Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, sent a letter to members of Congress, including the six senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, urging them to act promptly to pass the farm bill released by the conference committee.
Conceding that the bill was “not perfect,” the letter also acknowledges that “the outcome is a result of over a year of discussion, negotiations and compromise on all sides of the debate.” The bill includes major reform in commodity supports. It also includes, for the first time, a livestock title and provisions for specialty crops. Two-thirds of the “farm bill” pays for nutrition programs, including school meal programs, food stamps and domestic and international food programs.
“The food and farm bill impacts everyone in the Rocky Mountain region,” Peppler said. “It effects university research programs, school lunch programs, nutrition assistance programs, housing, water and sewage needs for rural communities, conservation efforts and the health of our national forests. It supports rural development initiatives, continued expansion and development of renewable energy opportunities, and production of the safest, most reliable food and fiber anywhere in the world.”
The compromise bill has broad support among organizations representing agriculture, conservation, nutrition and education interests. RMFU expressed appreciation for the bipartisan leadership demonstrated in Congress to finalize the legislation.