The USA Rice Federation appreciates the extraordinary efforts of lawmakers and the administration to avoid tax increases and the lapse of important policies that would choke off economic growth and jobs. The provision extending the 2008 farm bill through the 2013 crop year is vitally important to rural America and to the nation's farmers and ranchers, including US rice producers. In particular, in the absence of a new farm bill, the continuation of the direct payment program and the market access and promotion programs are of critical importance to the rice industry.
As Washington continues to work to bring the country's fiscal house in order, we urge that lawmakers include a five-year farm bill in broader deficit reduction legislation this year. Not only would a farm bill offer farmers and ranchers necessary long-term certainty but it would also yield taxpayers substantial budget savings and help tame our country's deficit spending.
The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have worked hard over the course of three years to develop a set of budget-saving policies that still meet the needs of rural America. Lawmakers should not allow that work to go unfinished.
“We are grateful to the leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for their work on the farm bill and on this extension,” USA Rice Producers’ Group Chairman and Texas rice producer Linda Raun said. “We particularly wish to extend our gratitude to Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) for their unwavering support to ensure that farm policy works for America's rice farmers. With the steadfast support from these House leaders, Senate Ag Committee members John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and all rice state lawmakers, we believe that America's rice farmers and industry will continue to contribute to the economic and environmental well-being of our country."
The USA Rice Federation looks forward to working with members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and rice state Representatives and Senators in the 113th Congress to develop and pass a five year farm bill that provides effective policy for producers of all crops, in all regions.