FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Lindsay Mitchell
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (2012 Farm Bill) passed today by the Senate was one positive step in the overall goal of securing Farm Bill passage before the end of 2012 when the current bill expires. Illinois Corn Growers Association applauds the hard work and dedication of our Senators and the entire U.S. Senate for making a 2012 Farm Bill closer to reality.
Illinois Corn also thanks their corn farmer members who have made calls in support of passing a ‘Farm Bill Now’ and to comment on the 73 amendments the Senate has voted on in the past three days.
“We have overcome one hurdle, the Senate has passed a workable version of the Farm Bill, but now we have several more to face,” said Jeff Scates, Illinois corn farmer and President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “I would urge the House of Representatives to work quickly, allowing time for the conference committee to work out any differences in the two bills and for final passage before September when the current Farm Bill expires.”
NCGA President and Auburn, IL farmer Garry Niemeyer said, “America’s farmers greatly appreciate the leadership and cooperative work by the Senate to pass the 2012 farm bill in a timely manner. We would also like to thank Senators Stabenow and Roberts for their bipartisan efforts throughout the process.”
Successes for Illinois farmers within the Senate bill are:
- A revenue program that will provide multi-year protection to complement crop insurance. The program is extremely similar to Aggregate Revenue and Risk Management (ARRM) sponsored by Senator Durbin earlier this year.
- Re-authorization for crop insurance programs that help farmers manage uncontrollable risks like drought and flood. These risks are outside of the scope of every other business; there is a place for the Federal Government to help farmers manage Mother Nature.
- Continuation of conservation programs such as Conservation Reserve Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program which help farmers protect fragile lands.
- The elimination of farm payments that were provided regardless of crop failure or income loss. All the programs in the current bill provide farmers assistance only in the event of a loss on their farms. In total, a savings of 19 billion dollars over ten years was accomplished with this key change. Farmers wanted to contribute to reducing the federal budget in the coming years, the only industry stepping forward with positive solutions thus far.
“One hundred programs are eliminated in this bill when most legislation is adding programs instead of subtracting. Farmers have invested in streamlining farm programs and cutting costs to be a part of the solution for our federal government. I am excited to be a part of this historical change,” said Scates.