National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson sent a letter to U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Wednesday, praising their work on the 2012 Farm Bill while also urging them to strengthen certain programs within the legislation.

“The draft legislation put forth by Sens. Stabenow and Roberts provides for strengthened crop insurance programs and simplified protection options for farmers against yield losses through the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program,” said Johnson. “ARC has promise as an effective safety net program and will better ensure that only farmers who need assistance will benefit from the program.”

In the letter, Johnson thanked committee leadership for including livestock health and disaster programs, and offered support for amendments to adopt prohibitions on packer ownership of livestock, along with other market reforms. Johnson also called for more funding for energy programs.

“We strongly urge the committee to include the amendment by Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., which provides $800 million in mandatory funding for core energy programs,” said Johnson. “These programs are critical for rural development and for helping America become more energy independent.”

NFU will continue to work with policymakers throughout the 2012 Farm Bill process to ensure that the priorities of U.S. family farmers, ranchers, and fishermen are included.

Click here to view the letter