Statement by Chuck Conner, president & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives: Ahead of the Expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill


Washington, D.C. (September 28, 2012)–“With the 2008 farm bill expiring on Sunday, it is of upmost importance that Congress take up farm legislation when they return for a lame duck session after the November elections. America’s farmers, ranchers and growers need the certainty that comes from knowing the rules of the game as they begin to make planting decisions for the 2013 crop year this winter.

“In order for Congress to take action, though, those of us in the agricultural community need to move beyond simply calling on Congress to pass a bill. We must come together to develop a framework for farm programs that meets the needs of all producers, regardless of the region of the country they farm in or the commodity that they grow.

“If Congress is ready and willing to act in the lame duck to pass a new, five-year farm bill, then farm groups need to have at the ready an equitable plan that ensures Americans can continue to have access to a safe, affordable, abundant and sustainable supply of food and fiber. Farm bills cannot be written overnight, but the lame duck session will allow us enough time to complete one so long as work begins soon.

“NCFC looks forward to working with our colleagues and with the leadership of the agriculture committees over the coming weeks to ensure that we can develop recommendations able to gain broad based support across rural America.”

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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