Over 75 agricultural associations, farmer co-ops, and agribusinesses called on the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate agriculture committees to include, in their recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a two-year moratorium on all discretionary, non-essential regulatory actions that would increase the cost of food and agricultural production and processing. The request came in a letter sent to the committees this afternoon.
“Agriculture is a great American success story—our farmers, ranchers, co-ops and agribusinesses provide their fellow Americans, and consumers around the world, with abundant, safe, and affordable food, fiber and fuel. In addition, agriculture directly or indirectly employs 21 million Americans across the country,” said NCFC President & CEO Chuck Conner. “In calling for this moratorium, the groups sending this letter are making their message clear—do not endanger all that agriculture has provided, and all the potential that agriculture holds, with costs imposed by regulations of doubtful necessity, effectiveness, and value.”
The letter states in part, “knowing that the costs of production will not be unduly increased by non-essential policies coming out of Washington is especially important to producers now, as the Select Committee continues its work and reductions in agriculture spending remain possible. The inclusion of this regulatory moratorium in your recommendations to the Select Committee would help provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses going forward.”
A copy of the letter is attached below.
October 6, 2011
Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, and Ranking Members Roberts and Peterson:
On behalf of the food and agriculture associations signed below and the millions of farmers and ranchers they represent, we ask that as part of the Agriculture Committee’s recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction you include a two-year moratorium on all discretionary, non-essential regulatory actions that would increase the cost of food and agricultural production and processing.
Congress has long been strongly supportive of policy that has led this country’s agricultural producers to provide their fellow Americans with a safe, abundant and affordable supply of food, fiber and energy. A key to continuing this bounty is to ensure that federal policy avoids or minimizes cost increases that will hit farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses across the U.S. Unfortunately, current actions by federal agencies threaten to do the opposite. Therefore, we feel extraordinary measures are called for to reduce the climate of uncertainty created by burdensome regulations, including those that are pending.
Our farms, ranches and agribusinesses are impacted by many issues beyond those thought of as traditional agricultural policy. These issues include regulations relating to the environment, immigration and labor, food safety, forests and public lands, access to international markets, financial services, and tax policy.
Knowing that the costs of production will not be unduly increased by non-essential policies coming out of Washington is especially important to producers now, as the Select Committee continues its work and reductions in agriculture spending remain possible. The inclusion of this regulatory moratorium in your recommendations to the Select Committee would help provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses going forward.
Agriculture has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim economy over the past few years. Agricultural production and processing can be one of the drivers of job growth and economic recovery, but to do that the U.S. must ensure that public policy does not hurt the economic viability of farm and ranch families across the country. We urge the Agriculture Committees to request a two year reprieve from unnecessary regulations. Thank you for your help protecting the American public from regulations that will increase the cost of the food, fiber and fuel.
Ag Processing Inc.
Agricultural Council of California
Agricultural Retailers Association
Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Meat Institute
American Nursery & Landscape Association
American Soybean Association
American Sugar Alliance
Blue Diamond Growers
California Canning Peach Association
California Tomato Growers Association
Ceres Solutions, LLP
Cooperative Council of North Carolina
Dairy Farmers of America
Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association
Farm Credit Council
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Idaho Dairymen’s Association
Kansas Cooperative Council
Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers
MFA Oil Company
Michigan Milk Producers Association
National Agricultural Aviation Association
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Chicken Council
National Corn Growers Association
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grape Cooperative Association, Inc.
National Livestock Producers Association
National Meat Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Turkey Federation
Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives
Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold
Nebraska Cooperative Council
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council, Inc.
Olive Growers Council of California
Pacific Coast Producers
Public Lands Council
Plains Cotton Cooperative Association
Riceland Foods, Inc.
Society of American Florists
South Dakota Wheat Growers
South Dakota Association of Cooperatives
South East Dairy Farmers Association
Southern States Cooperative, Inc.
St. Albans Cooperative Creamery
Sunsweet Growers, Inc.
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative
Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council
The Fertilizer Institute
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce Association
United Producers, Inc.
Upstate Niagara Cooperative
USA Rice Federation
U.S. Rice Producers Association
Washington State Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Welch Foods Inc., a Cooperative
Source: National Council of Farmer Cooperatives