FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2014
Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
WASHINGTON (March 24, 2014) - Last week National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations, outlining NFU's priorities for Fiscal Year 2015 funding for agricultural programs. In his testimony, Johnson listed five main requests.
NFU opposes any legislative riders or targeted funding restrictions to limit or restrict the enforcement, legal defense or study of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). New COOL regulations enacted in 2013 are currently being evaluated by the World Trade Organization and the legal system, and efforts to undermine these proceedings through appropriations are unwarranted and premature. Studies have found that more than 90 percent of consumers support COOL.
"Because of appropriations riders in the last three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not been allowed to write rules that would provide greater fairness for livestock sellers and poultry growers in the agriculture marketplace, as directed by the 2008 Farm Bill," said Johnson. "I strongly urge the subcommittee to reject any legislative riders that would undermine the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration's authority and ignore congressional intent."
"Homegrown renewable energy helps our country reduce its carbon footprint while building the future of the rural economy," said NFU Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule. "NFU requests the subcommittee fully fund Congress' substantial discretionary investments in existing energy programs through the 2014 Farm Bill to help meet our country's renewable energy goals."
Finally, NFU has two agricultural research requests, calling for the implementation of a 2008 Farm Bill directive to make conventional plant and animal breeding a priority for research grants, and fully granting the administration's request for funding for the development and release of regionally adapted, public cultivars.
"With the passage of a new, comprehensive farm bill, Congress has clearly established its agricultural priorities for the next five years," said Goule. "It is critical that appropriators not reduce funding through changes in mandatory programs for the entirety of the 2014 Farm Bill in order to achieve Congress' legislative goals."
Click here to read NFU's testimony.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.