Farm Bill Victories


After more than two years of congressional debate, the Farm Bill is moving forward. Last week, the conference committee issued a report that resolved the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The House voted to approve the conference committee version of the Farm Bill, 251-166, and the Senate is expected to vote on it this week.

We’ll start with the bad news: the bulk of the Farm Bill continues the same programs that favor large-scale, chemical-intensive, mono-cropping and commodity agriculture.

But there is also some good news — we had wins or partial wins on all of the specific issues on which FARFA focused and called for our members to take action. See the various sections below for more information.

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Action Alert: Speak Up on Farm Bill

small family farm

Updated January 22, 2014:

Congress continues to get closer to a final Farm Bill, and word is that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is in trouble. We need your help!

The latest proposal to undermine COOL would allow meatpackers to put “product of North America” on the label, replacing labels that actually identify a meat product’s country of origin. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) did many things — many of them bad — but it did not create a new country! Simply put, a NAFTA label is not COOL.

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Action Alert: Call your U.S. Representative to Support Farm Bill Amendments for Independent and non-GMO Farmers

The U.S. House of Representatives is about to start debating its version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 1947. Over 200 amendments have been introduced, including several important amendments to protect farmers from burdensome food safety regulations and prevent the unauthorized release of genetically engineered crops.

Can you call today? It takes just a couple of minutes, and it truly does make a difference!

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Senate Passes Farm Bill

(June 11, 2013)  Last night, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Farm Bill, S.954.   Having failed to reach an agreement on what amendments to debate, the Senators left over 200 amendments on the table without a vote. None of the amendments supported by FARFA were voted on.

The next step will be for the House of Representatives to take up its version of the Farm Bill.  This could happen as early as next week.  Stay tuned for news on what amendments are introduced and ways to get involved.

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Action Alert: Call Senators to Support Farm Bill Amendments

Updated June 5, 2013:

U.S. Senate continues debate on Farm Bill – now is the time to call your Senators to support amendments for small farmers, non-GMO agriculture, and food freedom!

The U.S. Senate is continuing to debate the Farm Bill, S.954. With over 200 amendments still on the table, the Senate plans to consider a motion to limit the remaining time for considering amendments.

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Coalition Letter to Agriculture Committees on Livestock Competition Issues in 2013 Farm Bill

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairwoman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition

The Honorable Thad Cochran
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition

The Honorable Frank Lucas
Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture

The Honorable Collin Peterson
Ranking Member, House Committee on Agriculture


May 2, 2013

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas and Ranking Members Cochran and Peterson:

The 2013 Farm Bill represents an opportunity to take powerful steps to protect independent livestock and poultry producers from unfair and deceptive contract and marketing practices. In the few years since enactment of the 2008 Farm Bill, the United States has lost 4 percent of its beef cattle operations and 7 percent of its hog operations.

Today, there are only a handful of beef packers, hog processors and poultry integrators. Farmers and ranchers often have little alternative but to accept the terms and prices offered by the few, large firms that dominate the industry.…

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