Washington, D.C. — During the week of May 16, the House Agriculture Committee approved its version of the Farm Bill, moving the legislation to the floor for consideration of the full House of Representatives. Congressman Bill Owens, who has long advocated for the Farm Bill to move forward, praised the bipartisan effort and called on his colleagues to swiftly advance the bill.
Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says farmers across Pennsylvania (and the nation) are willing to make sacrifices as part of the overall farm bill package, including the elimination of direct payments, which total $5 billion per year in the bills approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee and House Agriculture Committee.
“PFB is pleased that the Agriculture Committees have advanced farm bill legislation that places a high priority on crop insurance as a risk management tool and includes additional insurance opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer. “We are hopeful that the bipartisan supported bills, which include a flexible crop insurance program and a streamlined conservation program that focuses on working lands, will move swiftly though the full Senate over the next few weeks and through the House this summer.”
Farm Bureau notes that the Senate and House versions of the farm bill contain many similarities on issues that directly impact farmers.
PFB adds that it is important for the public to know where money from the farm bill actually goes. “The proposed $100 billion farm bill proposals direct about $80 billion (80% of all farm bill funding) toward food stamps and other food nutrition efforts under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. The remaining $20 billion – which is one half of one percent of all federal spending – is targeted to help farmers afford crop insurance coverage as part of the agriculture safety net and to assist farmers in implementing conservation practices that reduce soil erosion, limit runoff and improve water quality,” concluded Shaffer.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 55,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.
Though retired, Penn State Extension Specialist Tom McCarty is still the go-to guy for solving water problems involving pesticides and other potentially dangerous potables. A case in point, chronicled by a Penn State magazine, showed how McCarty successfully solved the plight of a woman who was being plagued by an unknown malady. This Harrisburg, PA, woman had been experiencing nausea, diarrhea and skin rashes for three years. No one could determine what was causing her ailment; best guesses indicated some sort of possible allergy. Consequently the remedy, in light of that non-professional diagnosis, was to try to purge the house of possible toxins by getting rid of plastics, clothing made with synthetic fabrics, chemical cleaners, and furniture with formaldehyde. Air filters had even been added to the house but none of those steps were of any avail. Continue reading
The New York State Assembly on May 13 was considering A.1792A, sponsored by Queens County Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, which would impose factory style labor mandates on family farms. From New York Farm Bureau’s perspective, a vote in support of the so-called “farm worker fair labor practices act” is a vote against New York’s hard working farm families and the farm workers employed. Keep in mind; the advocacy groups behind this legislation include unions, college students, and downstate members of the Legislature who do not understand either the realities of providing food for our tables. Continue reading