Let ‘Em Know You Say ‘Yes’ To Farm Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are expected to vote this week on the 2008 farm bill. Despite efforts to address many of the Bush administration’s concerns, the president has still threatened to veto the bill.

Retailers still have time to encourage their elected officials to vote "yes" for the legislation — and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is providing the tools to act quickly.

On May 8, farm bill negotiators released details of the five-year 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report (H.R. 2419) that they plan to bring to the House and Senate this week. It is expected that the House will pass the nearly $300 billion proposal as early as tomorrow (May 14) and the Senate is expected to approve it soon thereafter.

This bipartisan legislation includes significant farm policy reforms, protects the safety net for all of America’s food producers, addresses important infrastructure needs for specialty crops, increases funding to feed our nation’s poor, and enhances support for important conservation initiatives.

The agreement also includes the ARA-initiated Agricultural Chemicals Security Credit provision, which will provide a tax credit to agricultural retail, distribution, and other elible agricultural businesses that improve security at their fertilizer and pesticide storage facilities.

It is ARA’s understanding that the legislation also includes the Technical Service Provider Program, a grant to reduce production of methamphetamines from anhydrous ammonia, and limits speculation and increases transparency in energy markets.

Despite efforts by Congress to address many of the Administration’s concerns, the president has still threatened to veto the bill. President Bush has stated that the bill does not include sufficient reforms to farm commodity payment programs and criticized the costs of the overall bill. If the president vetoes the bill, a two-thirds congressional majority is required to override his decision. ARA has joined a coalition of nearly 500 agricultural, conservation, and nutrition organizations on a National Farmers Union-initiated letter to be sent to all congressional offices urging a "yes" vote on the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report. The letter is expected delivered today.

ARA is asking all retailers to call their senators and representatives and inform them how important the 2008 Farm Bill is to our industry and to vote "yes" on the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report.

Click here to customize your letter to your respective Members of Congress and explain how important the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill is to agricultural retailers and distributors and your grower-customers.

Once you have sent a letter, you are encouraged to place a follow-up telephone call to your Members of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.

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