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10 Reasons Why Congress Must Act to Pass a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

Getting a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed this year is essential – and it can’t fall victim to politics as usual. Too much is at stake, and too many people lose out if Congress can’t act.  Here are 10 good reasons why Congress must take action as soon as possible to achieve passage of a Farm Bill this year:

1. America’s farmers, ranchers and producers need certainty about the next five years of U.S. farm policy, to continue the recent momentum of the U.S. agricultural economy and rising farm income.

A family farm sits on small knoll in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

A family farm sits on small knoll in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

2. Livestock producers need disaster assistance applied retroactively, in light of a long-term drought that has forced the liquidation of herds to the lowest level in decades.

View of one of the homestead ranches. Photo by Mark Gocke.

View of one of the homestead ranches. Photo by Mark Gocke.

3. Dairy producers need an effective support system that helps them to stem the decline in the number of U.S. dairy operations.

Hallaway Dairy Farm in Delhi, NY.

Hallaway Dairy Farm in Delhi, NY.

4. Farmers, landowners and forest owners need streamlined conservation programs that will make a more efficient and effective use of limited conservation funds, while building on record conservation efforts underway today.

A flock of Canadian Geese takes flight on Blackwater Marsh at Blackwater National Wildlife refuge in Cambridge, MD.

A flock of Canadian Geese takes flight on Blackwater Marsh at Blackwater National Wildlife refuge in Cambridge, MD.

5. Organic and specialty crop producers need renewed and expanded access to Farm Bill programs that have fueled the growth of a multibillion dollar industry in direct-to-consumer sales.

Amy's Organic Garden owner Amy Hicks harvests greens at her farm in Charles City, VA.

Amy's Organic Garden owner Amy Hicks harvests greens at her farm in Charles City, VA.

6. Researchers and students at Land Grant Universities need support to meet modern challenges in agriculture and carry out the innovation we need to sustainably increase agricultural production.  A new, nonprofit research foundation provided by a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill could leverage millions of dollars of private sector funding to provide this assistance.

The Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory at the Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland

The Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory at the Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland

7. Job seekers in rural America need new and expanded investments in renewable energy, biofuel, and biobased product manufacturing, all of which can create jobs in rural areas.

Wood chips are used as a source for cellulosic ethanol production at Range Fuels in Broomfield, Colorado.

Wood chips are used as a source for cellulosic ethanol production at Range Fuels in Broomfield, Colorado.

8. Beginning producers – including a growing number of veterans returning to the land – need technical assistance, credit and affordable crop insurance to get started and keep growing. This is especially important as we seek to reverse the rising average age of America’s farm population.

A veteran and participant of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program handles living basil at an organic hydroponic farm.

A veteran and participant of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program handles living basil at an organic hydroponic farm.

9. Producers and small business owners need a resolution of the Brazil cotton dispute that if left unsolved, threatens hundreds of millions of dollars annually in tariff penalties against U.S. agricultural products and other American-made goods.

Barge and ship traffic transporting export cargo on the Mississippi River in the Port of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Barge and ship traffic transporting export cargo on the Mississippi River.

10. And anyone who is concerned about the Federal deficit needs a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that provides meaningful deficit reduction.

Family of four has dinner together. Photo: Thinkstock

Family of four eats around the table. Photo: Thinkstock

These all are good reasons why a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill can’t wait. Americans across the country are impacted by this important legislation, and Congress must achieve passage of a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible.

17 Responses to “10 Reasons Why Congress Must Act to Pass a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill”

  1. Imogene Burkhart says:

    Yes, these are all very good reasons for passage

  2. R.kumarasamy says:

    yes, if it passed , it is good for USA as well as good for the whole world, because we can get quality and sustainable food production.

    kumarasamy
    india

  3. Barbara Leonard says:

    So why hasn’t Congress passed the SAFE Act to stop horse slaughter in the US and to prohibit shipping to Canada & Mexico for slaughter? Why do our legislators not care what over 80% of taxpayers want? Must we do like we did in the 60′s (Vietnam War) and take it to the streets? We do NOT want our tax dollars spent on USDA inspectors at foreign-owned horse slaughter plants shipping toxic meat to foreign countries. And what about the horsemeat scandal in Europe? We are asking for the same thing to happen here in the US if we allow horse slaughter plants in the US. Tell your buddy, Obama, to keep the campaign promise he made during the 2008 campaign and stop butchering our horses.

  4. Marilyn Wilson says:

    No horse slaughter!

  5. Les Rispens says:

    What do you suppose happens when you outlaw horse slaughter? I will tell you because I have seen it: 1)They give them away on craiglist to people who know nothing about hosres and don’t have the means to care for them. 2) They take them out into the country and just let them go; often resulting in death by starvation or exposure. 3) Owners take them out in a field, dig a hole and shoot and shovel. Horses are going to die. We can either provide a responsible and regulated option, or we can watch them starve to death in the dead of winter.

