President Obama Signs Farm Bill Into Law

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The 2014 Farm Bill – formally titled the Agricultural Act of 2014 – was signed into law by President Barack Obama during a special ceremony on the campus of Michigan State University Friday. Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow was on-hand for the signing – as were farmers, conservation leaders and local food advocates. Stabenow reiterated that this is “not your father’s farm bill.” She says the bill represents a new direction for American agriculture policy – reforming agriculture programs to reduce spending by 23-billion dollars; making historic investments in land and water conservation; increasing options for local and healthy foods; and protecting food assistance for families who need help. House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas also says the Agricultural Act of 2014 marks a new era of farm and food policy – one that values saving money, reforming or repealing government programs and still providing an effective safety net for the production of our national food supply and for those Americans who are struggling.
A release from the office of Senator Stabenow notes the Agricultural Act of 2014 reforms food and agricultural policy by eliminating direct payments and providing responsible risk management tools that support farmers when there’s a need instead. The release goes on to say the legislation streamlines and consolidates programs to end duplication and make programs more efficient – and makes historic investments in conservation, bioenergy production, research, local and healthy food initiatives, organics and maintains critical food assistance for families in need.
It’s been a bumpy road for the farm bill – but American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says farmers and ranchers now have answers about how they can manage the many and varied risks they face in producing food and fiber. He says Farm Bureau believes the farm bill will give farmers and ranchers a measure of business certainty for this and coming years – allowing them to better manage risk while carrying out the important business of providing food and jobs for America. Stallman credits Ag Committee leaders Frank Lucas, Collin Peterson, Debbie Stabenow and Thad Cochran for their leadership, perseverance and cooperation during what was a long, difficult and politically charged farm bill cycle.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says President Obama’s signature on the Agricultural Act of 2014 brings closure to a long process of negotiations, sacrifice and compromise. He says the end result is a solid piece of legislation that provides an adequate safety net in times of need, aids the hungry, protects the environment, creates jobs, keeps country of origin labeling intact and helps bolster rural economies. Johnson is pleased there is now certainty for family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and hungry Americans.
The farm bill signed by President Obama continues existing sugar policy for another five years. The American Sugar Alliance notes large confectioners had made a big push to gut U.S. sugar policy. ASA says such a move would have left America dependent on heavily subsidized foreign sugar suppliers. The group has been complimentary of congressional leaders for continuing sugar policy.

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