NCFC Statement on Senate Passage of the 2008 Farm Bill

“The Senate today showed its commitment to farmers, ranchers and rural America today with its overwhelming vote in favor of the conference report on H.R. 2419, the Food, Energy & Conservation Act of 2008, by a vote of 81-15. This follows a strong vote in support of the measure yesterday in the House of Representatives. “This legislation provides a safety net for production agriculture and meets important national priorities relating to conservation, nutrition, rural development, renewable energy, and agricultural research. It also recognizes the important role that farmer-owned cooperatives play in rural America and in helping to accomplish farm policy objectives. “I would also like to recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss in moving this legislation forward; we also recognize that other members of the Senate, including Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley and Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad were instrumental in the crafting of this legislation. “NCFC and its members will continue our efforts in support of this legislation in light of the threatened veto by the President, and will be strongly encouraging members of Congress to override any veto.” 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.

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