Farm Bureau, Agricultural Council React to House Farm Bill Approval

On Thursday, the Arkansas Farm Bureau and the Agricultural Council of Arkansas issued statements reacting to the U.S. House of Representatives' approval of a farm bill.

The House on Thursday approved a scaled-down version of the massive bill, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month. Each of Arkansas' House members, all Republicans, voted for the bill.

Statement from the Arkansas Farm Bureau

LITTLE ROCK — The following statement was issued by Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach after passage of a split Farm Bill by the U.S. House of Representatives by a 216-208 vote. Veach is a cotton, soybean, corn and wheat farmer from Manila (Mississippi County).

“We are disappointed in House leadership for choosing to split the bill and repealing the permanent law status of the Farm Bill, which creates the possibility that we will never write a Farm Bill again.

“The decision by House leadership to pursue that path put members of the Arkansas delegation in a very difficult situation. 

“We still have a long way to go to get to passage of a five-year Farm Bill. The challenge will be in conferencing the vastly different proposals from the Senate and the House.

“We are committed to work vigorously with our full delegation to work toward passage of a Farm Bill that provides the needed safety net that underpins Arkansas and American agriculture.”

Statement from the Agricultural Council of Arkansas

"The Agricultural Council of Arkansas was glad to see the House of Representatives make progress on the farm bill.  While we were disappointed that the House was unable to pass the Committee passed farm bill (H.R. 1947), we are pleased that the House was able to advance the non-nutrition titles of that farm bill, which will allow for the House and Senate to move to Conference with the Senate.  We hope the House and Senate will work together to provide a Conference Report that will contribute to deficit reduction, offer sufficient safety nets for farmers and low income Americans, and provide the certainty of a five-year law.

"We appreciate the continued support of this legislation from Arkansas Congressmen Rick Crawford, Steve Womack, and Tim Griffin.  They understand that this bill is critical for Arkansas farmers, businesses and consumers.  We also appreciate Congressman Cotton for changing his vote in support of this bill.  We hope we can continue to count on the support of the entire Arkansas Congressional Delegation going forward.

"It’s important for Arkansas farmers to have the certainty of a five-year farm bill that contributes to deficit reduction and provides a safety net for farmers.  Without the certainty of a farm bill, farmers will struggle in their ability to make the long-term investments and other production decisions necessary to continue growing a safe and affordable food and fiber supply for consumers."