From Commodity Classic (Anaheim, Calif.) – National Association of Wheat Growers policy committees meeting Wednesday at Commodity Classic focused their discussions on farm bill programs and timelines for development of 2012 Farm Bill concepts.
Though the 2008 Farm Bill was passed just a year and a half ago and many programs are still in the initial stages of implementation, NAWG and other farm groups have heard the message from Capitol Hill that it’s time to start evaluating successes and opportunities before the next re-write of federal farm policy, which will assuredly face funding hurdles and an ever-growing list of competing priorities and needs.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) told growers at the NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates winter meetings in January that they should begin to consider what they want to see out of the 2012 legislation, even as the 2008 Farm Bill continues to be implemented. In later comments, he suggested that the farm bill process could be considered as soon as 2011, particularly if reconciliation instructions require the existing bill to be opened up for budget cuts.
The NAWG Domestic and Trade Policy Committee and NAWG Environment and Renewable Resources Committee both discussed specific farm bill programs within their committees’ charge at their meetings Wednesday. Both groups will finalize timelines for policy development and coordinate a plan of action before leaving Classic at the end of the week.
“The last farm bill was a tough legislative fight, and we know that the next bill, whenever it happens, will be even more complex,” said NAWG President Karl Scronce, a producer from Klamath Falls, Ore. “We want to start this process now to advocate for programs that work for growers and policy that is responsible and can be broadly supported.”
Melissa George Kessler, NAWG, 202-385-2585, firstname.lastname@example.org