Food and Farm Bill Moving Forward
A status report on the Senate version of the 2012 Food and Farm Bill.
At the end of April, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed a Farm Bill out of committee. This first step included important elements for advancing alternatives to pesticides in agriculture.
- Regional IPM Centers were authorized, ensuring on-going support for the Centers.
- Mandatory funding was retained for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program at $11.5 million per year and for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) at $16 million per year.
- Despite threats of major changes, the Conservation Stewardship Program retained funding.
The full Senate will likely consider the bill in June.
Next up, the House Agriculture Committee is expected to vote on its version of the Farm Bill in June. Our only member on a congressional agriculture committee from the Pacific Northwest is Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR). In the last year, we have helped several farmers meet with Congressman Schrader to speak about the value of Farm Bill programs supporting alternatives to pesticides and organic farming.
Be prepared to add your voice, as we will be calling upon you soon.
For more details on the Farm Bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee, see the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s blog.