June 26, 2012
“I am very pleased that the Ag Reform, Food and Jobs Act (known as the Farm Bill) as passed by the Senate last week reflects much of the content which Vermont farmers, agricultural leaders, and our congressional delegation have supported. This is an important first step in reauthorizing the Farm Bill, which is set to expire on September 30.
The Farm Bill has a big impact on all types of farmers, and many citizens of Vermont. Most people are not aware that over 75 of the Bill’s costs are for SNAP (4SquaresVT) and nutrition programs which impact every community in the state. The Senate bill includes many provisions which are good for Vermonters -- better crop insurance for organic farmers and diversified farms, funding for programs which enhance local food systems and rural development, and support for beginning farmers. The bill connects farms and forests by investing in our working lands, preserving our rich cultural heritage and providing critical resources to create sustainable economic opportunities for future generations. New dairy policy reform measures are highlighted by an insurance program which will give farmers more choices while providing a safety net that is stronger and costs less to the federal government than the current MILC program, as well as a Dairy Market Stabilization Program.
Unfortunately, the bill also bears some expected but difficult program reductions which will present challenges to Vermont farmers and citizens. Most significant of these cuts will be a $3.7 billion reduction to conservation programs for working farms and ranches, and a $4.5 billion cut to SNAP (which supports 4SquaresVT).
While this Farm Bill has a long way to travel before final passage, Vermonters know that their voices and interests are both heard and have an impact given the leadership consistently demonstrated by Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch.”
Source: Agency of Agriculture
Last Updated at: June 26, 2012 10:02:45