AGree: Farm Bill ‘Falls Short’ In Helping Farmers With Long-Term Challenges

AGree, a bold initiative designed to tackle long-term agricultural, food and rural policy issues, issued the following statement regarding the 2014 Farm Bill on behalf of its four co-chairs, Dan Glickman, former USDA secretary, Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Stonyfield Farm, Jim Moseley, a farmer and former USDA deputy secretary, and Emmy Simmons, former assistant administrator for economic growth, agriculture and trade, U.S. Agency for International Development:

“The 2014 Farm Bill contains important achievements like the end of direct payments; compliance with conservation requirements for crop insurance eligibility; a pilot project to encourage Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase more fruits and vegetables; and enhanced flexibility for the international food assistance program. However, it falls short in terms of helping farmers prepare for the fundamental long-term food and agriculture challenges posed by resource scarcity, population growth, climate change, invasive pests, pathogens and diseases.

“For example, despite the fact that American agriculture owes much of its past success to a world-class public research, education and extension system, federal and state support for that system has been allowed to stagnate, even as formidable new productivity, natural resource and sustainability challenges continue to emerge. Farmers and ranchers are feeling the pressure of meeting state water quality requirements and private sector sustainability standards, but this Farm Bill did very little to support their efforts to improve agricultural ecosystems or reward active engagement in good stewardship of working lands.

“While the SNAP program became a focal point for fierce debate, the discussion was narrowly confined to budgetary questions. Congress missed a great opportunity to explore broader strategies to incentivize SNAP households and the public at large to make healthier food choices that could reduce the societal impact of obesity and food-related disease.

“And, despite the intense focus on budget priorities, and while it is important to protect producers from some risks inherent to agriculture, we believe the new crop insurance programs within this Farm Bill could present very real budget challenges.

“America needs a new way forward for food and agriculture policy and program formulation. Only a transformative restructuring of the way food and agriculture policy is developed will deliver what is needed.

“Rather than just a “Farm” Bill, we need a “Food, Farming, and Healthy Environment Act,” legislation that encompasses the needs and goals of many communities: farmers, ranchers, foresters and fishermen; consumers, rich and poor, urban and rural; food, fuel, and fiber processors and manufacturers; and agribusinesses all along the value chain. A “Food, Farming, and Healthy Environment Act” would contain innovative and cost-effective solutions to tomorrow’s challenges, based on engagement of these diverse communities in meaningful discussions long before Congress begins writing its next round of legislation.

“Such an act would incorporate: nutrition as well as food; environmental management as well as farming and ranching; local food systems as well as international trade; cutting-edge research as well as the use of high-tech information systems; urban as well as rural interests; and legal certainty for workers coupled with recognition of the importance of a skilled labor force. We understand the political challenges of tackling such sweeping concerns, but we have seen first-hand the power of broad consultations in which a diversity of views and experiences is welcomed. Listening to a variety of perspectives has helped us to integrate issues that often occupy separate silos.

In the coming months, AGree will announce concrete recommendations that will reflect the contributions of our diverse group of advisors and others with whom we are engaged. These recommendations will chart a path forward toward sustained, long-term food and nutrition security for the U.S. as well as help countries around the world improve productivity and stability in the face of population and natural resource challenges.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
LegislationTFI Praises White House For Signing WRRDA Into Law
June 11, 2014
The bill streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, prioritizes authorized waterway improvements and provides needed adjustments to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Read More
LegislationAg Policy: Plenty Of Fertilizer Issues Ahead
January 2, 2014
From West Fertilizer to the Chesapeake Bay, fertilizer producers and dealers are keeping an eye on several Beltway developments in 2014. Read More
Farm Bill
LegislationLack Of Farm Bill Leaves Farmers Facing Uncertainty In 2014
December 13, 2013
With just a few legislative working days remaining in 2013, the likelihood of a new farm bill is waning, leaving farmers in limbo once again. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More