The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives today expressed its support for the bipartisan conference agreement on the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, the official title of the 2008 farm bill. In a statement, NCFC President Jean-Mari Peltier called on the House and Senate to pass this comprehensive legislation to meet America’s food, feed, fiber and fuel needs. “The agreement worked out by the conference committee builds on the success of the 2002 farm bill and maintains a strong safety net for agricultural producers,” said Peltier. “It also includes new programs targeted to specialty crop producers; increased funding and expanded authority for conservation programs; incentives for the development of the next generation of domestically-produced renewable energy; and additional resources devoted to nutrition programs. “Importantly, the bill would also continue to recognize the important role that farmer-owned cooperatives play on behalf of their producer members and in helping to achieve important policy objectives, including under a new conservation initiative. “For all of these reasons, NCFC strongly supports this agreement, which will help to build the strong, farmer-focused agricultural industry necessary to ensure our country’s food and energy security. We look forward to working with Congress as consideration of the farm bill moves forward.” 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.