Farm Bill 2012: VT Delegation Works Hard, House Disappoints

On September 27th Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, issued the following statement in response to news from Washington that the House of Representatives will not vote on the bill’s expiration on September 30, 2012: I am very disappointed to learn Congress will not vote on a new Farm Bill until after the November elections. Our Congressional delegation from Vermont worked diligently to advance a new Farm Bill, as well as an extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC), but their efforts were not supported. Without a new bill, or an extension of the current bill, or some interim provisions from Congress, our farmers, particularly in the dairy sector, are left in a precarious position. MILC will expire with the current Farm Bill on September 30th. The dairy community relies on this safety net, which is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), when milk prices plummet. This Congressional stalemate is yet another threat to our dairy industry here in Vermont, and across the nation. I would like to thank Senator Leahy and Representative Welch who, with the strong support of Senator Sanders, worked hard to move a new Farm Bill forward. Our Congressional delegation continues to be a strong, consistent advocate for farmers in Vermont, and nationwide. It is my hope that, with the leadership provided by our delegation, Congress will pass a Farm Bill in the near future.