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National Grange releases Action Alert on the proposed Farm Bill
 

By National Grange Legislative Dept. Press Release (1/29/14)

  JANUARY 29, 2014 --

The National Grange has issued the following action alert for members to contact their Legislators in support of the Farm Bill (HR 2652) which will soon be brought to a vote on the floors of the House and Senate.

 

ATTENTION GRANGERS: TAKE ACTION ON PROPOSED FARM BILL NOW! 

We are closer than ever before to passing a full, comprehensive Farm Bill and getting America's farmers and ranchers the stability and predictability provided by the Farm Bill.  

On Monday, Jan. 27, House and Senate Farm Bill conferees reached a final agreement on H.R. 2642, aka- the Farm Bill, beginning the process of bringing it to the floor of both chambers for a vote. Realistically, we should see a final vote taken next week.

CALL TO ACTION

The time for action is now! We need your help in stressing the importance of Farm Bill passage to our legislators on the Hill.   

Please contact your House and Senate representatives to urge final passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Contact information for these offices can be found here: http://whoismyrepresentative.com

DETAILS OF THE BILL

Here are some brief bullet points about the new proposed conference report:

  • Contains 949 pages of text (which I admit, I have NOT been able to read in the last 24 hours).     

  • Speaker Boehner is supporting the proposed bill- meaning that any holdups probably aren't attributed to his office.      

  • The bill's largest opposition is currently coming from the meat industry due to the bill's failure to repeal the rules surrounding country-of-origin labeling (COOL). This is going to be a problem for many Hill Republicans, including Boehner.     

  • The bill achieves roughly $23 billion in savings over the next 10 years, a third of which is attributed to the nutrition title (SNAP).      

  • Savings from SNAP mostly come from new proposed crack downs on the system of coorelating fuel assistance to low-income households with their food stamp eligibility.     

  • The single largest savings come from ending the current system of direct cash payments to farmers, which cost more than $4 billion annually and are distributed at a fixed rate.  This will make federal price support levels more significant.  
       
  • The bill DOES maintain Farm Bill permanent law (the 1938 and 1949 Acts), which had been removed by the House's version.    

  • Conservation compliance requirements have a five-year grace period- meaning they could be completely thrown out or reworked during deliberations for the next Farm Bill (which I don't even want to think about right now).     

  • The Dairy Market Stabilization Program has been removed from the bill (thus Boehner's support). It has now been replaced with a new system that creates two different tiers of premium rates for milk producers- one for herds of 200 cows and below and one for those above. The rates for smaller-scale producers were lowered while those for the larger milk producers were increased to a point where the ratio is roughly one to three. The idea here is to discourage the large producers from buying too much coverage, while making it easier for smaller operators to buy extra protection. It's not a perfect plan but I'll take it for now.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this Action Alert, please contact National Grange Legislative Director Grace Boatright by phone at 1-888-4-GRANGE ext. 114 or via email to gboatright@nationalgrange.org.

Thank you for your dedication to this important issue.

Grace Boatright
National Grange Legislative Director


 
 
 
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