Vilsack Pushes for New Farm Bill

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently gave a statement about the 2013 Farm Bill, continuing his mission to pressure Congress into passing a new five-year farm bill.

For the last six months, Congress has appeared hell-bent on blocking the passage of five-year farm bill. While the Senate passed their version of the farm bill over the summer and the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the bill in July, the full House refused to hold a vote on the vital farm legislation, allowing it to die in committee.

With a new Congress being sworn in earlier this year, all progress on the farm bill has been reset. With members of the House and Senate ag committees scrambling to pass new bills as quickly as possible, Secretary Vilsack has taken to touring the nation touting the merits of a new farm bill and urging Congress to act as quickly as possible to pass a new bill.

“In the past year, President Obama and I have ensured that USDA carried out every possible measure to support farmers and ranchers in a tough, uncertain time,” said Vilsack in a statement praising the recent Farm Income Forecast. “We know that today’s positive economic forecast is no signal to let up, especially with regard to providing smart and defensible assistance for America’s dairy and livestock producers who today do not have access to a viable safety net. To help all farmers and ranchers continue their efforts in the years ahead, and to ensure the certainty of a strong safety net, it is critical that Congress act on a multiyear, comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer