Media Releases, Legislative News, Agricultural Updates
By Kent Peppler
The Agriculture Committees of the United States House of Representatives and Senate have begun drafting, debating and developing farm policies for the next five years.
We all have a huge stake in the process.
The legislation will have a tremendous impact on the future of family farm and ranch agriculture and the production of local fresh food.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) has not taken the 2007 farm bill lightly. Over a year ago a farm bill task force was appointed including producers and consumers from Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. A number of meetings were held to solicit input into the ten or more titles of the farm bill legislation.
The committee gathered material and information from over 500 individuals, including Rocky Mountain Farmers Union members who attended the annual convention last November. The task force developed a document from that material and that document has now been shared with every member of Congress from our three-state region.
The most significant factor in the development of the farm legislation will be the budget authority granted by the Budget Committee. If the Budget Committee does not provide a budget authority equal to that granted for the development of the 2002 farm bill, all America is being short-changed!
Every farm bill title includes important legislation. The nutrition title is essential to the health and welfare of our children, and the commodity title has many programs essential to the economic stability of our nation’s farmers and ranchers.
Conservation programs linked to working lands are also important to farmers and ranchers, and continued domestic development of renewable energy must be a priority. RMFU also urges expanded commitment in the rural development title to cooperative development centers, and the trade title must protect the American consumer and producers with regard to imported food and fiber.
Additionally, RMFU encourages Congress to establish a new title, Concentration. Markets in America are becoming more concentrated, from agriculture inputs to food retailing, leaving price control in the hands of a few corporations.
Safe, healthy, nutritious food and domestic fuel and fiber, produced by our nations’ family farmers and ranchers, are the keys to our nation’s economic independence and security. Please talk with your neighbors and friends and your elected representatives about the farm bill. You can make a difference!
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