U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Representative Collin Peterson today joined the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau at a rally calling on the House of Representatives to swiftly pass a 5-year Farm Bill; the current Farm Bill expires on September 30. Senator Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and worked to craft the 5-year, 2012 Farm Bill which passed the Senate in June with bipartisan support. Representative Peterson is the Ranking Member on the House Agriculture Committee, which passed a bipartisan farm bill in July that has yet to receive a vote in the House.
"This critical legislation will help preserve and strengthen the farm safety net and includes vital livestock disaster programs to support producers during drought," Klobuchar said."It is time for the House to take action and pass this 5-year Farm Bill so our farmers and ranchers can have the continuity they need to thrive and succeed."
"I simply can't understand why the Republican Leaders in the House won't take yes for an answer. House Leaders are choosing to play politics rather than bringing the bipartisan five-year farm bill to the floor before September 30,"Peterson said. "The farm economy is one part of the economy that's actually doing well and has been solid through the past few tough years due, in part I believe, to the strong 2008 Farm Bill. We should not jeopardize one of our nation's economic bright spots. Everyone - farmers and consumers - needs to call their Representatives and urge passage of a five-year farm bill."
"Farmers Union thanks Sen. Klobuchar for her work in ensuring the Senate did its part to get the farm bill passed and Rep. Peterson for his work in the House. It is a critical piece of legislation to Minnesota farmers and consumers,"said Doug Peterson, President of the Minnesota Farmers Union.
"We appreciate the work that the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee have done. We need the House to pass a comprehensive, long-term farm bill," said Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap. "Farmers are faced with decisions that carry serious financial ramifications. We need clear and confident signals from our Members of Congress that they understand our concerns, and we need a farm bill done sooner than later."
The 2012 Farm Bill that passed the Senate in June strengthens the crop insurance program and also reauthorizes critical livestock disaster programs such as the Livestock Indemnity Program, which compensates ranchers at a rate of 75% of market value for livestock mortality caused by a disaster, and the Emergency Disaster Loan Program, which provides producers with low interest loans when a county has been declared a federal disaster area. The Farm Bill also includes four of Klobuchar's provisions supporting farmers and ranchers, including provisions to help beginning farmers and ranchers gain better access to the critical crop insurance program as well as land for grazing cattle, as well as a provision requiring a feasibility study for insuring swine producers against catastrophic losses.