Washington, D.C.—“The House Agriculture Committee’s action approving the 2012 farm bill, H.R. 6083—The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act—by a strong bipartisan vote of 35-11 is an important step forward in ensuring certainty for producers and their co-ops.
“I would especially like to recognize the leadership of both Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) in drafting this bill and shepherding it through the committee process. From the first hearings looking at current programs up through the committee’s action early this morning, both Chairman Lucas and Mr. Peterson have sought input from a broad range of stakeholders and have worked hard to ensure a bill meets the needs of farmers and ranchers across the country.
“The bill includes many important priorities for America’s farmer-owned cooperatives, including dairy reform provisions, full funding for the Market Access Program, language to eliminate costly and duplicative pesticide permitting requirements, and expanding the fruit and vegetable program in schools to include, along with fresh, nutritionally-equivalent canned, frozen and dried fruits, vegetables and nuts.
“NCFC and its members look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Lucas, Mr. Peterson and others on the Committee as the House process 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.