June 4, 2009
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
The Honorable Jack Kingston
Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
Dear Chairman DeLauro and Ranking Member
As the Subcommittee develops the FY10 Agriculture Appropriations measure, the organizations listed below respectfully and strongly encourage you not to include any provisions which would substantially alter the fundamental policies and delicate balance and allocation of financial resources embodied in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.
Our organizations worked diligently with Congress and the Administration to support a new, more effective farm policy, which complied with budget and international trade obligations. Congress responded by passing a farm bill that addresses the stability of our production base, makes major reforms in payment eligibility provisions, provides for risk management, stimulates development of renewable fuels, protects our important natural resources, and enhances nutrition and food assistance programs.
Earlier this year, our organizations urged the Budget Committees not to include specific reconciliation instructions in the final budget resolution which would require modifications to the new farm law. We expressed our strong opposition to the more than $16 billion in cuts to the farm safety net proposed in the President’s fiscal year 2010 budget. These included another new revenue test for program eligibility, a cap on marketing loan program benefits, significant modifications to the crop insurance program, changes to highly effective conservation programs, the termination of certain storage credits and a reduction in export promotion programs.
We believe amendments to the farm law change the rules in midstream before the act can even be fully implemented and ignores the fact that producers and lenders alike have to make long-term business decisions based upon the commitments made by Congress in the five-year farm bill. The current economic situation is difficult, not just for farm and ranch families and their lenders but for the
We are appreciative that the final FY10 Budget Resolution does not require modifications to the new farm law to achieve savings. We remain deeply concerned that any change in the fundamental policies and balance of resources in the 2008 farm law will undermine its effectiveness. Therefore, we respectfully urge you not to make any modifications to the carefully balanced commodity, payment eligibility, nutrition, conservation, risk management, renewable energy, trade, rural development and research provisions of the 2008 farm law.
Thank you for your consideration of our views.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Soybean Association
National Farmers Union
National Corn Growers Association
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Growers Association
National Sunflower Association
National Cotton Council
US Rice Producers Association
US Canola Association
National Sorghum Producers
National Milk Producers Federation
South East Dairy Farmers Association
National Association of Conservation Districts
Crop Insurance Professionals Association
American Association of Crop Insurers
Rain and Hail, LLC
Society of American Florists
Farm Credit Council
Independent Community Bankers of
Southwest Council of Agribusinesses
National Wild Turkey Federation
Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
Georgia Peanut Commission
Virginia Peanut Growers Association
Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association
Panhandle Peanut Growers
Western Peanut Growers Association