|USA Rice Federation Members Meet with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson|
WASHINGTON — USA Rice Federation members and staff met Wednesday with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) as part of a series of meetings held in conjunction with the USA Rice Federation 2012 Government Affairs Conference.
Rice industry members urged the lawmakers to pass a farm bill this year that does not disproportionately cut farm policy spending and provides an adequate safety net to producers.
Chairman Lucas said he believes there is an opportunity to pass a farm bill this year rather than extend the current legislation for one-year, but he said the pressure to cut federal spending beyond what the U.S. House had already proposed could make it politically difficult for lawmakers to agree on final passage. "A fundamental guiding principle as we head into this process is a farm bill that works for everyone," Lucas said. The chairman noted that if no agreement is reached on a new farm bill, he will attempt to get a farm bill passed during the lame duck session later this year, but if that fails, he will propose a one-year extension of the current law.
Lucas also urged all commodity groups to work together in support of farm policies that work for all producers in all regions.
Peterson also discussed the difficulty in getting a farm bill passed but said he's hopeful it can get done.
USA Rice Producers’ Group Chairman Linda Raun said rice producers need the certainty of a final farm bill that adequately provides for the risk associated with production agriculture. “Farmers are making critical business decisions in the fall and without the surety of knowing what the farm bill provides for, those decisions will be all the more difficult,” Raun said. “It’s also important that all commodity groups come to agreement on what we expect from the farm bill so that we can present a united front to the agriculture committees as they write the legislation.”
The USA Rice Federation Government Affairs Conference concluded Wednesday.
The USA Rice Federation is the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses.