How'd your group react to the farm bill's passage?
How'd your lawmaker, group you support or association react to Tuesday's passage of the farm bill? Here's a roundup of a few reactions from around the industry, from lawmakers to conservation, crop and livestock groups. Agriculture.com will continue to track reaction from around the nation.
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-GA
“I am pleased to support the 2014 Farm Bill which reforms critical farm programs, strengthens the nation’s food security, protects the livelihood of our farmers and ranchers, and preserves our efforts to remain good stewards of the environment. This bill embodies the promise of reform while achieving savings to contribute to lowering our debt and deficit. I am truly pleased with the options this bill offers to protect producers in times of need, while supporting our nation's long-term economic and food security. I am also pleased with the language in this bill that re-links conservation compliance to crop insurance as well as streamlines and strengthens conservation programs to protect land, water, and wildlife for future generations.
“This is my fourth and final farm bill as a member of Congress. As a former chairman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am proud of this bill and previous farm bills I have had the privilege to be a part of. I believe this legislation is vitally important to the farmers, ranchers and consumers of Georgia, as well as those across this great nation, and there is no single piece of legislation that impacts as many people in my state as this one."
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA
“I’m extremely disappointed that my provisions to place a hard cap on farm payments and better define who can receive those payments were stripped down to such a great extent that they likely won’t have much effect. Unfortunately, a few members of the House and Senate placed parochial interests above the broader good for the agricultural community.
“Currently 10 percent of the wealthiest farmers receive 70 percent of the benefit from the farm program. This puts small- and medium-sized farms and young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage. These are the very people the farm program is supposed to help. The committee leaders negotiating the final bill struck my simple, common-sense and enforceable provisions from the final bill.
“As a farmer myself, I understand how a five-year farm bill helps with long-term planning, and there are some good things in the bill. But, I can’t turn a blind eye to a select few members dismantling a provision that was passed by wide, bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate.”
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, R-KS
“Congress has taken a lesson from farmers and ranchers and finally finished what it started. While not ideal, this bill reduces farm program and food stamp spending by $16.6 billion and provides agriculture producers with the long-term certainty they need to produce food, fiber and fuel for our country and the world. The Farm Bill provides Kansas farmers and ranchers with the strong, stable crop insurance and disaster programs they need to remain confident when facing Mother Nature.
“Considerable time and energy was put into the Farm Bill process and now is not the time to start over. This Farm Bill will give producers the certainty they need to plan and do business for the next five years. Ultimately, consumers are best served when farmers and ranchers know the rules of the game and have the support they need to continue work in one of the most high-risk professions – agriculture. However, the fight is far from over when it comes to regulatory reforms. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee I plan to keep COOL and GIPSA front and center this year. I am committed to working with my colleagues to complete the work still needed on these issues, and build on the Farm Bill’s provisions to help make certain the United States remains the most food secure country in the world.”
National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre
“We’re happy to see the farm bill pass the Senate and are looking forward to seeing it signed and implemented. It was a long time coming for a bill so important for promoting stability in farm policy while saving taxpayers money and feeding the hungry. While it’s not perfect, we’re pleased to see the bill contains many provisions we’ve been working hard for over the years.”
American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau and National Crop Insurance Services
“We congratulate the Senate on its swift passage of the Farm Bill and know that America’s farmers appreciate the certainty it provides by ensuring a strong crop insurance policy. We hope the President moves quickly to sign this bill into law.”
Environmental Defense Vice President David Festa
“EDF recognizes the crucial importance of conservation compliance and the conservation programs of the farm bill, which will help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners protect American’s vital natural resources even as they increase productivity."
Center for Rural Affairs Senior Policy Associate Traci Bruckner
“Sadly, the back-room deal struck in Conference Committee rejects the bipartisan farm subsidy reform that was included in the farm bills passed in both the House and Senate. And the deal will result in virtually unlimited farm program payments continuing to inure to the nation’s largest and wealthiest mega-farms.”
Rand Wentworth, Land Trust Alliance President
“This legislation will keep working farms and ranches in family hands and maintain the vitality of our farming communities. It will help ensure that the land that grows our food will not be lost, protecting jobs and community values across the country.”
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard
"Our priority for the past two years was to ensure that neither country-of-origin labeling (COOL) nor enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act would be weakened in the 2014 Farm Bill. Despite the unrelenting lobbying efforts by transnational meatpackers and their allied trade groups that wanted Congress to limit marketing opportunities for independent cattle producers, Congress chose, instead, to honor the requests by those independent cattle producers.
"As a result, the 2014 Farm Bill enables cattle producers, who have no means to independently require retailers to distinguish their products from imported products, to nevertheless inform consumers as to where their beef was born, raised and slaughtered.
