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Public Statements

Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MERKLEY. Madam President, this bill is about holding USDA accountable. Organic farmers, when they get crop insurance, pay a 5-percent premium upfront. The whole concept was that on the back end they would be compensated at the value of their organic crop should they need to utilize their insurance. However, to establish the price of the organic crop, USDA has to do a study. We instructed them to do this study 4 years ago, and they have been dragging their feet. They have done four crops out of the many dozens.

Our organic farmers are left in the most untenable position of paying the premiums upfront but not getting the fair organic prices on the back end. This amendment says to get the studies done, which you were told to do 4 years ago, so the equation is fair to our farmers.

I am pleased that Senator Olympia Snowe is a cosponsor.

I yield the floor and reserve the remainder of my time.

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