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Public Statements

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. PINGREE of Maine. I would just like to say one more time that this is a vital program.

Let me again reinforce the good words of my colleague and thank him for speaking on the other side of the aisle in support of this program. This helps communities through direct marketing. This helps roadside stands, farmers markets, CSA, agritourism, other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

It's a competitive grant. It's not a boondoggle. It's not direct payments to a farmer. And once again, I just want to say, I come from the State of Maine, which like many States is full of rural communities, rural communities who are seeing this renewed interest in buying food locally--a great way to expand this economy, to provide jobs, to get more money into our rural economies, to make sure people are eating healthier food, getting to know their farmers in their communities, making better, healthier decisions.

I strongly oppose this amendment, and I urge my colleagues to do so.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Thank you, Mr. Kind, for giving up some of your valuable time. I will try to be quick. First, I want to thank the chair and the ranking member. They've worked hard on the FARRM bill, and I appreciate many of the good pieces that are in this bill.

But there are a lot of unconscionable cuts that hit deeply into the working poor in this country, particularly the SNAP benefits cuts, which is a means-tested program.

I want to rise in support of this amendment because unlike the cuts on the SNAP benefits for low-income families, this amendment just asks the richest agricultural business in America to pay a little more and receive a little less, just this one portion of the amendment, the $250,000 cap for farmers who clear more than $250,000 a year. We have a lot of farmers in our State and a growing number of farmers in our State, but there are very few that clear more money than that.

This mostly affects corporate farms. Ninety-six percent of the farmers will never be affected by this amendment, but for a very few, this is a huge benefit.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I thank my colleague for his time.

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