The Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) supports today's Farm Bill Now rally at the Mall in Washington, DC for passage of a new Farm Bill.
"MDA is part of a coalition of over 70 organizations behind this effort," says Larry Purdom, MDA president and a dairy farmer from Purdy. "The need for a new Farm Bill has galvanized farmers into doing something they don't normally do very often--come to town and protest."
The coalition, called "Farm Bill Now," is comprised of associations and coalitions representing commodity crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, state and local governments, minor crops, energy and bio-based product groups, farm cooperatives and financial groups, as well as the nation's two largest farm groups: the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union.
"The current Farm Bill will come to an end at the end of this month, and many say there is not enough time to get a new one passed. I think it is reasonable to have the House pass a Farm Bill by the end of the month," says Purdom. "The Senate has already passed its version of the bill, so this leaves just a conference committee to hammer out differences before the election.
"The stumbling block seems to be the food and nutrition program, primarily how much money should be cut from the SNAP program. I hope that the united support for a Farm Bill by a politically diverse group of farm organizations will inspire Congress to make some compromises of its own. The bill is about more than just farmers, it touches every American because it is a food, jobs, energy, conservation, research and trade bill, too," says Purdom.
Farm Bill Now launched an interactive web portal at www.FarmBillNow.com, through which visitors to the site can connect to their members of Congress and show their support for a new five-year farm bill. Using messages to Congress via social media, event locations and times, and an online petition, FarmBillNow.com gives both farmers and consumers the resources they need to make their voices heard telling Congress that the farm bill needs to be completed before the current farm law expires.
"If action is not taken this month, then it will be up to a lame duck session of Congress to deal with the bill in December and if that happens, chances of getting action on a new farm bill are slim," says Purdom.