Agriculture Groups Call on Congress to Enact Two-Year Regulatory Moratorium


Contact: Justin Darisse, 202-879-0816

Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2011)—Over 75 agricultural associations, farmer co-ops, and agribusinesses called on the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate agriculture committees to include, in their recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a two-year moratorium on all discretionary, non-essential regulatory actions that would increase the cost of food and agricultural production and processing. The request came in a letter sent to the committees this afternoon.

“Agriculture is a great American success story—our farmers, ranchers, co-ops and agribusinesses provide their fellow Americans, and consumers around the world, with abundant, safe, and affordable food, fiber and fuel. In addition, agriculture directly or indirectly employs 21 million Americans across the country,” said NCFC President & CEO Chuck Conner. “In calling for this moratorium, the groups sending this letter are making their message clear—do not endanger all that agriculture has provided, and all the potential that agriculture holds, with costs imposed by regulations of doubtful necessity, effectiveness, and value.”

The letter states in part, “[k]nowing that the costs of production will not be unduly increased by non-essential policies coming out of Washington is especially important to producers now, as the Select Committee continues its work and reductions in agriculture spending remain possible.  The inclusion of this regulatory moratorium in your recommendations to the Select Committee would help provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses going forward.”

A copy of the letter is attached below.

 

October 6, 2011

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, and Ranking Members Roberts and Peterson:

On behalf of the food and agriculture associations signed below and the millions of farmers and ranchers they represent, we ask that as part of the Agriculture Committee’s recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction you include a two-year moratorium on all discretionary, non-essential regulatory actions that would increase the cost of food and agricultural production and processing.

Congress has long been strongly supportive of policy that has led this country’s agricultural producers to provide their fellow Americans with a safe, abundant and affordable supply of food, fiber and energy.  A key to continuing this bounty is to ensure that federal policy avoids or minimizes cost increases that will hit farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses across the U.S.  Unfortunately, current actions by federal agencies threaten to do the opposite.  Therefore, we feel extraordinary measures are called for to reduce the climate of uncertainty created by burdensome regulations, including those that are pending.

Our farms, ranches and agribusinesses are impacted by many issues beyond those thought of as traditional agricultural policy.  These issues include regulations relating to the environment, immigration and labor, food safety, forests and public lands, access to international markets, financial services, and tax policy.

Knowing that the costs of production will not be unduly increased by non-essential policies coming out of Washington is especially important to producers now, as the Select Committee continues its work and reductions in agriculture spending remain possible.  The inclusion of this regulatory moratorium in your recommendations to the Select Committee would help provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses going forward.

Agriculture has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim economy over the past few years.  Agricultural production and processing can be one of the drivers of job growth and economic recovery, but to do that the U.S. must ensure that public policy does not hurt the economic viability of farm and ranch families across the country.  We urge the Agriculture Committees to request a two year reprieve from unnecessary regulations.  Thank you for your help protecting the American public from regulations that will increase the cost of the food, fiber and fuel.

Sincerely,

Ag Processing Inc.

Agri-Mark, Inc.

AgriBank

Agricultural Council of California

Agricultural Retailers Association

Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc.

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Meat Institute

American Nursery & Landscape Association

American Soybean Association

American Sugar Alliance

Blue Diamond Growers

California Canning Peach Association

California Tomato Growers Association

Ceres Solutions, LLP

CHS Inc.

Co-Alliance, LLP

CoBank

Cooperative Council of North Carolina

Croplife America

Dairy Farmers of America

Dairylea Cooperative

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association

Farm Credit Council

Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association

GROWMARK, Inc.

Idaho Dairymen’s Association

Kansas Cooperative Council

Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers

MBG Marketing

MFA Oil Company

Michigan Milk Producers Association

National Agricultural Aviation Association

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Chicken Council

National Corn Growers Association

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Grape Cooperative Association, Inc.

National Livestock Producers Association

National Meat Association

National Milk Producers Federation

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Pork Producers Council

National Potato Council

National Turkey Federation

Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives

Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold

Nebraska Cooperative Council

Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.

Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council, Inc.

Olive Growers Council of California

Pacific Coast Producers

Public Lands Council

Plains Cotton Cooperative Association

Riceland Foods, Inc.

Society of American Florists

South Dakota Wheat Growers

South Dakota Association of Cooperatives

South East Dairy Farmers Association

Southern States Cooperative, Inc.

St. Albans Cooperative Creamery

Sunkist Growers

Sunsweet Growers, Inc.

Syngenta

Tennessee Farmers Cooperative

Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council

The Fertilizer Institute

United Egg Producers

United Fresh Produce Association

United Producers, Inc.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative

USA Rice Federation

U.S. AgBank

U.S. Rice Producers Association

Washington State Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Welch Foods Inc., a Cooperative

Western Growers

About NCFC

NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.

Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.

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