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RMFU Hails Congressional Approval of Food and Farm Policy

Denver – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) commended the swift action of the House of Representatives in adopting proposed food and farm policies for the next five years. This action by Congress followed significant debate, including a threatened veto by President George W. Bush.

“We hail the leadership of Congress, especially Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.),chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, in securing passage of the proposed 2007 Farm Bill,” stated Kent Peppler, President, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and farmer from Mead, Colo. “The legislation contains some significant reforms and commitment to new monies for programs beneficial to our natural resources, nutrition programs, rural development, domestic energy development, and the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables.”

The 2007 Farm Bill proposal, approved by the House Agriculture Committee a week ago, includes new additional funding for the following programs: $4.6 for conservation; $5 billion for nutrition programs; $2.5 billion for domestic energy development, including cellulose ethanol; and, $1.6 billion for fruit and vegetable programs. The proposal also includes reform in the commodity title on the payment limitation related to commodity supports and payments, and compromise language to assist in the implementation of country-of-origin labeling(COOL). “The policies contained in this proposal will benefit all Americans,” said Monty Niebur, farmer, Akron, Colo. “The continued commitment to support America’s family farmers and ranchers in the production of affordable food and fiber and at the same time reforming the payment limitations is a very positive step. The commitment of new dollars to domestic energy will be a tremendous benefit in moving development forward in our rural communities.”

The development of the farm bill this year has been done under severe budget constraints as well as pressure from world trade negotiations. With a breakdown in trade negotiations, Congress moved forward on the farm bill legislation.

“The compromise reached on COOL is a positive step for farmers, ranchers and consumers,” stated Ken Macy, livestock producer, Pine Bluffs, Wyo. “Consumers have strongly supported the desire to know the country of origin of the meat they are purchasing. With approval of this legislation consumers will be able to know if the meat they are eating was born and raised in the United States.”

“We are excited to see the commitment Congress has made to new programs to support fruits and vegetables and additional dollars for nutrition programs,” said John Ellis, organic farmer, Boulder, Colo. “More consumers desire to purchase fresh food locally and to eat healthier. We are excited that this legislation supports that desire. We must remember good nutrition enhances the learning ability of our youth.”

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Kent Peppler, in Washington, D.C., during the debate and adoption of the farm bill, visited with the Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico congressional offices to express the appreciation of the 25,000 RMFU members for their support in adoption of the 2007 Farm Bill.

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