Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today sent a letter outlining his priorities in the 2013 farm bill conference to leaders of the conference committee, emphasizing issues of importance to Hoosiers.
Donnelly wrote, "My top priorities have always been to strengthen Indiana's economy and help create Hoosier jobs. The importance of agriculture to those priorities is nearly impossible to overstate. In my home state of Indiana, around 150,000 people are employed in well-paying agricultural jobs and use their hard work and ingenuity to contribute over $30 billion in economic activity each year For these hardworking individuals, it is past time for Congress to pass a five-year farm bill."
Donnelly urged the conference committee to provide a basic level of crop insurance coverage for advanced biofuel crops. Donnelly authored this amendment, adopted during the Senate consideration of the farm bill. He also advocated strongly to the conference committee that they provide full, mandatory funding for bioenergy programs, so Indiana farmers can continue to improve their ability to produce biofuels that improve our energy security.
Donnelly also expressed support for a bipartisan amendment to improve the availability of conservation technical assistance to farmers, potentially broadening the adoption of practices that conserve water, reduce runoff, and improve yields. He emphasized the importance of a reasonable safety net that protects producers from natural disasters and sharp market downturns, without distorting market demand and production.
To read the full letter sent by Senator Donnelly, click here.
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