  6. Travis Walser says:

    I agree with Les. In the wild when a predator’s numbers are reduced than the prey’s numbers increase to the point they use all their food source leading to starvation. Horse’s have no natural predator’s. As Les said people are giving horses away and a lot of the people who take them in have very little acreage. Then those same people call their local USDA office or Extension office asking how can they get grass to grow. They don’t like to hear to get rid of some of the horses. We as a country need a place to dispose of horse that are not wanted. We can continue shipping them out and have no control over the quality or processing or we can open a few processing plants in the US and have control over the processing and quality of meat.

  7. annette patchett says:

    Obviously, Travis and Les. You have not researched horse slaughter. It is very inhumane and there are many times the horse is not even dead before they start butchering it. You need to see a few videos of horse slaughter. There is also the fact these horses are full of bute and other chemicals that are not for human consumption. With horse slaughter in the United States we risk cross contamination like the scandal in Europe. I totally agree with Barbara. Obama you need to stop the butchering of horses in the US and across the borders. Horses are pets NOT livestock.

  8. Katy Spencer says:

    If horses become defined as PETS many people will be out of jobs and the horse industry will suffer. We need to educate ourselves on this issue before proposing it because it will have many negative side effects…thanks!

  9. Lynn Wodell says:

    Horse Slaughter? How about infant starvation? The world’s children are going hungry. I say “End World Hunger Now!” No infant in the world should be starving to death.

  10. Friedrich HO says:

    Very good!

  11. Les Rispens says:

    I have personal experience with horse slaughter. I have worked on ranches that used horse daily. I have been the one to take them to slaughter plant. I worked my way through college in a plant that slaughtered abuot 1500 hogs per day. I understand what I am talking about. The truth is that a hosres will die. They will either starve to death in the middle of a cold Montana winter, or we can contol how they die by having a profitable, well regulated business in place to meet that demand.

  12. stewart says:

    It is totally in humane to butcher a animal while it is alive. What is mankind coming to? Horses were our first modes of transportation and after they have served such an important service to us, then they have to be butchered to feed our over bloated glutinous appetites. Horses are so useful. They help disabled people. They are great for camps that children attend. Lets just give horses (Birth Control) so the populations of horses will be less and there will be less butchering. By the way if there was only horse meat available in our food chain, I would go vegetarian. We do not need horse meat added to our food pyramid, period. We have to make an effort to save animals, forests. The world is surely being stripped of all of nature at the hands of the cruelest predator of all, MANKIND. Do you ever wonder what the world will look like in say, 100 years. There will be so many species of animal life and plant life non existent all at the hands of natures cruelest enemy, (civilized mankind). Yeah, right, what a joke!!!!!!

  13. Patchouli Andrews says:

    Everybody loves to blame Obama… keep blaming. Lord knows you didn’t vote for him, the television also led everyone believe that he wasn’t going to win. What’s next media?

    Other than horses, how about the cattle and other livestock that depend on the bill? How about the FAMILIES? The ORGANIC FARMS, SNAP, WIC!?!? Water conservation and sustainability.

    Butchering, slaughtering, it’s been going on. Inhumane or not you, every person here is missing not the main focus, but a highly important one. Go out and research the bill, don’t be filled with fear when the next debt ceiling comes along with a whole new President. It is so easy to deny and blame than it is to actually become aware, and make a change.

  14. Sepo says:

    Remember the entire purpose of the farm bill is to insure long term dependency on government and keep food prices low.

  15. Karen says:

    What I am about to ask is different but VERY important 75% of the earth is water are seas are dying seals, fish,marine life polar bears whales and so forth how can the earth survive with out are seas and number one on the chart is japan and I will not go into detail I don’t want to cause problems but the government knows the problem why has it not been addressed?

  16. Joshua Boydston says:

    As an avid equine enthusiast myself, I have had the joy of working with these great creatures. By limiting the outlets avalaible for aged equine we are only providing a deterimental end for these animals. Wither the animal was someone’s Pet or viewed as another livestock animal, the problem is what to do with them when they can no longer serve a function or purpose? When the slaughtering of equine was stopped in the U.S it cause several large problems 1) A new outlet was needed for aged animals. 2) The value of equine decrease significantly. 3) It put many people out of work. and 4) Due to no effective outlets it cause a hardship on parks and natural resource employees (people were releasing animals on government land).
    As much as I have enjoyed these creatures, I feel that it would be an erroneous choice if we did not allow these animals to be slaughtered in the U.S, guided by U.S inspectors.It would create jobs, reopen an outlet for aged equine, and help bring value back to “grade” equine. We don’t have to allow equine products for human consumption, there are plenty of by-products that harvesting these animals can help produce.

  17. kelly says:

    I totally agree with Joshua Boydston. Horses have always been a part of my life. I personally would love to see well managed slaughter plants up and running in our county.It would solve a lot of problems and create a profitable equine industry again.

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