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RMFU President Kent Peppler, a fourth-generation farmer in Mead, Colo., today endorsed the Farm Bill compromise and urged Congress to pass the bill. “A compromise never gives you everything you want,” Peppler said, “but this bill is good for farmers and good for consumers. The bill provides crop insurance and nearly $4 billion in livestock disaster relief, as well as increased funding for farmers markets and local foods. It established mandatory funding for renewable energy programs.”
Peppler commended the Farm Bill conference committee for their hard work and urged Congress to pass the bill and end the uncertainty that has interfered with both short and long-term planning for agriculturists. He also rejected claims by corporate agriculture that the bill will hurt livestock producers. “Corporate agriculture doesn’t represent people who raise livestock, it represents the slaughterhouses and packaging industries that process meat for consumption. There are many features of the bill that will benefit those who actually raise livestock. In addition to disaster relief, which is retroactive to help those caught in the devastating storm back in October, the bill funds the livestock indemnity program, which helps defray the cost of replenishing herds when livestock are killed by a natural disaster, and the livestock forage program, which helps deal with drought losses. It also provides livestock owners with a ten-year baseline to help with planning.”
The compromise bill includes many features supported by RMFU. Peppler concluded, “We want to especially thank Sen. Bennet for his successful efforts in the conference committee to restore Payment in Lieu of Taxes, which is a fund that compensates rural counties for lost tax revenue due to Federal public lands. With the support of members of our delegation from Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, Sen. Bennet made PILT funding a priority in the conference plan. Rural economies would be devastated by the loss of this revenue, and we all join in thanking him for his hard work.”
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