National Farmers Union delegates have adopted a special order of business calling on Washington policy makers to consider the unique challenges facing rural America when debating policy solutions regarding the nation's federal farm programs.
“The 2008 Farm Bill provided a framework for building a strong agricultural economy by enacting a variety of initiatives that included funding crop insurance and permanent disaster-relief programs, maintaining emergency income supports for dairy farmers, establishing supply management plans for commodities such as sugar, and placing greater emphasis on effective conservation efforts,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
Farm Bill and related agricultural programs comprise less than one-quarter of one percent of total federal expenditures, making it a wise investment in securing the world’s leading affordable, safe and nutritious food supply, and any reductions in the level of farm program funding could significantly damage the American food system.
“President Obama’s 2010 budget proposal cut $6.9 billion from crop insurance,” said Johnson. “This large of a cut in funding could severely weaken one of the most important safety nets for farmers and would likely take money away from the next Farm Bill baseline.”
Delegates called on policy makers to ensure any reduction in the agriculture spending budget should be at the same percentage across all federal programs and congressional committees.
Further discussion called for a special emphasis to be placed on preserving agricultural programs such as crop insurance; permanent disaster relief; dairy and commodity supports; the Feedstock Flexibility Program for Bioenergy Producers; the no-cost sugar program; and other federal initiatives to strengthen agricultural and rural economies.
Source: National Farmers Union