WASHINGTON — With the Senate Agriculture Committee markup of the 2013 Farm Bill completed, farmers and ranchers now look toward the House Agriculture Committee markup of its version of the bill, scheduled for May 15, as Congress moves one step closer toward passing a full 2013 Farm Bill, which would set American agriculture policy for the next five years.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Scott George, a beef and dairy producer from Cody, Wyo., said his organization is pleased with the outcome of the Senate markup, adding that having cattle producers’ top farm bill priorities included in the legislation is paramount to ensuring the viability and sustainability of the beef industry.
“This version of the farm bill incorporates the priorities which NCBA and our membership fought hard for last year. There is not a livestock title, the conservation programs are maintained and the research title is sustained,” said George. “These priorities address the needs of cattle producers while limiting invasive federal oversight and ensure that farmers and ranchers can continue to produce a wholesome, safe and affordable food supply.”
The bill passed by the committee this afternoon did not include the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) / United Egg Producers (UEP) language. After announcing two weeks ago that it planned to include language in the draft farm bill legislation that would codify an agreement between HSUS and UEP to seek federally mandated production practices for the egg industry, the Senate Agriculture Committee made the decision last week that the proposal would not be included in their markup of the farm bill.
“Including the HSUS/UEP legislation in the farm bill would have created a potential slippery slope to allow the federal government to mandate on-farm production practices for all sectors of the agriculture. Cattlemen and women have worked closely with the committee and leadership over these past years and we are very pleased the Senate used commonsense judgment and decided to not include this proposal in the bill,” said George. “We support this legislation that has come out of committee today and will continue working with both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to ensure the passage of agriculture policy which will provide certainty to farmers and ranchers.”