In a recent statement, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack linked farm income forecasts to federal farm policy, arguing that blocking the passage of a new five-year bill could threaten the prosperity of American farmers.
For the past several months, Secretary Vilsack has been a relentless advocate for the farm bill. After being stalled in Congress for more than a year, the House and Senate have finally come tantalizingly close to passing a new bill. With partisan politics threatening to undermine that passage, Vilsack has taken it on himself to travel the country promoting the farm bill.
In a recent statement, Vilsack pointed out that recent farm income reports, reports that predict another year of record-highs, are contingent on federal farm policy. Without a farm bill, Vilsack pointed out, farm incomes could drop, hurting both rural America as well as the overall economy.
“This week’s forecast of a $6.8 billion increase in net farm income is a testament to the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers,” Vilsack said, “and a further sign of the positive momentum they have achieved over the past five years. A six percent increase in this key measure would be the second highest inflation-adjusted amount since 1973, even as agriculture has worked hard to recover from an historic drought and other disasters. I am confident that our farmers and ranchers will continue to show the determination and innovation that has been the hallmark of American agriculture for generations. To help continue their strong momentum, producers and rural communities are counting on Congress to provide a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will lend certainty to Federal farm.”
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