WASHINGTON, August 22, 2012- The “Farm Bill Now” coalition, which includes 39 of the nation’s agricultural organizations, continued its public awareness campaign today with a new website and event announcements to encourage Congress to pass a new, comprehensive, five-year farm bill before current farm programs expire in September.

The coalition comprises associations and coalitions representing commodity crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, state and local governments, minor crops, energy and biobased product groups, farm cooperatives and financial groups, as well as the nation’s two largest farm groups, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union.

“Each organization has strong and distinct policy priorities, yet all 39 are committed to passing a new, comprehensive bill this year,” according a joint release today. 

Farm Bill Now announced events in Iowa and on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks.  

On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 28, farmers representing multiple groups within the coalition will discuss the Farm Bill Now effort at the annual Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, the nation’s largest outdoor farm show.

Wednesday morning Sept. 12, representatives of many of the groups uniting today will gather on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to encourage Congress to pass the bill before programs expire at the end of the month.

Today, the group issues the following statement, titled "Why We Need a Farm Bill:"

"Calling the farm bill the ‘farm bill’ suggests its impact is limited only to farms and to the rural areas to which they are so closely tied. It’s really a jobs bill. A food bill. A conservation bill. A research bill. An energy bill. A trade bill. In other words, it’s a bill that affects every American.

"The farm bill affects our nation’s ability to provide the necessities of life for a global population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050. Here at home, it affects an industry that provides 23 million—or 1 in every 12—American jobs.

"The farm bill has broad impact on our citizens and our economy. It provides healthy foods to millions of schoolchildren and nutritious options to families in need. It develops and expands trade with valuable foreign markets. By reducing spending significantly compared to prior farm bills, the proposals pending right now in Congress address the need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order.

"And yes, it benefits American farms—98 percent of which are owned and operated by families. It helps big farms and small farms, major crops and specialty crops, organic farmers and conventional farmers, cattle ranchers and cotton ginners, farmers markets and national suppliers, and the vast range of other pursuits that make up American agriculture. This year, it would help farmers tackle the challenges posed by the worst drought in a generation.

"While Congress waits to finish the farm bill, we are united in asking all Americans to encourage legislators—home for summer town hall meetings and speeches—to finish this vital legislation before the current farm and food law expires in September. After all, it’s your bill too."

In addition to today’s statement, Farm Bill Now launched an interactive web portal at www.FarmBillNow.com, through which visitors to the site can connect to their members of Congress and show their support for a new five-year farm bill.

The coalition includes the following groups:

25x'25 Alliance

Agricultural Retailers Association

American Beekeeping Federation

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Feed Industry Association

American Pulse Association

American Seed Trade Association

American Sheep Industry Association

American Soybean Association

American Sugar Alliance

Biobased Products Coalition

Council of State Governments East

Council of State Governments Midwest

Farm Credit Council  

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Farmers Union

National Milk Producers Federation

National Potato Council

National Sorghum Producers

National Sunflower Association

Northharvest Bean Growers Association      

Northeast State Association for Agricultural Stewardship

Produce Marketing Association

Southern Peanut Farmers Federation

Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance

State Agriculture and Rural Leaders

United Dairymen of Arizona

United Fresh Produce Association

U.S. Canola Association

U.S. Dry Bean Council

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

USA Rice Federation

Western Growers Association

Western Peanut Growers Association


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