What They Are Saying: Western Caucus Farm Bill Priorities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Industry leaders and associations representing rural communities across America released the following statements in support of the Congressional Western Caucus’ 2023 Farm Bill Reauthorization Priorities.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “The farm bill is important for all Americans as a shared investment in keeping our nation’s food supply secure. Farm Bureau is proud to support the farm bill priorities of the Congressional Western Caucus, and we look forward to working with the Caucus along with all members of Congress in passing a meaningful farm bill before the end of 2023.”
Western Growers: “Western Growers thanks the Western Caucus and Chairman Newhouse for elevating the importance of Western issues within the Farm Bill. With the majority of specialty crops being grown in the Western United States, the Farm Bill’s specialty crop programs and research are essential forms of support for our industry, and we especially agree that ensuring conservation includes drought mitigation and adaption is vital to farmers’ livelihood. Western Growers supports a strong Farm Bill that delivers for Western agriculture and communities.”
Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) Policy Director Hannah Downey: “Massive wildfires are becoming larger and more destructive. Their rising intensity and frequency devastates communities, watersheds, and wildlife habitat while hampering climate goals. Mechanical thinning and prescribed burns are needed to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and restore healthy forest ecosystems. The Western Caucus’s proposed solutions to improve forestry in the 2023 Farm Bill would bolster partnerships and remove bureaucratic barriers to essential on-the-ground restoration work.”
National Water Resources Association Executive Vice President Dale Nellor: “The Western Caucus Farm Bill priorities highlight the importance of this legislation and the broad range of programs it provides. These priorities align with those developed by our membership. The 2023 Farm Bill is the best opportunity to renew and enhance critical tools that assist producers and communities manage water resources the most efficient and effective way possible.”
Agricultural Retailers Association President & CEO Daren Coppock: “Yesterday, the Congressional Western Caucus released its priorities for the Farm Bill and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) was pleased to sign on as a supporting trade group. The policy principles outlined in the Western Caucus priority list are in line with ours, and we believe it is of the utmost importance for Congress to pass a Farm Bill this year. The ag retailer plays a vital role in our nation’s ag economy, and we were thrilled to see crop insurance preservation and voluntary conservation programs included in the document, among other issues. As our members work to supply their grower customers with the inputs they need to provide food, fiber, and fuel to a growing world population, an updated Farm Bill is vital to our industry. We urge Congress to support swift passage this year.”
National Corn Growers Association: “Corn growers support the efforts of the Congressional Western Caucus to educate Members and staff on the importance of the farm bill and USDA programs. We look forward to working with the caucus to secure a successful farm bill that works for producers and stakeholders.
American Soybean Association: “The American Soybean Association appreciates the Congressional Western Caucus highlighting the tremendous opportunity the farm bill presents to ensure a healthy farm economy, improve the farm safety net, protect crop insurance, expand trade promotion programs, support voluntary conservation programs, and help rural communities. Through the collective efforts of the Caucus, farm groups like ASA, and many others, we are hopeful the 2023 Farm Bill will address the significant needs of our farmers in keeping feed, fuel, fiber, and food coming for our country.”
Family Farm Alliance: “We want to see 2023 Farm Bill conservation title programs that are administered efficiently and effectively, and support projects like irrigation modernization that provide multiple, stacked benefits, rather than simply focusing on climate fixes. Conservation program management should emphasize a stronger role for state and local decision-making. And - the U.S. Forest Service needs to do a better job managing the land and tackling critical challenges like wildfire, insects, and disease on an expedited schedule. Engaging in the development of a 2023 Farm Bill that has a strong Western flavor is one of our top priorities. We appreciate the Congressional Western Caucus’s leadership towards this end.”
National Pork Producers Council CEO Bryan Humphreys: “The farm bill is critical for pork producers across the country, with threats of foreign animal diseases like African swine fever and others just off the U.S. mainland. We are glad to stand with the members of the Western Caucus to support a farm bill that supports rural America.”
International Fresh Produce Association: “The fresh produce sector has a tremendous footprint in the western U.S. That’s why IFPA is pleased to see the Western Caucus’ focus on specialty crops in the Farm Bill. Prioritizing support for domestic fruits, vegetables, tree fruits and horticultural crops is critical to producers and important for consumers. We look forward to working with the Caucus on making the Farm Bill work better for specialty crops.”
The U.S. Apple Association: “We thank Congressman Newhouse and the Western Caucus for prioritizing the Farm Bill and acknowledging the important role it plays in the success of American agriculture. For apple growers, programs such as the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Market Access Program have been instrumental in meeting the many challenges facing the industry from invasive pests and diseases to supply chain disruptions and retaliatory tariffs. Maintaining and building on the success of these and other farm bill programs is a top priority for the apple industry.”
National Potato Council CEO and Co-Chair of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Kam Quarles: “The National Potato Council thanks the Western Caucus for highlighting valuable Farm Bill programs that make U.S. fruit and vegetable growers more competitive.”