National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to review the 2008 Farm Bill and prepare for the 2012 Farm Bill.
“The 2008 Farm Bill funded crop insurance and permanent disaster relief programs, created ambitious new programs to better serve farmers’ and the general public’s interests, continued successful programs and made adjustments to make other programs more successful,” said Johnson. “The 2008 Farm Bill was an improvement over its predecessor but room for improvement remains.”
Johnson assessed strengths and weaknesses of current farm bill programs, highlighting the need for strong crop insurance, permanent disaster and countercyclical income support programs. As the hearing was intended to strengthen farm policy, Johnson also stated the need for the inclusion of supply management tools in the next farm bill.
“Federal policy places a high value on energy reserves, while food security is even more important,” said Johnson. “An American food reserve system would help ensure our food security as well as smooth the peaks and valleys of agricultural prices.”
Johnson also reiterated the need for domestic farm programs in order to build farm policy.
“Direct payments are not an effective means to stabilize the agricultural marketplace,” said Johnson. “The next farm bill should focus on programs that help to boost prices and farm income in tough times, not all the time, and certainly not in good times.”
NFU will continue this dialogue throughout the coming months to write a farm bill that allows family farmers and ranchers to find prosperity in an ever-changing rural economy.
Posted by Kaci Switzer