WASHINGTON - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement regarding the release of the initial draft of the 2013 Farm Bill by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture:
NFU is pleased to see the House Committee on Agriculture taking action on this important piece of legislation.
I am happy to see that target price protection was included in the bill, especially target prices that are balanced and set at a meaningful level. The inclusion of stronger protection against long-term price collapse for all commodities in all regions is also a step in the right direction. The strong support for crop insurance is also a positive element for U.S. family farmers and ranchers for when natural disasters strike.
NFU is deeply disappointed that the energy title has no mandatory funding for programs that are critical to our country's energy independence and ending our reliance upon foreign oil.
Just as farm safety net programs are important for farmers facing hardship, nutrition programs provide critical assistance to consumers in difficult times. I encourage the House to strongly consider a more moderate approach when reducing funding for programs that help the food insecure in this country.
Including language to study Country-of-Origin Labeling is disheartening and unnecessary, as the World Trade Organization has already stated that the law is in compliance with our trade obligations. This unwarranted attempt to strip consumers of their right to know where their meat comes from is alarming.
It is encouraging to see momentum on a new five-year farm bill from both the House and Senate as the Sept. 30, 2013 deadline approaches. NFU urges swift passage of a responsible farm bill through the House Agriculture Committee and expeditious consideration on the House floor.