Agricultural leaders representing most major crops convened January 31 and February 1 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the 2012 Farm Bill. Hosting key policy staff, administration officials, and industry experts, the groups gained a new depth of knowledge on which to build their discussions.
From the meeting, there was a consensus that the agricultural community needs to closely work together to find common ground as the process unfolds.
The group released the following statement at the meeting’s conclusion:
Over the past two days, producer leaders have met to discuss policy priorities, to hear the perspectives of key policymakers, and to work toward consensus on the future of U.S. farm policy. What was confirmed in our meeting is that we are committed to work together to come up with a viable farm policy.
Also confirmed is our common belief that Congress should pass and the President should sign a strong new Farm Bill into law this year. The law expires at the end of this year and producers – like all job creators – need certainty from Washington.
American agriculture has a solid record that we are proud of.
The people we represent ensure that American consumers spend less of their paycheck at the grocery than anyone else in the world.
American agriculture stands out as one of the few sectors of the economy that has, throughout the economic downturn, still contributed positively to our nation’s balance of trade while helping to create jobs and put this country back on its economic feet.
And we have accomplished these things with a farm policy that also stands out as consistently under budget over the past 10 years and for leading the way on deficit reduction, contributing disproportionately and in some cases even alone in the effort to get our nation’s fiscal house in order.
The economy is fragile, unemployment is high, and Americans are worried. Given the need for economic growth and deficit reduction, for our part we have offered to do more with less. If Washington provides America’s farmers and ranchers with some certainty, we can continue to help lead our nation’s economic recovery.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Soybean Association
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Growers Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Farmers Union
National Sorghum Producers
National Sunflower Association
Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
US Canola Association
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council
USA Rice Federation