Many ag groups applaud Senate’s passage of farm bill
“The farm bill provides farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming year, allowing them to continue with their business of providing food and jobs for America. We are particularly pleased with provisions in the 2014 farm bill to provide risk management to fruit and vegetable farmers and to support livestock farmers during disasters.
“Farm Bureau now looks forward to bringing the legislation across the finish line with the president’s signature and working with USDA to get the new farm bill implemented as soon as possible.”
The American Farmland Trust praised final Congressional adoption of the new farm bill that makes the biggest reform in agricultural policy in years, according to Andrew McElwaine, president and CEO of AFT.
“The new Farm Bill requires farmers who receive crop insurance premium assistance to have a conservation plan which helps protect erodible soil and wetlands,” said McElwaine. “Conservation compliance in past has been applied to over 140 million acres helping farmers save 295 million tons of soil per year. An estimated 1.5 million to 3.3 million acres of vulnerable wetlands have not been drained as a result of this compliance provision.”
The bill includes a number of other American Farmland Trust's legislative priorities that will help preserve agricultural land, promote sound farming practices, and help keep farmers on the land, including--
- The investment of $2 billion in conservation easements which helps limit the loss of our nation's working farms and ranch lands to non-farm uses; and
- Priorities like Beginning Farmers and Farmers Markets with over $250 million in funding to support opportunities for farmers and consumers. "As with any compromise there are pros and cons, but on the whole we congratulate Congress for coming together to craft a bill. We look forward to President Obama making the bill law,” said McElwaine.
The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) thanked the U.S. Senate for passing an ICBA-advocated farm bill to strengthen rural America, farmers and ranchers, and the community banks that serve them.
“ICBA thanks the Senate for passing a five-year farm bill to provide stability to rural communities and the community banks that serve them,” said Bill Loving, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Pendleton Community Bank in Franklin, W.Va. “Passing this legislation has been an extraordinary effort by Congress to provide a long-term framework for our nation’s agricultural and rural policies. ICBA and community bankers in rural communities across the nation look forward to seeing this measure signed into law.”