MFU opposes Farm Bill as proposed by the House Agriculture Committee
April 19, 2018
Recently, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, released the first draft of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Bipartisan negotiations on the bill had broken down a few weeks prior after of a dispute over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)’s work requirements. Conaway and committee Republicans decided to move forward with a partisan bill, which sets a dangerous precedent. Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said this week he opposes the bill in its current form.
Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), a St.-Paul based grassroots family farm organization, also opposes this partisan Farm Bill. MFU President Gary Wertish issued the following statement:
“Traditionally, agriculture has been an area in which both major parties work well together. Unfortunately, ideological arguments have split up that bipartisan coalition in the House Agriculture Committee.
“We urge the committee to return to bipartisan negotiations on the Farm Bill. Family farmers and rural communities will not have their needs met if the committee does not collaborate. Agriculture and rural communities do not have an adequate safety net in this bill. Cuts to the Conservation Stewardship Program, Rural Energy for America Program and local foods programs threaten resources for climate stewardship and crucial market opportunities. Farm income has declined by more than 50 percent since the last Farm Bill was written, and the House’s bill does not go far enough to stem the economic crisis.
“Additionally, efforts to weaken SNAP endangers the rural-urban joint support of the bill, which is also a danger to future Farm Bills. SNAP must be kept in the bill without adding further restrictions to America’s hungry.”
Click here for a list of suggestions from National Farmers Union on what is needed to improve the bill.
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Fighting for Farmers