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September 13, 2012

Farmers Rally for a Farm Bill Now

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Farmers from across the nation rallied on Capitol Hill this week urging Congress to pass the farm bill now. AFBF’s Tracy Grondine reports.
Grondine:Farmers from across the country gathered Wednesday in the shadow of the nation’s capitol to rally for passage of a farm bill before the current legislation expires on Sept. 30. Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, emceed the “Farm Bill Now!” event.
Stallman:We gather here under a banner adorned with three words. FARM. BILL. NOW. We are here to raise our voices toward Capitol Hill for a shared purpose. Perhaps never in the history of farm legislation have so many diverse farmer and rancher voices joined together for such a common call for action on a farm bill.
Grondine:The event drew hundreds of participants from across the country, including farmers, agriculture leaders and congressional members. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) spoke to the crowd about the Senate and House Agriculture Committee-passed bills that include disaster assistance and are awaiting congressional agreement.
Stabenow:We have in the Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill that includes disaster assistance fully paid for within the savings in our bill. The House Agriculture Committee in a bipartisan way also passed a bill out of committee and included disaster assistance within their bill. We did disaster assistance, we paid for disaster assistance and we gave farmers long-term certainty by a five-year farm bill.
Grondine:Stabenow says there’s no reason congressional leaders can’t come to agreement on the two bills within the next week. She said America is counting on it.
Stabenow:We know that without a five year farm bill that we are in a situation where we jeopardize the families in this country from having the safest, most affordable food system in the world. That’s what farmers and ranchers do for us. We need a farm bill now!
Grondine:Tracy Grondine, Washington.
Grondine:We have two extra actualities with AFBF President Bob Stallman. In the first extra actuality he recognizes the efforts of congressional Agriculture Committee leaders, Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Pat Roberts in the Senate, and Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson in the House. The cut runs 28 seconds, in 3-2-1.
Stallman:In bipartisan fashion, this group of four worked to fashion House and Senate farm bills with broad appeal across agriculture of fiscal responsibility, comprehensive risk management programs, scalable coverage that fits individual farm management strategies, provisions for farmers and ranchers above and beyond traditional program crops, support for vital conservation programs and continued programs to help Americans who require food assistance.
Grondine:In the second extra actuality Stallman relays the group’s message to Congress. The cut runs 11 seconds, in 3-2-1.
Stallman:All of us gathered here share one resounding and common message: Congress, for our farm and ranch families, their communities and for our nation…Pass the Farm Bill Now.
Grondine:Newsline is updated Mondays and Thursdays by 5pm Eastern time. Thank you for listening.

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