"In addition, cattle producers will not be hamstrung by the 2014 Farm Bill when they seek to invoke the Packers and Stockyards Act to stop transnational meatpackers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices that have the effect of denying independent producers access to the marketplace.
"By its passage of this 2014 Farm Bill, Congress has set a stage that will allow us to put a stop to the transnational meatpackers' efforts to capture control of the live cattle supply chain away from U.S. farmers and ranchers."
Brent Hostetler, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association President
The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) is pleased to announce that the Federal Agriculture Act of 2014, otherwise known as the Farm Bill, has passed out of the U.S. Senate.
"This day has been a long time coming as farmers from all corners of Ohio have spent years tirelessly advocating for a new farm bill to ensure a safety-net is in place for those years we are faced with circumstances far beyond our control. I join my fellow farmers in thanking Ohio’s congressional delegation who supported a bill to help protect one of Ohio’s greatest resources, our agriculture industry, which helps to maintain the most secure and affordable food supply in all of the world," said OCWGA President, Brent Hostetler.
“Time and again Ohio’s farmers have told us that crop insurance is one of the most important tools they can use to help preserve their farm’s future," said Hostetler. It is very encouraging to see our legislative leaders recognize the significance of crop insurance and protect and strengthen the program in this farm bill.”
“With a bill that affects every person in the state, it certainly required a great deal of compromise and will never be a perfect product," said Hostetler. It seems compromise has become a dirty word in our country and we are thankful that the majority in Congress were able to put their personal beliefs and partisan ideals aside and pass a farm bill that will benefit all Ohioans.”
Roger Zylstra, Iowa Corn Growers Association President
“We are pleased to see some common sense finally prevail in Washington, D.C. in order to reach this compromise. We are particularly satisfied that we are maintaining and strengthening crop insurance along with a market orientated farm safety net. As we approach planting, it is reassuring to see some certainty in farm planning.”
Brian Kemp, Iowa Soybean Association President
“After years of delay, a bipartisan agreement has been reached on important food and farm policy that will guide decisions by farmers while continuing to provide security for all Americans. We encourage President Obama’s swift signage.
“It should also be emphasized that the Farm Bill addresses the nation’s important budgetary issues by cutting nearly $24 billion over 10 years, making agriculture the only industry that has contributed to real deficit reduction.”
Richard Guebert, Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau President
“We’re extremely pleased to see the Senate follow the House of Representatives’ example and pass a five-year farm bill. Illinois farmers are finally on a path to seeing some long-term certainty and stability in an increasingly risky and uncertain business.
“The bill now before the president strengthens the federal crop insurance program, which is the most important risk management tool available to farmers. Livestock producers also will benefit from the risk management provisions included in the bill, and we encourage the USDA to expedite implementation of those disaster assistance provisions. Finally, it maintains resources for cost-share, working land conservation programs that allow farmers to improve water quality, and helps farmers adapt to tightening regulations.
“This legislation is not only fiscally responsible, but helps Illinois farmers put a much needed five-year plan in place to help manage their risk. We applaud Senators Durbin and Kirk for supporting Illinois farmers by voting ‘yes’ on this bill and urge President Obama to sign the legislation quickly so the USDA can begin implementing the bill as soon as possible.”
Jerry Bambauer, Ohio Soybean Association President
“On behalf of OSA and Ohio’s 24,000 soybean farmers, we thank the Senate for the passage of the five year 2014 farm bill. Soybeans are an important part of Ohio’s economy and the top agricultural export for the state. The farm bill will provide market stability and certainty for Ohio soybean farmers.”
Andrew McElwaine, American Farmland Trust President
"Today is a big day! Congress finally passed the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill will provide a much-needed safety net to help family farmers and all Americans who depend on farms for the fresh, healthy food we eat. Because of our network of activists and supporters, this bill will protect more farmland, help family farmers thrive on their land, and help promote the adoption of sound farming practices.
"Further, major reform in the bill will help improve soil and wetland protections, which will literally keep billions of tons of soil out of our rivers, lakes and streams. Working to pass this bill was a long and bruising task. But when we needed AFT supporters most, they were there to help us get the job done."
Ed Luttrell, National Grange President
“It may be two years passed due, but we’re thrilled to finally see a real Farm Bill passed into law today. America’s farmers and ranchers have had to operate their businesses on guesses and assumptions for the last two years but today, they’re finally getting the stability and predictability that only a strong Farm Bill can provide. It’s not a perfect bill by any means but I’ll take it,” Luttrell said. “On behalf of the National Grange, I’d like to thank everyone on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for their work on this."