WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the release of the discussion draft of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act today by U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn.:
“NFU is pleased to see the House Agriculture Committee begin to move a 2012 Farm Bill. This is a critical step toward ensuring that a farm bill is passed before the current legislation expires on Sept. 30.
“NFU is also pleased that the House discussion draft contains provisions to address a long-term market collapse – a very critical part of any safety net.
“The FARRM Act also has a number of areas concerning to NFU. The $35 billion in cuts are deeply disproportionate and far larger than agriculture should have to bear, given its share of the federal budget. The nutrition title in particular takes a big hit. In these economically difficult times, millions of Americans depend on nutrition programs to put food on the table, and now is simply not the time to be making deep cuts to these programs.
“While NFU is pleased that the FARRM Act reauthorizes the energy title, we are concerned that it contains no mandatory funds. The energy title is a key driver in rural development projects and must be adequately funded to provide long-term stability for renewable energy programs.
“NFU commends Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson for their bipartisan effort to release a discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill and begin to move this process forward in the House. We will continue to work with members of the House Agriculture Committee to improve areas of concern and look forward to getting a 2012 Farm Bill passed before the Sept. 30 deadline.”