and importance of U.S. agriculture, he met with reporters to talk about the farm bill. Vilsack said he thinks a new bill can still be passed, but pointed the finger squarely at House Speaker John Boehner.
“We’re going to continue to encourage Congress to get this done. There’s no reason why we can’t get it done. I think right now the Speaker’s reluctance needs to be addressed. Then we need to tell the Speaker it’s not a thousand page bill, it’s a bill that can be easily linked to and provide savings for any fiscal cliff resolution and would encourage the Speaker to rethink the notion that this can’t be done. It can be done.”
And he stated the obvious about farmers needing Congress to act now.
“Everybody understands that there has to be savings and agriculture is willing do its part. Rural America is willing to do its part. It just wants the capacity to be able to contribute and one way you can do that is by a five year Farm Bill.
Earlier during the address Vilsack paid tribute to agriculture by explaining how it is not a simple way to make a living.
“It’s a very sophisticated business. And I would argue that I think it’s perhaps the most sophisticated and most complex business in America. Not only do you have to know how to farm, you have to also know how to market. And those are skills that are not easily obtained and if mistakes are made, it can cost significant income.”
The ag secretary added agriculture is more important than most people realize since it’s the source of our food, our water with 88 percent of the water consumed impacted and affected by what occurs in rural America, the source of an ever-increasing amount of U.S. fuel and energy, and it is a job creator.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/12/Vilsack-on-farm-bill.mp3|titles=Vilsack on farm bill]