Farm Bill Letter to Congress

November 8, 2012

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Whip Hoyer:

The undersigned organizations, representing the farming, livestock, specialty crop, feed, rural development, nutrition, health, conservation, woodland owners, municipalities, trade, agricultural research, crop insurance and renewable energy communities, respectfully request passage of a new five-year farm bill to be signed into law before the end of the legislative session in December 2012.

This legislation is of paramount importance to the diverse, bipartisan constituencies our organizations represent. Failure to pass a new five-year farm bill before the year’s end will create significant budget uncertainty for the entire agricultural sector, including the rural businesses and lenders whose livelihoods are dependent upon farmers’ and livestock producers’ economic viability.

Additionally, our country is recovering from the largest drought since the 1930s, with most of the counties across the nation being declared agricultural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at some point during 2012, and 55 percent of the nation’s pasture and rangeland rated in poor to very poor condition. This year alone, several states have ranked in the driest third percentile on record. These historic conditions and their damaging economic effects cannot be ignored.

For these reasons, we stand united in our strong support for a new five-year bill; any temporary extension would be a short-sighted, inadequate solution that would leave our constituencies crippled by uncertainty. Both the Senate and the House Committee on Agriculture passed versions of a five-year farm bill with strong bipartisan support. We urge you to lead your colleagues in passing a new 2012 Farm Bill this year. We thank you for your consideration.

 
Sincerely,

25x’25 Alliance
Advanced Biofuels USA
American Association of Crop Insurers
American Beekeeping Federation
American Biogas Council
American Corn Growers Institute for Public Policy
American Farmland Trust
American Feed Industry Association
American Forests
American Horse Council
American Nursery & Landscape Association
American Sheep Industry Association
American Veterinary Medical Association
Associated Milk Producers, Inc.
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Biomass Power Association
California Cherry Export Association
California Fresh Tomato Growers
California Grape and Tree Fruit League
California Pear Growers
California Table Grape Commission
Center for Rural Affairs
Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage
Ecological Farming Association
Fair Food Network
Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.
Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
Growth Energy
Hmong National Development, Inc.
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
International Biochar Initiative
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
Land O’Lakes
Livestock Marketing Association
Michigan Apple Association
Midwest Dairy Coalition
National Aquaculture Association
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of Counties
National Association of Farmer Elected Committees
National Association of State Conservation Agencies
National Biodiesel Board
National Cooperative Business Association
National Farm to School Network
National Farmers Organization
National Farmers Union
National Grange
National Potato Council
National Watermelon Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
National Woodland Owners Association
Nature Abounds
ND Association of Soil Conservation Districts
New Hampshire Institute of Agriculture and Forestry
Northeast States Association for Agricultural Stewardship
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)
Northern Plains Potato Growers Association
Northwest Horticultural Council
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Oregon Association of Nurseries
Organic Farming Research Foundation
Pollinator Partnership
Produce Marketing Association
Renewable Fuels Association
Rural Community Assistance Partnership
Society of American Florists
Soil and Water Conservation Society
Spartanburg Water
Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance
State Agriculture and Rural Leaders
Sun-Maid Growers of California
The Nature Conservancy
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
U.S. Apple Association
United Dairymen of Arizona
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce Association
US Composting Council
Washington State Potato Commission
Western Growers
Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine

 
cc: U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives