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Public Statements

Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, the bill we are debating today has a provision called the Organic Certification Cost Share and Agricultural Management Assistance Program. This creates $115 million of mandatory spending over the next 5 years. It continues existing policy except at a much higher spending level. It is a 53-percent increase over the 2008 farm bill. Half of the funding goes to pay producers.

Half of this funding goes to have taxpayers pay the cost of producers that want to certify that they grow an organic product. I have nothing against organic farming, but it is a $31 billion industry. It has had a 50-percent growth rate just since 2008, and this applies only to large producers because small producers are not required to seek this certification. This is a great market. There is a great deal of interest in organic products, but I think these large producers can pay for their own certification.

The other half goes to duplicative conservation efforts.

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