ALABAMA FARMERS FEDERATION URGES QUICK PASSAGE OF FARM BILL
"Headland, Ala." The president of Alabama's largest farm organization, Jerry Newby, said his organization is pulling out all the stops and pressing full speed ahead to convince Congress of the urgency of passing a farm bill this month.
"Quick passage of the farm bill is imperative so farmers can plan for their crop and secure financing," the president of Alabama Farmers Federation said. "A strong agriculture safety net is not only vital for our farmers but also for the economy and security of our entire nation," said Newby.
He joined with Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bishop in a town meeting of Wiregrass farmers to discuss the farm bill with them and representatives from the offices of Sen. Richard Shelby and Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Newby said commodity groups in the Federation are disappointed the Senate did not act before the end of last year. With a vote primarily along party lines, the Senate failed to get the necessary 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and bring up the farm bill.
Newby has held numerous discussions with farmers and congressional leaders before and since that vote. He said Sessions told him that the Bush administration has pledged the full amount of $73.5 billion over the next 10 years for the farm bill. Newby said farmers are concerned that adequate funding for farm programs may be difficult to obtain because of the delay.
"It should not matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat when it comes to helping our farmers. It's going to take compromise from both sides of the aisle and we urge Congress to move quickly to resolve their differences," Newby said.