WASHINGTON — After a lengthy discussion, the House Agriculture Committee cleared its version of the 2013 Farm Bill during a markup session which ended late Wednesday night. The House markup follows the Senate Agriculture Committee’s much briefer markup of its farm bill Tuesday.
For the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), portions of the House farm bill included priorities important to cattlemen and women such as permanent disaster programs along with the elimination of the livestock title, maintaining of conservation programs and a strong research title.
NCBA President Scott George, a Cody, Wyo. cattle and dairy producer, lauded the House Agriculture Committee for including disaster assistance in the legislation, stating that it would provide certainty to cattlemen and women who are affected by disastrous weather events and continue to contribute to the nation's strong agriculture industry.
“Farmers and ranchers endure extreme weather conditions - from drought to flood to freezes to the extreme heat – and still work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to provide the country and the world with food and fiber,” said George. “Including disaster assistance programs in the House farm bill is a positive step toward providing a strong safety net for our producers. We appreciate the work of Chairman Lucas and his committee on this important issue.”
Also included in the House version of the farm bill is an amendment introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that would prohibit states from setting production standards for foods brought in from other states. The amendment would render federal production mandates such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) / United Egg Producers (UEP) proposal, untenable.
“We are encouraged by the amendment introduced by Rep. King, which would keep decisions regarding how to raise livestock and poultry in the hands of farmers and ranchers, where they belong,” said George. “NCBA is supportive of the House version of the farm bill and we hope that both the full House and Senate take up their respective bills soon and continue to move forward with passing a 2013 Farm Bill which is positive for cattle producers and gives rural America much needed certainty.”