American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says farmers and ranchers – along with 90-percent of the country – are frustrated with Congress. Not only has the federal government shut down – but Stallman notes the one-year farm bill extension granted by Congress last session has expired – while the new farm bill has yet to formally reach the conference process. Stallman says Farm Bureau members are concerned over the political challenges that are making it next to impossible for Congress to reach a compromise on important legislation while restoring fiscal order and setting a responsible course to get the federal budget back on track. The fact that the House and Senate versions of the farm bill would provide significant savings that could be applied toward reducing the federal deficit – Stallman says – adds to the frustration. With the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill extension – he says farmers are once again left with uncertainty regarding the safety net and risk management tools that are important in planning for next year’s crop. Come January – Stallman adds that consumers face the impact of high food costs as decades-old farm policy kicks in.
Stallman says the bipartisan packages developed by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees would deliver solid safety net options and comprehensive risk management tools for farmers and ranchers. He says it’s past time for Congress to let these two committees get back to what they do best – work together in a bipartisan fashion to forge the best new farm bill possible in today’s tough political environment. Farm Bureau is encouraging Congress and President Obama to work together to get the budget process in order, get the national economy back on track and move forward on legislation important to agriculture – including the farm bill, immigration and tax reform and waterways funding.
Source: NAFB News service