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                                                                                                                     Dec. 10. 2012

America Needs A Farm Bill

   Living in a society where the snap of a finger has come to reveal our insistent nature, we have  expectations that congress will do its job, and work to implement a farm bill. In order to appreciate the importance of a farm bill, we first have to recognize that our farm bill suspends permanent law, something enacted around 1910, and revised in 1949. Every 5 years congress is required to devise, fund, and implement a new farm bill representative of the needs of our country.The bill   currently sitting before the speaker of the house, to be scheduled for conference with the senate, has a price tag on it of $490 Billion over the next  5years.                                                                          

Due to our budget deficit, funding has become a contentious issue, of its $490 Billion, about 12 % goes to the farmers and ranchers producing our food, and serves to account for environmental concerns, as well as weather events, which negatively impact agriculture. What of the balance ? The largest extent of the farm bill, well over 80 % goes into feeding programs, WIC ( Women Infants and Children ), SNAP ( Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ), and a variety of school lunch and nutrition programs associated with developing healthy young minds and bodies.  

Agriculture requires extensive planning in conjunction with substantial investment, and to ensure an adequate food supply, this country operates under the rules and funding of its farm bill. Otherwise, permanent law goes into effect, which triggers parity pricing, and requires the purchase of agricultural commodities at 75 % of parity. What does that mean to you as a consumer ?  Use milk for an example, today milk pays the farmer about $20 per hundred weight ( cwt ), there are 11.6 gallons of milk per cwt., and parity pricing would put milk at approximately $52 per cwt. x 75%,  for an equivalent of more than $38  per cwt.

This will come to the benefit of no one, including those producing your food, the deadline for a new farm bill is December 31'st. If you eat, you participate in agriculture, urge your  Representative to sign the discharge petition to bring the farm bill to the floor. Send the message loud and clear,  America Needs A Farm Bill.


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