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Issue Position: Agriculture

Issue Position

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Issue Position: Agriculture

Mississippi's farmers and producers are the backbone of our states most important industry: agriculture. From sweet potatoes to cotton, North Mississippi farmers work hard every day to provide the products on which we all depend. I am committed to helping create a sustainable, affordable, and abundant agricultural industry. I was proud to help overturn the President's veto and pass the 2008 Farm Bill which includes many important provisions, such as loan guarantee programs and farm subsidy updates. I look forward to continuing to fight for Mississippi's agriculture community.

In addition, currently I am the only member of the Mississippi delegation serving on the House Agriculture Committee and I am proud to serve on two subcommittees: Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry and Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture.

Agriculture Legislation

2008 Farm Bill:

I recently helped to override the President's veto of the 2008 Farm Bill which included many important provisions for Mississippi's farmers:

Ensuring Food Security

* Nutrition programs increased by $10.361 billion with appropriate benefit increases that are indexed to the cost of living
* Vital assistance to food banks increased by $1.25 billion
* New funding boosts organic agriculture, fruit and vegetable programs, and local food networks
* Country-of-origin labeling for meat and produce made mandatory

Promoting Homegrown Renewable Energy

* Provides $1 billion to fund programs that will help the renewable energy industry
* Invest in new technologies that use a variety of sources beyond feed grains.
* Corn ethanol tax credit reduced and redirected to incentives for cellulosic ethanol
* Creates a loan guarantee program and a program to encourage and develop production of dedicated energy crops
* Bioenergy research increased and renewable energy programs expanded

Reforming Farm Programs

* Farm program safety net extended and modernized, with an updated adjusted gross income means test for commodity programs
* Farm and conservation program transparency increased, with direct attribution of payments and the ending of practices that result in multiple payment eligibility
* Crop insurance reformed to prevent windfall reimbursements to crop insurance companies
* Budgeted standing disaster assistance program for crops stricken by catastrophic natural disasters such as drought and flood

Protecting the Environment

* Conservation program spending increased by $7.9 billion
* Doubles funding for the Farm Protection Program to protect agricultural lands from urban and suburban development pressure
* Increases funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program to enhance and protect our natural resources
* Continues funding for Grassland Reserve and Wetlands Reserve programs
* Creates an Open Fields Program to encourage public access to private land for hunting and fishing as well as a Chesapeake Bay program to help restore and protect the Bay watershed

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