In the last farm bill, Congress required that producers enact certain minimal environmental standards if they farmed on highly erodible land or wetlands. These requirements are referred to as “conservation compliance,” and while not everyone has to implement practices on their land, everyone has to fill-out a certification form.
Earlier this week, the Arizona Senate Commerce Committee passed SB 1061 on a 7-1 vote. This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Gail Griffin at the request of Western Growers, would expressly permit common piece rate compensation practices in Arizona that have come under attack in other states.
Twenty five years ago, John Belushi started an epic cafeteria battle in the movie Animal House by yelling the words: “Food fight!” Here in Washington, D.C., members of Congress seem to be echoing that battle cry over school meals.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE IRVINE, Calif. (February 7, 2014) -- Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued this statement following the signing of the Agriculture Act of 2014 by President Obama today in Michigan:
“On behalf of all the growers and members of Western Growers, I thank the President of the United States for signing into law the new five-year farm bill. On this occasion, I also want to express my deep thanks to Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, and Ranking Members Cochran and Peterson for the tremendous work they have done to complete this bill. Their hard work and the countless hours of work done by our industry champions in Congress -- especially our friends on the two Agriculture Committees -- has resulted in a good piece of legislation that will serve our industry well.
No bill, of course is perfect, but the hard work, fortitude and spirit of cooperation exhibited by all involved is a great example of what bipartisanship can accomplish. President Reagan used to talk about a shining city upon a hill and in a small way the farm bill serves as an important example of how legislation should and must be done in order to benefit us all. This farm bill is a product of tough negotiation, but it is also an example of what needs to be done more often in Congress -- all parties must work together and compromise for the greater good. I hope members of Congress point to the shining example of the farm bill as our nation grapples with other critical issues facing our industry, like immigration and the devastating drought we now face in California; all members of Congress need to focus on the greater good as they work cooperatively through problems.”
Today, the United States Senate voted 68 to 32 passing the long-awaited new Farm Bill (the Agricultural Act of 2014) which is a significant advance for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. Of the 32 senators who voted against it, 23 were Republicans and nine were Democrats. The bill now goes to the White House. President Obama is expected to sign it into law this Friday in Michigan, the home state of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow.
After a long delay, at this writing in mid-January, the Farm Bill finally appears headed for reauthorization for another five years. There is still some debating to be done, but both the Democrats and Republicans have it at the top of their legislative to-do list.
House and Senate conferees concluded negotiations yesterday on the long overdue and much anticipated Farm Bill (The Agricultural Act of 2014). The legislation includes several important measures and spending increases for the specialty crop industry including: research, pest and disease prevention, state block grants, and child nutrition. The conference report is expected to be voted on in the House tomorrow and in the Senate on Friday. ACTION IS NEEDED BY YOU to ensure its passage in both chambers.