Please sign up here to subscribe to our email updates on the work being done in Congress and how it might affect you.
* marks required fields.
Rep. Tom Reed and the House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass a five-year Farm Bill, with strong support from local farmers.
“Farmers are counting on the House to get a Farm Bill passed,” Reed stressed. “Today’s bill is the way forward so that we can go to conference with the Senate and get a long-term Farm Bill signed into law.”
Democrats voted against last month’s Farm Bill due to their opposition to reforms to SNAP programs. The bill voted on in the House Thursday has no impact on SNAP programs, keeping full funding in place.
“SNAP funding remains completely preserved in this bill and still, Democrats refuse to support our nation’s farmers,” Reed said. “As frustrated as I am that House Democrats are only interested in playing politics, I am more frustrated that they refuse to stand with farmers. Partisan politics is the only reason they had to oppose the Farm Bill.”
Members of the local agriculture community Thursday expressed the need for a five-year Farm Bill and its importance to regional agriculture interests.
Charlene Ryder of the New York Wine Grape Growers said, “A farm bill is extremely important to New York’s grape industry, both wine and juice grape growers. This is especially important because of the research components which are currently halted because of the lack of a long-term farm bill. Also, an effective crop insurance program will be beneficial to future planning for farmers.”
Cattleman Jake Martin of Gorham said: “I feel this is a key vote today and I am hopeful that we can put a majority together to support area farmers; because of the large losses last year from the drought we do need the support of these programs to keep us going. This bill can provide a stepping stone to provide support for farmers still suffering from previous crop years and give them a more stable outlook for future crop years.”
“In a perfect world we would get this all done at once and have it behind us,” said Dennis Rak, Owner of Double A Vineyards in Fredonia. “For the agriculture community it is important that we get a farm bill done so we can make plans for the future.”
“These farmers face enough uncertainties as it is and House Democrats should not add to that burden,” Reed added. “The last thing they need to worry about is whether Congress will finally enact a Farm Bill.”
Passage of this bill sets the stage for a conference between House and Senate passed bills.