After over a year of hard work to get a 5-year, comprehensive farm bill passed for 2012, the Senate passed a simple extension of the 2008 Farm Bill on New Years Eve as part of the larger legislative package to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The House approved the bill on New Years Day and President Obama signed it into law on January 2. The extension lasts one year and will expire on September 30, 2013. Congress has made a full, five-year farm bill a priority for 2013.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider amendments to the farm bill on May 14 and the House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider amendments on May 15, 2013.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The House Agriculture Committee worked until almost Midnight yesterday to pass their version of the 2013 Farm Bill. The vote was 36 to 10, with mostly Democrats voting against the bill after nine hours of debate.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 (7:00 PM)
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) publicly announced tonight that the farm bill will be the next piece of legislation the Senate takes up – which puts it on the floor sometime next week.
The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled for mark up tomorrow of their draft version of the farm bill - the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management of 2013.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 (1:00 PM)
The Senate Agriculture Committee has passed the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013″ out of mark up by a roll call vote of 15-5.
Read National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (of which CFSA is a member) Amendment Tracker to find out which amendments made it into the bill. Also read Politico’s article on the potentially “cantankerous” debates over the bill that will happen later this month on the Senate floor.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 (8:00 AM)
Today the Senate begins its mark up of the ”Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013.” Watch it live on C-SPAN.
Read Huffington Post’s Glance: Senate and House Farm Bills for a general explanation of both versions of the 2013 farm bill.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are taking up the farm bill and considering amendments THIS WEEK! For more info on what is happening right now, visit the Take Action page of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (of which CFSA is a member).
Friday, May 10 2013
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released her summary of the Senate farm bill yesterday.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Senate Agriculture Committee has scheduled farm bill mark up for Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The House Agriculture Committee has scheduled farm bill mark up for Wednesday, May14, 2013.
Read the NY Times Blog coverage here.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., told Capital Press on April 26 that he is planning a farm bill that will cut $38 billion in spending over 10 years, with $20 billion coming from the food stamps account and $18 billion from the rest of the bill.
Those cuts would be $3 billion more than those included in a farm bill passed by the committee last year.
Lucas has scheduled a mark up of the bill on May 15. The proposed $38 billion cut would make it easier to get the bill through the Republican-controlled House, but the large food stamp cut — $20 billion compared with $16.5 billion last year — will make it difficult for House Democrats to support it, and it would make a conference with the Senate more difficult.
Full story here.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., last week introduced an identical bill in the House and Senate aimed at improving financing and land ownership opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers.
The bill – called the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act – aims to improve on existing USDA programs to help reduce the financial burden of starting a farm, and also includes a program for training beginning farmers and ranchers.
Read more on NSAC’s blog here.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that the Senate would take on a new five year farm bill in May. The Senate Agricultural Committee has not yet set an actual date for mark-up.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Is there hope on the horizon for funding of specialty crop programs and the 37 stranded farm bill extension programs? Today, Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to examine specialty crop priorities for the 2013 Farm Bill. The Subcommittee heard from growers and representatives of the specialty crop community on the effectiveness of the current programs within the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
“Growth in the specialty crops sector can play an integral role in our economic recovery. As we continue to examine farm policy and prepare to reauthorize the farm bill, it is essential that we expand on our past successes with programs that help grow our nation’s economy,” said Chairman Scott (R-GA).
Read Farm Futures article on the hearing.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) said last week that he would move ahead with a May 15 markup for the farm bill. Read David Rogers’ article in Politico.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Senator Sharrod Brown (D-OH) introduce the Local Foods, Farms and Jobs Act, a comprehensive package of reforms that would expand opportunities for local and regional farmers and make it easier for consumers to have access to healthy foods. Read the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s breakdown of the basic information on the bill.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Read or listen to NPR’s story on the farm bill sugar subsidy.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The Continuing Resolution signed into law on March 26 by President Obama did not include a budget fix for the 37 stranded farm bill programs. It did include two bad riders that are major setbacks in progress towards regulation of the GMO industry and the livestock market.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Pressure is put on the Senate to include the same wording around the farm bill in the upcoming Continuing Resolution as was included in the American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013. Read our action alert here.
Friday, March 1, 2013
The proposal mentioned below was introduced as a bill by Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) on February 28th as the American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013. Unfortunately the bill was voted down to proceed by a roll call vote of 51-49.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed a fiscal package last week that would correct the devastating farm bill extension measure that was included as part of the McConnell-Biden Plan. The “American Family Economic Protection Act” proposal includes a large package of spending cuts and revenue increases as an alternative to sequestration.
This proposal would end direct payments for subsidies and restore the programs that were left out of the farm bill extension portion of the fiscal cliff deal. The cost of those programs combined – for renewable energy, rural small businesses, value-added agriculture, new and beginning farmers, conservation, specialty crops, organic farming, minority farmers, and local food producers – paled in comparison to the $5 billion price attached to the direct payment program. The Reid proposal would right that wrong and it would also provide immediate funding for livestock disaster assistance, which was also left out of the fiscal cliff deal. Read Business Insider’s recent article here.
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013
Scott Faber, of the Environmental Working Group, sees some positivity in the farm bill extension. Read NPR’s recent article here.
Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013
President Obama signs into law a package deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Included in this package is a one-year farm bill extension that many are calling “anti-reform.” Read here for more information on the last minute extension that has left many farmers frustrated.