Ag Council Urges Passage of Farm Bill Conference Report

On Tuesday, the Agricultural Council of Arkansas issued the following press release regarding the farm bill conference report agreement.  The statement urges the members of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation to support the measure, which is expected to be voted on in the coming days.  The House will likely vote on the measure tomorrow.  Members of the Ag Council are encouraged to reach out to members of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation and ask for their support on the measure.

1.28.2014 Farm Bill Press Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, January, 28, 2014

STATEMENT ON THE FARM BILL CONFERENCE REPORT AGREEMENT

The Agricultural Council of Arkansas commends the leadership of the farm bill conference for working together in a bipartisan manner to develop the farm bill.  This legislation, while not perfect, represents a commitment to American agriculture.  It provides farmers with the certainty they need to plan for the upcoming crop year and future crop years.

The Agricultural Council of Arkansas appreciates the work of Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Cochran, Chairman Lucas, and Ranking Member Peterson, each of whom worked hard and in good faith to provide a bill that works for all producers.  We also appreciate the work of Arkansas Senator Boozman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Congressman Rick Crawford of the House Agriculture Committee for being strong advocates for the Arkansas farmer.  Senator Pryor also deserves a great deal of credit from his position as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee.  He will continue to play an important role in implementation of the Act should it become law.

While this bill is a departure from current law when it comes to the level of safety-net for producers, this bill does recognize geographical and commodity differences by offering safety-net options that will help both irrigated and non-irrigated producers of all commodities during rough times.  This bill does well to contribute to deficit reduction while still ensuring a workable risk management toolbox for farmers.  This bill provides risk management tools that will give producers in Arkansas the opportunity to hedge against their risks and ensure that yield losses from weather, price declines, and revenue dips do not automatically put farms out of business.

We hope that the House and Senate will move swiftly to approve this comprehensive five year farm bill.  Farmers are nearing planting season, and a farm bill is needed soon as farmers work to put their business plans in place for the upcoming crop year.  The farm bill is critical to Arkansas’s economy as the industry accounts for over $17 billion in value added to the state’s economy and provides jobs for 260,000 Arkansans.

About the Agricultural Council of Arkansas

The Agricultural Council of Arkansas (ACA) is a non-profit trade association committed to telling the story of row crop agriculture in Arkansas, advocating on behalf of the agriculture industry, and improving rural economies.

The ACA has promoted agriculture and advocated on behalf of Arkansas farmers since 1939.

The ACA’s membership is composed of family farms, agriculture related businesses, and others supportive of agriculture in Arkansas.  ACA members strive to advance policies that will ensure the continued success of agriculture in our state.

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Contact: Andrew Grobmyer, Executive Vice President (501) 376-0455

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