In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA) and stakeholder groups from across agriculture urged the Senate to bring the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, more commonly known as the farm bill, to the floor for consideration as quickly as possible.
"Last week, Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Roberts and the entire Senate Agriculture Committee took a huge step forward in advancing this key legislation for America’s farmers. We commend them for their work and we look to the Senate to keep the progress moving by bringing the bill to the floor," said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb.
"The stakeholders we represent need to know details of the programs which will be in effect in 2013 as soon as possible," the letter stated. "Timely action will also enhance prospects for completing new legislation this year rather than needing to extend current program authorities."
The groups noted that the proposed legislation’s impact will not be limited to farm communities. "This is one piece of legislation upon which all Americans depend, urban as well as rural," said the groups.
Additionally, the groups underscored their collective goal of passing a farm bill this year, expressing a balanced desire to achieve organizational goals while also succeeding as a larger agricultural community. "With limited time remaining before expiration of current program authorities, time is of the essence," wrote the groups. "While each of our respective organizations will continue to work to accomplish our key priorities, the farm bill must move forward."
ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary membership in ASA by more than 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.