Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today sent a letter to Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-03) and Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development Chairman Tim Johnson (IL-15) requesting that the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) program be included in the 2012 Farm Bill as it was in the 2008 Farm Bill. The National Center for Appropriate Technology, which runs ATTRA, is a national nonprofit organization located in Butte. It has more than 30 years of experience in helping people learn more about technologies and practices that save energy and resources in the home, farm workplace and community.
"The Farm Bill should be about helping farmers, and this Made in Montana effort does just that," said Rehberg, a fifth-generation rancher from Billings. "I've led the charge in the House to give the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte the help it needs to serve farmers from around the country, and I'll keep working hard on their behalf."
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) provides information, educational resources and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers across the U.S., with a special focus on sustainable ag technologies, farm energy, and information on marketing and adding value to farm products.
"The Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas Program (ATTRA) helps farmers and ranchers across the country by providing one-stop technical assistance to producers on sustainable agriculture farming practices," said Kathy Hadley, Executive Director of NCAT. "The program has enjoyed bipartisan congressional support for more than 25 years and was developed in Butte. Yesterday, the Senate passed a new five year Farm Bill that included ATTRA and as the House takes up its own Farm Bill, we are very grateful that Congressman Rehberg is working hard to make sure that it includes the ATTRA program."
Rehberg's letter is below:
Dear Chairman Lucas and Chairman Johnson:
I am writing to request that the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) be included in the 2012 Farm Bill. ATTRA received bipartisan support in the 2008 Farm Bill. This program is an important resource for farmers and ranchers, and I urge you to give full consideration to its inclusion as you prepare to mark-up the bill in the Agriculture Committee.
ATTRA provides assistance to farmers and ranchers on the production of value-added farm products and farm energy, in addition to information and technical assistance on sustainable agriculture practices for farmers, including reducing pesticide inputs, pest infestations and improving soil fertility. This program provides producer assistance throughout the production process, unlike the value-added projects that focus mainly on marketing and distribution. I encourage the committee to continue to support ATTRA, a worthwhile program that provides invaluable assistance for our agriculture producers.
Thank you for your consideration, and please don't hesitate to hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.