Vilsack Talks Farm Aid

In his recent remarks at the American Farm Bureau’s annual meeting, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed the failure of the farm bill and urged farmers to pressure Congress on the issue of farm aid.

Earlier this week, Secretary Vilsack addressed the annual Farm Bureau meeting, talking about the failure to pass a new farm bill and the need for farmers to pressure Congress to pass increased farm aid legislation. In addition, he urged farmers to reach out to non-farmers to form political alliances.

A significant part of Vilsack’s remarks addressed his disappointment with Congress’ inability to pass meaningful farm reform and their failure to pass desperately needed farm aid legislation in the final fiscal cliff negotiations. After months of devastating drought conditions, many farmers across the country, particularly ranchers who aren’t covered by crop insurance, are in need of federal aid.

“We were disappointed in the fact that there was in fact no disaster assistance either in the form of a food farm and jobs bill passed through congress or in the extension that was ultimately approved,” Vilsack said. “No comfort for livestock producers, no help for dairy producers.”

Vilsack also urged farmers to speak out publically and to write to their local representatives to pressure Congress to take quick action on a new farm bill. “We are committed, and I know the Farm Bureau is committed, to making sure that 2013 is not a repeat of 2012,” Vilsack said.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer