September 30th marks the expiration of the current Farm Bill and along with it, the funds that support important specialty crop programs like Pest and Disease Management (Section 10201), Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Specialty Crop Block Grants, and the National Clean Plant Network. With the deadline looming, the U.S. Congress still has not come up with a path to passing the 2012 Farm Bill. In an effort to draw attention to the issue a coalition called “Farm Bill Now,” which is made up of farmers, ranchers, dairymen, and others, will rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Wednesday September 12 beginning at 11am. The purpose is to pressure congress, especially the U.S. House of Representatives leadership, to take action and move the bill towards passage.
Obviously, most people won’t be able to make the trip to DC to attend the rally. However, you can still make your voices heard. Please click here
and send a message to your congressman.
The 2012 Farm Bill passed the U.S. Senate on June 21, by a vote of 64-35. And in July, it was approved by the House Agriculture Committee on a bipartisan vote of 35-11. The U.S. House version of the bill would reduce the deficit by over $30 billion and eliminate direct payments to row crop growers. It’s a bill that supports research, development, and protects farmers from significant losses. Though it is ready to be considered by the full House of Representatives, House leadership has not scheduled time for a debate and floor vote. We must do our part to change their minds and address the needs of U.S. Agriculture by .