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National Grange releases comment on passage of Senate Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 11, 2013) -- The National Grange on Tuesday released a statement regarding the 66-27 passage of the Senate's Farm Bill, saying while hopeful we now wait again on the House for action on the nearly $1 trillion piece of legislation that affects every American directly or indirectly.

"While we're happy that the Senate passed their version of the Farm Bill, we can't help but feel a slight sense of deja vu. Last June we saw the Senate pass their version of the Farm Bill but the House didn't even get theirs to the floor," National Grange Legislative Director Grace Boatright said.

House leadership has said the expect the Farm Bill to come before the floor next week.

"I'm hopeful that the house will pass their version of the bill this month, but realistically, we are still a long way from getting American agriculture a full five-year Farm Bill," Boatright said. "We all have to keep working to let our elected representatives know how important the Farm Bill is to producers and consumers."

National Grange President Ed Luttrell said the Farm Bill is an essential piece of the puzzle in stability in the market.

"Farmers are affected by so many variables, so a Farm Bill is important because it offers stability in the face of natural disasters, market shifts and so much more," Luttrell said. "Every American enjoys benefits from a Farm Bill, from stable prices at the grocery store to continued research into best practices of farming and nutrition science. We look forward to the House taking action, but understand the two bills are still far apart and advocacy to find compromise is important."

Specifically, the House and Senate bills show about a $16 million difference in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP includes funding for more than 15 percent of Americans who currently receive what was formerly known as food stamps, along with money for reduced school lunches and other nutrition assistance programs. 

Established in 1867, the National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With more than 2,100 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nation's leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 160,000 members across the United States. For more information on the National Grange, visit our website at www.nationalgrange.org

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