Farming Community Revolts Against Boehner’s Decision To Punt On Farm Bill

Today, Speaker Boehner confirmed the House Republicans have no intention of bringing a Farm Bill to the floor for a vote before leaving for a two month vacation.

Farmers and experts agree this is exactly the wrong decision for American farmers and consumers:

Bill Craig, a University of Minnesota Professor

“It’s more than a farm bill and a food bill, it’s a jobs bill, too. That’s why it’s important and garners so much support from nonfarm states.” [9/16]

Allen Entwistle, Illinois farmer

“Ag has been a bright spot in the world economy, even in the recession…If you slow the farm economy down, you slow down job creation.” [9/20]

Darin Von Ruden, Wisconsin Farmers Union

“The House leadership chose to walk away from farmers rather than do their job and deal with the tough political questions and take the difficult votes…Our family farmers and our rural communities should not be used as pawns in this game.” [9/19]

Bill Bruins, Waupun farmer and President of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

“There’s a lot of uncertainty out here among farmers, especially in light of the drought which has driven volatility in prices and increased costs…We need Congress to act on a new farm bill and we need them to do that this year so that next spring when farmers head out to the fields all the decisions have been made based on certainty.” [9/19]

Rob Noble, dairy farmer

“Weaker safety nets and deeper cuts to important conservation programs will be the result if the House fails to act…After floods, droughts and challenging economic times, producing food and feeding people shouldn’t be political anymore.” [9/14]

Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union

The 2008 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30. Congress is well aware of its expiration, and sadly leadership has succumbed to political pressure and will leave with unfinished business. Aside from politics, there is no reason that the House doesn’t bring the farm bill to a floor vote. Leadership has chosen to cancel all votes in October. The farm bill is a critical piece of legislation to all Americans. It affects 16 million jobs and is the single largest investment in rural America. It is disappointing that leadership has chosen to leave us hanging because of political games. [9/17]

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

Without a Farm Bill, farmers will face significant challenges securing financing for planting next year’s crop, vital safety-net programs for dairy producers will lapse, livestock producers in drought-stricken regions of the country will be left without important disaster assistance, and important export promotion programs will be frozen. The uncertainty facing our farmers, ranchers, and rural economies compels swift and decisive action by Congress to pass a five-year Farm Bill. We stand ready to work with you to ensure America’s agricultural economy remains strong. [9/18]

Steve Wellman, Nebraska farmer and President of the American Soybean Association

The inability of the House to act this summer will threaten even deeper cuts in a new farm bill during the lame duck session… Or it could result in a one-year extension of current law, which would kick the can into 2013, when a new Congress and potentially a new president would start the process all over again. This scenario, which many think likely, will not provide the long-term certainly which farmers and many others in rural America, who also depend on the farm bill, need from Washington. [9/20]

Steffen Schmidt, Iowa State University Professor

“Without a new farm bill agriculture is left in a clear limbo on such issues as crop insurance or disaster aid… This year disaster assistance is especially urgent for those who have been hit by the severe drought, the worst in 60 years. A new farm bill is especially important for livestock and specialty crop producers and dairy farmers.” [9/19]

Thomas Björkman, Professor at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

“Several important mandatory research programs that are in the Farm Bill will receive no funds at all. Scientists working on subjects critical to the health of the nation and the rural economy, such as specialty crops and organic production would have their primary funding programs suspended. They may have to redirect their research efforts and we would lose essential talent.” [9/19]

Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation

“Never in the history of farm legislation have so many diverse farmer and rancher voices have joined together in such a common call to action…All of us share a resounding and common message: Congress, for our farm and ranch families, their communities, and for our nation, pass the farm bill now.” [9/14]

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