Congress: Pass a new farm bill before 2018 ends

Print Article

Congress has only a few days left in 2018 to pass legislation. Adopting a strong, new farm bill should be at the top of their list.

Lawmakers should approve a farm bill that includes closing loopholes in commodity payments, renewing major conservation programs and continuing programs that offer support to rural communities and beginning farmers.

First, loopholes in commodity programs are allowing the largest farms to exploit the system and claim incredibly high payments. Not only do these loopholes allow for misuse of taxpayer dollars, this unfair advantage creates an uneven playing field for smaller, family-sized operations and drives farm consolidation.

Second, America needs farmers and ranchers who are committed caretakers of the land. Farm bill conservation programs offer a needed path that allows producers to improve their stewardship of water and soil. A new farm bill should provide strong support for conservation, including the Conservation Stewardship Program that allows for targeted conservation efforts across operations.

Finally, rural America needs strong and diverse economic opportunities. The farm bill contains several smaller programs that offer support for rural economic vitality and the next generation of farmers. Not renewing these programs closes the door of opportunity for many in rural America.

Congress allowed the 2014 farm bill to expire on Sept. 30, stranding over a billion dollars in programs with no authority to operate. Currently, both the Senate and the House have put forward draft farm bills, but have struggled to achieve compromise. The Senate’s proposals would bring needed policy changes for rural America. What’s more, it passed with historically strong bipartisan support.

Congress, we urge you to follow the lead of the Senate and pass a final farm bill that serves rural America.

— Anna Johnson

Policy manager, Center for Rural Affairs

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic and environmental issues.

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

President’s budget ignores needs of rural America

April 05, 2019 at 7:34 am | Western News Details on President Trump’s 2020 budget were released this month. In an attempt to rein in federal spending, the budget recommends a $3.6 billion cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Unfortuna...

Comments

Read More

Setting the record straight on HB 722

April 05, 2019 at 7:34 am | Western News I would like to provide some factual information about HB 722, a bill I am sponsoring this session, as it was the focus of a recent letter to the editor and was completely misrepresented. HB 722 all...

Comments

Read More

Montana House Dems weigh in on health care

April 05, 2019 at 7:34 am | Western News One of the most important issues that we will tackle this session is protecting the healthcare coverage of more than 96,000 Montanans. Last week, the House Human Services Committee voted to advance H...

Comments

Read More

Libby needs to return to roots for good paying jobs

March 26, 2019 at 11:36 am | Western News Shopko’s looming closure is but the latest in a long line of business closures/failures in Libby — Stimson lumber, Stinger Welding, Revett Minerals, SK Fingerjoint, LiV Golf Cars, and the list goes o...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2019 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X