Monday, July 09, 2012 by Kathy Means
Every five years, Congress addresses the farm bill, which sets agriculture and nutrition policy for the United States. The current farm bill will expire at the end of September. The Senate passed its version June 21, and the House will draft its own version of a new farm bill in July. If it passes a bill, a conference committee will work out the differences between the Senate and House versions.
We applaud the Senate’s efforts, especially those of Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairwoman and ranking member (respectively) of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240) preserves key programs for specialty crops, including research, block grants, and nutrition. Special thanks to each PMA member who contacted their Senators to assure funding for those programs.
The House Committee on Agriculture is set to take up its farm bill deliberations July 11. It will be important that members of the committee hear from you about specialty crop priorities for the farm bill. Stay tuned to Field to Fork and our advocacy alerts so that you can convey your support for programs that advance our industry and consumer nutrition. To get the alerts, simply sign up for PMA’s GROW Network (Grass Roots Organized to Win), by sending us an e-mail.