Congressman Steve Daines today called on leaders of the House Agriculture Committee to quickly move forward consideration of a five-year Farm Bill.
In a letter to House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Daines expressed his frustration in the failure to approve a five-year Farm Bill in the last Congress.
"I appreciate the work you and the rest of the Agriculture Committee did last Congress to move a Farm Bill forward," Daines wrote to Lucas and Peterson. "I was disappointed that House leadership chose not to bring the bill to consideration."
Daines called for a five-year Farm Bill that included a comprehensive Revenue Loss Coverage program that would take into account the needs of Montana's farmers. Daines expressed his concerns that past House proposals would not be sufficient for states with large and geographically diverse counties, like Montana.
"As the committee reintroduces the Farm Bill this Congress, I encourage you to ensure that the programs within the bill are adequate for all regions and all crops," Daines said.
Daines noted that he has spent the last month meeting with key Montana ag leaders, including the Montana Farmers Union, the Montana Grain Growers and Montana members of the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, to discuss the importance of a long-term Farm Bill for Montana ag producers.
Daines' efforts were also commended by the leaders of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), with whom Daines recently met in Bozeman.
"First and foremost, Montana's farmers and ranchers need certainty," stated Jake Cummins, Executive Vice President of the MFBF. "The continuous delay of a five-year Farm Bill is affecting our ability to provide food and fiber for the country. The temporary solutions we've seen so far are just that: temporary. We're glad to see Congressman Daines pushing for Congress to do the job we sent them to do and get a Farm Bill in place."
"Agriculture is Montana's largest industry, and having a Farm Bill in place is essential for our agriculture producers to make effective planting decisions," Daines added. "As Montana's voice in the House of Representatives, I look forward to working with you to get a permanent Farm Bill in place and continue promoting Montana's agriculture industry."