Well-Rounded Farm Bill

May 16, 2008

By: Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

Excerpt from Congressional Record May 14, 2008:

We have come to a point where I believe we have a good bill that should be supported by all Members of this Congress from both urban, suburban and rural areas.

I have here a chart that shows how the current farm bill spending is going to be allocated on a 10-year basis, which is what we have to go by.

Nutrition in this new Food, Conservation, and Energy Act is 74 percent of the spending over the next 10 years in this food bill, commodities are 16 percent. Back in 2002, these numbers were 65 and 35 or something. Conservation is 7 percent; and energy and the specialty crops, the other items, are 3 percent…

…we still have an adequate safety net for farmers…

…We have I think a balanced bill that maintains a safety net… This bill is paid for. The $10 billion comes out of a custom user fee extension which is not a tax increase, which has allowed us to have a bipartisan bill.

We’ve put a bill together here that I think addresses what people are concerned about in this country.

It has a bioenergy reserve program to allow us to learn how to grow switch grass and how to harvest it and store it and move it; woody biomass so we can get cellulosic ethanol going.

We have for the first time significant money in for fruits and vegetables, which are 50 percent of the agriculture in the United States.

We have country-of-origin labeling. It’s going to be mandatory on fruits and vegetables and meats starting September 30. We have interstate meat shipment, another issue that’s been hanging on for 20 years.

We’ve solved a lot of problems in this bill. We have a bill I think that covers all the interests in the country, and we have a bill that we should all be proud to vote for in this House.

(Rep. Collin Peterson. Congressional Record. 5/14/08. p. H3801).