Today, Congressman Tim Walz applauded the formation of the Farm Bill Now coalition. According to a press release, the Farm Bill Now coalition is comprised of thirty-nine of the nation's leading agricultural organizations. These organizations are all working together towards the same goal of raising public awareness and pushing Congress to pass the five-year Farm Bill.
"I applaud and thank these organizations for joining forces to raise awareness about the need for Congress to pass a five-year Farm Bill before October," said Walz, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. "Whether it comes in the form of steady, dependable prices at the grocery store or relief for drought stricken farmers, the Farm Bill affects and gives certainty to everyone. Congress needs to get its chores done. We need a five-year Farm Bill now. Rural America--and the rest of the country--can't wait.
Walz has advocated strongly for House leadership to bring the five-year Farm Bill forward. The bill passed out of the Agriculture Committee with a strong bipartisan vote of 35-11, but leadership has stonewalled and refused to allow a vote on the five-year bill by the full House of Representatives.
The 2012 Farm Bill is ready to go. And, after hearing directly from southern Minnesotans, includes many of the provisions Congressman Walz authored.
These provisions will:
Make it easier for our youth to take up farming and ranching operations and agriculture entrepreneurship.
Increase energy access in rural America; improving efficiency and reducing input costs for farmers and small businesses.
Ensure farmers have the flexibility to grow a wide array of crops without penalty or fear of losing their insurance.
Save taxpayer dollars, conserve critical wildlife and hunting habitats, while still allowing farmers to manage their lands as they see fit.
Keep shipping costs low for our food and electricity producers by giving local citizens a voice in railroad pricing negotiations.
In addition, the five-year Farm Bill makes the USDA more efficient by streamlining many programs to cut down on unnecessary paperwork and overly burdensome regulations for farmers. It eases access to lines of credit so that farmers who want to expand their business have the tools necessary to do so. And it reforms out-of-date dairy policy and strengthens crop insurance to protect taxpayers while also making sure farmers won't literally lose the farm if disaster strikes.
The message from rural America is clear: pass the Farm Bill, pass it now.