You did it!

This is crunch time for the 2012 Farm Bill:  the Senate will vote on final passage of their farm bill today - and YOUR ACTION helped us win major victories for rural communities, beginning farmers, and the environment! Thank you so much!


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Brown #2445:  AS OF TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 3:45 PM -- BROWN #2445 HAS PASSED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVOCACY! NO MORE CALLS NEEDED ON THIS ONE!

Senator Brown’s amendment #2445 will fund critical programs like the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Value-Added Producer Grants, and the Rural Microentrepeneur Assistance Program – these programs create jobs and foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers!

Coburn-Durbin #2439: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 -- Coburn-Durbin #2439 HAS PASSED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVOCACY! NO MORE CALLS NEEDED ON THIS ONE!

Senators Coburn and Durbin’s amendment #2439 will place long-overdue limits on crop insurance subsidies -- America’s largest farm subsidy – and build on the current reforms that cap commodity payments in the farm bill.

Chambliss #2438:  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 -- Chambliss #2438 HAS PASSED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVOCACY! NO MORE CALLS NEEDED ON THIS ONE!

Senator Chambliss’s amendment #2438 (identical to the one filed by Senator Cardin earlier in the process from our previous alerts) on conservation compliance will protect our natural resources by reattaching important on-farm conservation requirements to crop insurance, as it was until 1996.

Every single call or email you make has an impact on how your Senators will vote in the next few hours. It takes just a moment – please contact them today!



Speak out now for a better farm bill! (image)

More information on Brown #2445 -- THIS AMENDMENT HAS PASSED!

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced an amendment that restores funding to critical rural development and beginning farmer programs, including the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the Value-Added Producer Grants Program, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, among others.

Why It Matters

  • - Small-scale entrepreneurship is the one economic development strategy that consistently works in rural communities. Over half of all new jobs created in the most rural areas come from small, non-farm business ventures. Rural development programs targeted at small business development contribute to job creation in rural areas.
  •  - The average age of an American agricultural producer today is 57, and if we let current trends go unchecked, that number will only increase. Providing training and technical assistance to the next generation of farmers can help buck the trend and ensure future food security.

More information on Coburn-Durbin #2439 and Chambliss #2438 -- THESE AMENDMENTS HAVE PASSED!

The 2012 Farm Bill needs to close loopholes and place caps on all subsidies (not just the least expensive), and ensure protection for America’s precious natural resources.  Unfortunately, the current farm bill falls short – it caps and closes loopholes on smaller commodity subsidies while leaving larger crop insurance subsidies uncapped, untargeted, and without limits.  And the bill fails to attach important conservation requirements to crop insurance for the protection of our nation’s water, land, and soil.

Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Durbin (D-IL) have offered an amendment to add a critical measure of reform to the 2012 Farm Bill. It would reduce premium subsidies for program participants whose adjusted gross annual income exceeds $750,000 ($1.5 million for most married participants) per year by 15%.  The amendment would save close to $1.3 billion over ten years.

Why It Matters

  • - Unlimited subsidies are encouraging farmers and investors to bid aggressively on land (to the detriment of small and mid-sized farms and beginning farmers), consolidating holdings, raising land prices, and taking on riskier farming operations. 
  • - Ensuring fiscal responsibility in farm policy during this time of financial crisis requires creating a reasonable cap on all farm subsidies, including crop insurance, which is now the single largest farm subsidy. 
  • - For this farm bill to be considered a true “reform bill” all federal subsidies need to be reformed, including the largest taxpayer subsidy that is our federal crop insurance program.

Senator Chambliss (R-GA) offered an amendment to modernize the soil and wetland conservation provisions by:  reattaching highly erodible land (HEL) and wetland conservation to the receipt of federal crop and revenue insurance premium subsidies and providing a 5-year transition window for the very few producers who will be subject to conservation requirements for the first time. (Note: this amendment is identical to an earlier version offered by Senator Cardin)

Why It Matters

  • - With the receipt of subsidies comes a responsibility to protect resources for future generations; most farmers agree, yet are placed at a competitive disadvantage when poor stewards are allowed to cut corners and reap the same public benefits.
  • - HEL and wetland conservation saves the government millions of dollars in crop and revenue insurance payments, while protecting vital natural resources.
  • - Federally subsidized crop insurance has the unintended consequence of incentivizing production on marginal lands.  We cannot wait another five years to reattach basic conservation requirements to crop insurance subsidies.